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Chocolate flows at POP!

During this year’s POP! Bubbles & Seafood, Friday, Feb. 24, Callebaut Belgian Chocolate presents a Chocolate Lounge featuring creations from some of Seattle’s top pastry, bakery and confectionary chefs.

The POP! event, held at Seattle’s McCaw Hall, is the leading event to the three-day Seattle Wine and Food Experience Feb. 24, 25 and 26. At POP! guests will savor some of the best seafood the Pacific Northwest has to offer, from salmon and clams to oysters and shrimp. This bounty perfectly paired with sips from more than 30 sparkling wines from around the world, plus cold beer, cider and white and red wines.

The delicious Belgian chocolate treats prepared by Alina Muratova, Executive Pastry Chef, Washington State Convention Center; Michael Poole, Chocolatier, Hot Chocolat (editor: sic); Junko Mine, Pastry Chef, Café Juanita; Matt Kelly, Executive Pastry Chef, Barking Frog/Willows Lodge; and Brittany Bardeleben, Pastry Chef, Tom Douglas Restaurant Group will be the perfect cap-off to the evening. These chefs will surprise and delight guests with amazing flavors.

Callebaut Chef for the United States, Russ Thayer, will also be at the Chocolate Lounge to greet customers and answer questions on anything chocolate.

The partnership between these chefs, and hundreds more across the U.S., with Callebaut Chocolate focuses on the goal of together striving for great taste using imagination and inspiring innovation.

Steeped in tradition and history, Callebaut Chocolate has been making chocolate, from cocoa beans, in the heart of Belgium for more than 100 years. From a century ago through today, Callebaut continues to select, roast and grind cacao beans into its own signature blend. That unique blend is high in cocoa butter content, perfect for gourmet and culinary professionals who require a classic flavor profile and consistent product. The company originally produced malt and dairy items beginning in 1850, later producing chocolate from roasted whole beans, and finally exporting chocolate to chocolatiers around the globe in 1950.

Using bean-to-chocolate processing and roasting whole beans preserves flavors and aromatic oils. Callebaut’s time-honored roasting methods continue through today.

With this background, the company is firm in the belief that the success and future of the business depends directly on the future of cocoa cultivation and the cocoa farming communities. To meet that demand Callebaut started the Growing Great chocolate program in 2012, making a bold shift to source only sustainably grown cocoa for all its finest Belgian Chocolate recipes. For every block or pack of Callebaut Finest Belgian chocolate purchased, the company reinvests a portion into farmer training and social programs in the cocoa gowning communities through the non-profit organization Cocoa Horizons.

The result is that chefs creating sweet selections, crafted with Callebaut Chocolate as an ingredient for their guests, directly support sustainable cocoa farming in a delicious way.

Be sure to spend a portion of your stay at POP! in the Chocolate Lounge discovering tasty Callebaut Belgian Chocolate Friday, Feb. 24.