Well, despite the organizers being a little overwhelmed with the crowds and the space being definitely too small for the event, the quality of the chocolate was very good. Most of the vendors were local and only a few "big" names: Sharfenberger, Charles, Ghiradelli, Guitarrd
My personal favorites:
Coco De'lice: Everything was very good and the people were great
Highlight: Forais: Dark Chocolate ganache with organic sea salt & caramel
Of Note: Lavender/Meade: Traditional Meade wine and organic lavender in milk chocolate ganache
Spicy Rouge: Dark chocolate ganache, Italian red sparkiling wine and cayenne pepper
Can be purchased on-line: www.cocodelice.com or Whole Foods, Pasta Shop, Piedmont Grocery and Bittersweet Cafe (SF)
The Tea Room: Tea-infused chocolates
Highlight: Dark Chocolate with Lapsang Suchong: Smoky and Delicious
Highlight: Earl Grey Truffle
I liked that they had texture and weren't all round and shiny
754 Columbus, SF
6126 La Salle Ave., Oakland
Poco Dolce: Large Bittersweet tiles with sea salt
Highlight: Burnt Caramel covered in Dark Chocolate
And finally, last but certainly not least:
Marti Chocolatt (LA)
Highlight: Chipotle: Well-rounded and beautiful to look at and eat.
Imagine a burnished copper truffle-like gem
Unfortunately, the website is fairly basic and doesn't really list the wonderful flavors that were available at the Salon today. The chef's name is Tonet Tibay and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll try to follow up and see what the deal is.
Hopefully next year will see the Salon have at least double the square footage with a separate room for events/cafe and a lot more space between one side of the aisles and the other. Long Live Chocolate!