Friday, 16 November 2012

Let's make Christmas 2012 Gift Swap

When I first started out to become a food writer there were some people who went out of their way to help.  Chantal was one of those people who helped make my recipe book Prepped happen, so I'm really excited about this years Let's Make Christmas event because Chantal's own book is out and she has arranged for each of us to have one of her beautiful books. 

So .. there is no guessing what the theme is.  I really think it should be called Let's Make Chocolate!

Yesterday Heather McGregor was chatting on BBC radio Four Women's Hour on the subject of the UK's most influential women and I was finalising this invitation.  I was only half listening until Heather mentioned Chantal as one of the women she felt has who has helped shape the way we live today. 

I know I talk on the radio  .. but occasionally I talk at the radio and I was so thrilled to hear Chantal mentioned .. Yes yes... I said to my Roberts Radio and I have been thinking about it since last night. 

Chantal's influence has really been amazing.  She's dynamic and the way in which she has influenced the ethical trade in chocolate as the founder and creative director of Rococo Chocolates  has changed the chocolate scene immeasurably, helping make London one of the worlds most vibrant chocolate destinations in the world.  She has pioneered The Real Chocolate Movement which has had a huge impact on the politics of chocolate, the way society views it and has been instrumental in changing chocolate culture as well as helping the Grenadian economy get back on it's feet after hurricane Emily.  

Chantal brings such passion, joy and creativity to her chocolate so I am absolutely delighted that she 
has also offered to host this years Food Bloggers Let's Make Christmas in the Rococo factory.... which means an exclusive peek right behind the scenes right into the nerve centre of where the winner of The Academy of Chocolate "Chocolatier of the Year" in both  2011, 2012 develop their couture collection. 

Friday 30th November 

2:30 - 5.30pm 
2:30 arrival Hot Chocolate
3pm Rococo Chocolatier, Barry, will be demonstrating how to get a really velvety ganache and his tips on successful tempering. 
4pm Chance to chat with Chantal who will be signing a copy of her beautiful Rococo Mastering the Art of Chocolate personally for you
5:00 Winners of best in section announced. 
5:30 Gift Swap

Gift Categories are: 
Best Chocolate recipe (own or favourite recipe)  
Best recipe from Rococo Book Mastering the Art of Chocolate
If you’d like to participate .. 

1) Use the Let’s make Christmas logo in your blog post and link back to this page.

2) Please make a comment in the box below to tell me that you are taking part. 

3) Tweet this page with the #LetsMakeChristmas

4) Remember to email me your blog post to

This years Judges are: 
Food writer and author of The Contented Cook  Xanthe Clay from the Telegraph
Lucas HollwegWinner of Guild of Food Writers Cookery Journalist of the Year Award 2012 from the Sunday Times & designer and food writer Sophie Conran.  

There will be a first prize and runner up for both categories.
Please include the recipe & your contact details with your gifts

It's a wonderful way to get together, with many old friends and new faces too. Numbers are strictly limited so please email me as soon as you are able for an invitation. 


  1. I shall be an enthusiastic participant! :) Thank you so much for organising this fabulous event and blog challenge.

  2. Looks utterly fabulous Vanessa. Wish I could make it. I'll be packing boxes for Operation Xmas Child that day :-) Good luck to everyone who enters

  3. I'm so excited Vanessa. I loved meeting Chantel at the Ndali event, and I remember buying her chocolate in 1984!

    What a lovely theme, perfect for Christmas, so please sign me up.

    I'm going to spend a lovley weekend playing with chocolate!
    Jude x

  4. I am coming - I have just the perfect recipe!!

  5. I'd love to come, hope there's still space

  6. Really looking forward to this and I *think* I know what I'll be making... x

  7. Looking forward to it! I *think* I know what I'm bringing... x

  8. How I would love to come but alas I won't be spending Christmas in the UK. Just take lots of photos. Your photos last year were sensational. Just bought one of Sophie Conrans books so I am sure she will be wonderful too. Not to mention the most important thing of having a peek in the Rococo Factory and tasting that beautiful chocolate - what better treat for Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful day.

  9. Oh Vanessa it sounds absolutely brilliant and so exciting. You really are a star. I would so love to come to this. Friday is a particularly expensive day to travel up from these far flung parts, but I am off to check out times, prices etc right now. Where is the Rococo factory exactly? Need to know where to suss out train times etc

  10. I would love to be there too, it is my dream event, unfortunatley my husband will be in hospital, so will be looking out for future events especially with chocolate! Just saw Chantal & her chocolate on TV on The Home of Fabulous Cakes, strangely enough.

  11. I would love to be there, it is my dream event, unfortunately my husband will be in hospital then, so will be looking out for future events especially with chocolate! Strangely enough have just seen Chantal with her chocolates on TV on The House of Fabulous Cakes, they look divine!

  12. Hi Vanessa - I am so looking forward to this - it is going to be an amazing day! Thank you so much for organising it and I can't wait to see you and many other online friends and food bloggers again!
    Dreaming up a special cupcake recipe for the occasion! Love from Linda x

  13. I would love to come but will be on my way to Whitby. It sounds a fantastic even and I'm sure you will all have a ball.

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  15. I would so much LOVE to come!!! :) Can't find where the factory is located though as I need to double check transport to there and back.
    Would be lovely to see everybody!

  16. So pleased I can be part of such an exciting event! Thank you for organising it Vanessa.x

  17. Vanessa, this sounds like so much fun! Can't wait.

  18. I so wish I wasn't working as I'd love to come. Have a fantastic time. I'm very envious.

  19. Vanessa,
    Sounds so much fun, I will be there with bells on! See you Friday,
    Selina x


If you are reading my blog I must warn you that I am not impartial. I want to influence you. I want to make you stop for just a moment and consider the effect of a lifetime of seemingly insignificant decisions and how making small delicious choices can change the world.

I believe that we can change the world one bite at a time.

It's a delicious revolution.