London has been undergoing a food revolution in the last decade or two. Where once upon a time, gastronomes looked longingly towards France, or Japan or perhaps even New York, nowadays London is at least as good as anywhere else in the world when it comes to the quality, innovation and sheer breadth of great food available.
Part and parcel of the London scene is the growing numbers of truly world class chocolatiers, right here in on our own doorstep.
Over the last couple of years it's been my pleasure and privilege to get to know Marc Demarquette, the creative force behind his eponymous business, established in 2005.
In just 6 years, Marc and business partner Kim Sauer, have not only won the hearts of many loyal customers but the excellence of their products has been recognised with repeated and numerous awards from The Academy of Chocolate and Great Taste.
Born in London to a French father and Chinese mother, Marc grew up in London and Bath before moving to Brighton and back to London to attend university. He swiftly established a successful career as a Management Consultant working for high-profile international clients. But a serious accident made him re-evaluate his priorities in life and he decided to leave consultancy behind to pursue the lifelong passion he had for chocolate.
Having been introduced to truly great chocolate by his French grandmother, who would bring him chocolate made by Gaston LeNotre, whenever she visited him in London, it’s only fitting that Marc later trained under LeNotre in Paris, as well as a number of other Master Chocolatiers in France.
Demarquette chocolates are made by hand (in London) using traditional artisan techniques as Marc ardently believes that no machine can replace the art of a master craftsman.
For both the chocolate itself and the other ingredients such as fresh cream, fruit, flowers, honey, nuts… Marc seeks out the highest quality, ethically farmed and harvested. He only works with suppliers who adhere to high standards of social responsibility. I’ve spoken often to Marc about this and know that this isn’t a trendy marketing statement but a true commitment based on genuinely held values.
As you would imagine, there are no artificial flavourings or preservatives; it’s all about letting the natural tastes and textures speak for themselves.
My personal favourites include Marc's delicate English Garden Caramel Creams (with some of the herbs coming from his own garden and which, I confess, I refer to by an altogether different name), the Nutkeeper Caramels and Cornish Sea Salted Caramels, and oh my goodness, Marc's nuts are fantastic, both the Hazelnut Pebbles and the Almond Pebbles. (I've not yet tried the pistachio ones but am betting I'll find them just as addictive).
Of course, Marc's created a range of festive treats for Christmas including a chocolate tree bedecked with individual caramels, a Santa sack of chocolate marbles and a delicious ganache collection.
And now – the bit that some of you no doubt scrolled down for – the competition!
Demarquette are kindly offering a box of their delicious Festive Reindeer Caramels to a reader of Kavey Eats. The box includes four each of Cranberry, Spiced Apple and Mixed Citrus caramels and can be posted anywhere in the UK.
I know they're awfully good; I've been munching through a box over the last couple of days!
Following the example of respected fellow bloggers, I'm increasing the number of ways you can enter a Kavey Eats competition. Please leave a separate comment on this post for each of entries 1-4. For entry 5 I'll track the # hashtag.
Entry 1 – Answer the question
Leave a comment below, answering the following question:
Which of the Demarquette Christmas Caramel chocolates is a 2011 Great Taste award winner?
Entry 2 – Become a Facebook fan of Kavey Eats
Go to the Kavey Eats Facebook page and click on the Like button. Leave a comment below once you've done so. If you’re already a Facebook fan, just say so in your comment. Please include your Facebook name.
Entry 3 – Follow Kavey on Twitter
Click through and follow @KaveyF on Twitter and leave a comment below once you've done so. If you already follow me, just say so in your comment. Please include your Twitter name.
Entry 4 – Follow Demarquette on twitter
Click through and follow @DemarquetteChoc on twitter and leave a comment below once you've done so. If you already follow Demarquette, just say so in your comment. Please include your Twitter name.
Entry 5 – Tweet away
Tweet the (exact) sentence below:
I'd love to win a box of @DemarquetteChoc Festive Caramels from www.kaveyeats.com #kaveyeatsdemarquette
Rules & Details
- The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Tuesday 22 November 2011.
- The winner will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
- One entry per method per person.
- The prize includes delivery, and can be delivered to UK mainland addresses only.
- The prize cannot be redeemed for cash.
- The prize is offered and will be delivered directly by Demarquette.
- The winners will be notified by email or twitter asked to provide a delivery address. If no response is received by Saturday 26 November, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.
Thanks to Demarquette for inviting me to preview their Christmas 2011 collection and for providing this lovely prize.