Chef Andrew Novick tells us about the Colorado Chocolate Festival.
The 8th annual Colorado Chocolate Festival makes celebrating Mother's Day weekend a breeze ... with more than 80 vendors sampling and selling chocolates and other gifts. Each year, tens of thousands of chocolate samples are consumed at the much anticipated festival. And that's just part of the fun! Held the Friday and Saturday of Mother's Day weekend at the Denver Mart (May 8-9 this year), the Colorado Chocolate Festival was recently named one of the nation's five best food fairs by Orbitz Travel.
This year's event program is jam-packed with fun activities, too - including workshops on "Cooking Chocolate with Essential Oils" and "How to make Chocolate Flowers." Friday evening kicks off with live music from Mark Putt: Blues in the Back, and a special wine-tasting event.
Chocolate and Whiskey pairing classes and samples are also on deck, with Chocolate Therapist Julie Pech, both days. And annual favorite events, such as the Chocolate Crown contest to eat the most Hershey Kisses in 1 minute, and the kids' Chocolate Pudding Eating Contest return on Saturday afternoon. Winners get bragging rights and Golden Tickets, worth money at any booth in the festival.
The annual Chocolatier Championships, with a $200 cash prize for the Grand Champion truffle, will be presented onstage Saturday at 2pm. Secondary truffle prizes are $100 each, and the awards for Best Fudge, Best Toffee, Best Chocolate Design and Best Open Class each come with a $100 prize. Competitions are open to all culinary professionals, and this year, the public has a chance to join the "Chocolate Jury" and buy a special Judge's Ticket for $35 to sample and evaluate the myriad of entries. The Chocolatier Championships are emceed by KDVR's Chris Parente.
More cash prizes will be awarded during Friday night's Chocolate Cake Competitions - for Best Wedding Cake, Best Birthday Cake. and Best Cupcake. The Chocolate Cake Competition display will be the centerpiece of the Chocolate Festival, and cakes will be judged on appearance as well as taste. The Chocolate Cake Competitions are open to professional and amateur bakers. Entry forms are online at www.chocolate-festival.org
Admission to the Colorado Chocolate Festival is $5. Kids under age 5 are FREE. Taste Tickets for sampling may be purchased online in advance or at the door. Taste Tickets are $10 for 12 tickets. Hours: Friday 4 - 9 pm; Saturday 10am - 6pm. The Denver Mart is located at 58th Avenue and I-25 ( exit east ). For tickets and information, visit www.chocolate-festival.org.
Colorado Chocolate Festival Event Schedule:
Friday, May 8
4pm – Doors Open
5pm – Live Music with Mark Putt:Blues in the Back
6pm - Chocolate & Whiskey Pairing - with Chocolate Therapist Julie Pech
7pm – Cooking Chocolate with Essential oils - with Carrie Skluzak
8pm – Prizes Awarded for all Chocolate Cake Categories!
9pm – Doors close
Saturday, May 9
10am – Doors Open
11am - Chocolate Pdding Eating Contest
12 noon – Chocolate and Cheese Pairings - hosted by The Chocolate Lab and New World Cheese
1pm – Chocolate King is crowned! Enter our Hershey Eating Competition to win! Hosted by Chris Parente
2pm – Chocolatier Championship Awards with host, Chris Parente
3pm - Chocolate & Whiskey Pairing with Chocolate Therapist Julie Pech
4pm – How to Make Chocolate Flowers - with Jennifer Campbell of the Designer Cakes Company
6pm – Doors Close