Festival of Chocolate Hits South Florida

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For the first time in their eight-year existence, The Festival of Chocolate will bring its award winning show of everything and anything chocolate crashing down on the Nova Southeastern University Arena Oct. 13-14.

Named one on the top 10 chocolate festivals in the country, The Festival of chocolate has catered to the heart of chocoholics all over Florida including those in Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach and finally Fort Lauderdale. Chocolate in every form from cupcakes, cookies, fudge and truffles to BBQ sauce, balsamic vinegars, coffee and wine – there is something for every chocoholic. Featuring local and regional companies, if you like chocolate then you will truly be a kid in a candy store.

Event Producer Aileen Mand (who was named the 2011 Event Producer of the Year by BizBash Magazine) is looking forward to taking Fort Lauderdale by chocolate storm. The self proclaimed “Chief Chocolate Chic” said there literally is something for everyone to do at the Festival of Chocolate.

“People will have the opportunity to play with chocolate, to learn about, to be awed by it. When we say you’ll be able to taste, drink and even touch everything chocolate, we mean it,” she said.

At the ChocoLand Chocolate Museum, event-goers will discover the rich history of chocolate: understand where and how the cacao bean actually grows, learn some choc-ology and uncover the steps and scientific process of turning a cacao bean into a chocolate bar.

There will be demonstrations by world-class pastry chefs who will be doing everything chocolate, from creating the perfect truffle to learning the history, technique and then getting a taste of the French macaroon.

Chocolate lovers will learn up close and personal from top artisans including Executive Pastry Chef Jordi Panisello of Fountainebleau Miami Beach and Executive Pastry Chef Devon Baston of Seminole Hard Rock and Casino. Plus, Master Chocolatier Bernie Schaked will open up fresh cacao pods and whip up Mayan style hot chocolate.

The Cocoa Couture Fashion Show will play host to 16 up-and-coming designers who have sewn, stitched and eaten their way to the creation of couture designs and accessories — using candy bar wrappers. Models wearing dresses and embellishments will walk The Festival of Chocolate “Yumway” on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 3 p.m.

Designs will be on display throughout the weekend and guests can cast their vote for the fan favorite. One designer has even made a fabric out of cocoa powder to give the illusion of leather. The Festival will also introduce the Icing On the Cake accessory line that is also made completely out of candy wrappers.

Chocolate isn’t just to be eaten at the festival. Kids will be able to engage their minds with Chocolate Brain Games, learning all about Chocolate in the Chocolate Charlie Chase and even work out their muscles in the Chocolate Marshmallow Catapult 3000. Kids will be the kings and queens of their own Chocolate Kingdom at The Festival of Chocolate.

For those who want to be more hands-on with their chocolate, you’ll be able to make your own chocolate lip balm. With a little bit of science, a dash of apothecary and a healthy spoon of fresh cocoa, guests can make their own fresh chocolate lip balm. Adventurous chocoholics can get a little daring as they try out Armpit Fudge, too. Sounds gross, but allegedly tastes amazing! And, for a calming experience, try out Mocha Manicures or a Cocoa Rub Hand Massage. Competitive chocoholics can try their luck and show off skill in hopes of beating a Guinness Book of World Record — all you have to do is move 25 colored M&M’s into colored bowels in less the 20.8 seconds (using chopsticks).

Tickets for the event are $12 for adults and just $8 for children 12 and under.

For more information, visit www.festivalofchocolate.com.

If you go


Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

How Much:

Adults, $12

Children (12 and under), $8

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