Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sweet Family Tradition

For my mom, it’s carrot all the way. My dad, oh it HAS to be chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. As for me, my sweet tooth changes constantly but whether you’re set in your favorite or open to the world of flavors, cake has become a part of nearly every family tradition.

Humans are attracted to sweet tastes for the same reasons that ants are attracted to picnics, and wasps are attracted to jam. If something tastes sweet, it probably contains sugar, and sugar provides energy which gives us the power to keep on going.

So, when it comes to sweets that attract you and that ARE attractive – check out The Sugar Chef. Owner, Jennifer Ladisky’s lifelong passion brings dreams to life for her special occasion clients! Designing custom gourmet cakes and festive chocolates. And she is a HUGE part of The Festival of Chocolate – as a Vendor (What until you taste what she has in store; as a competitior in the Wedding Cake Competition; and as an Instructor. She’s a real TRIPLE THREAT of Chocolate! “I learned the fundamentals from my father, who learned it from my Ecuadorian grandmother”

That’s a family tradition of YUM! Tapping her South American grandmother’s love for sugar art and honing her early creative talent under her father’s tutelage, Jennifer began her entrepreneurial career as a special occasion chef at age 13. She’s a little older now and taking The Festival of Chocolate by storm. Come check her out!

Make sure you check out ALL of the Chocolate Classes as seats fill up fast! If you’d like a guaranteed spot to one of The Festival of Chocolates many mouth-watering one hour classes, such as Make Your Own Mini Chocolate Showpiece, Creating the Perfect Chocolate Truffle, Healthy Chocolate Creations for Kid Chefs or many others make sure to go to http://westpalm.festivalofchocolate.com/Classes/ and sign up now! There are 20 students per class and the class fee is ONLY $25 per student. Amazing price to keep the chocolate tradition alive in your little chef!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's a Chocolate PARTY!

As a kid my mom would come up with some crazy themes for party ideas. But as cool as she was she never came up with this one! A chocolate themed party! And get this one guys, it’s for ADULTS!

With Dove Chocolate Discoveries you can become a part of the latest direct selling company that combines a global romance of premium chocolate with the growing trend of home entertaining! You don't need experience to be a Chocolatier, just an ability to share your enthusiasm for chocolate. Which, if you’re on this site I KNOW you have!

The main thing that I love about Dove Chocolate Discoveries is that you can be the host of your own different themed chocolate parties! What I mean is that you can have a chocolate themed Ice Cream Social or how about a Savory Sippers party where you sip on chocolate martini’s or white chocolate raspberry daiquiris! I’m in!

And Dove will turn on the Savory Side of Chocolate at The Festival of Chocolate; Get ready for Chocolate BBQ Sauce, Chocolate Meat Rub and some of the most amazing white sipping chocolate that I have ever tasted. It’s like a yummy holiday in a mug.

See you at the biggest Chocolate Party Palm Beach has ever seen! We’ve got Chocolate Bling!

Dove Chocolate Discoveries will be hosting a demonstration on how to properly “taste” chocolate and for the crafty chocoholic in all of us – they are offering an interactive activity where you can make your own chocolate dipped coffee spoon. What’s that you ask? Well – let us tempt you. At The Festival of Chocolate you dip a spoon in this scrumptious chocolate and then roll it in your favorite toppings. Then Dove Chocolate Discoveries will wrap it up for you to take home to stir your coffee with the next morning… or as soon as you get home for those of us that simply won’t be able to wait.

Savory Chocolate or Sweet Chocolate? So many choices! Speaking of good choices... how about choosing your own adorable custom designed chocolate charms at The Festival of Chocolates Chocolate Charm Bracelet Bar?! These were commissioned ONLY for The Festival of Chocolate! Your super fun choices for your wrist decoration include ice cream cones, s’mores, truffles, cakes, cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies! You can mix and match each or if you simply want it all- there will be pre-made bracelets with every one of these miniature morsels available for $20!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

True Sho-manship

Have you every just walked into a place and been like, “Wow.” Where the mere essence of the atmosphere seemed to overpower your senses to the point of near breathless-ness? Now if you can take that feeling that you’re getting from this movie set or exquisite far off location and compress it down…, -smaller and smaller till, still in all its splendor, it is transformed into a small delicate morsel that will now be wow-ing both your taste buds and your eyes. Ladies and gents, may I introduce to you, the Shocolaate truffle.

Well hello Gorgeous! These bite-size jewels are sure to grab your attention just as much as the mother-daughter team who creates them! Cristina Vives, the daughter Chocolatier and Diana Pace, the mother Creative Designer have mastered the Shocolaate(Show-ko-latt) art of handmade chocolates. Let’s go ahead and go into the details of how these little babies are made and make everyone start raiding their kitchen and snack drawers! Rich Belgiun chocolate is melted down into a smooth consistency. Heavy cream is added and liqueur (upon your happy request), to make the ganache in our truffles tastes its best! Hey, that rhymed! Once the rich ganache is set, this dynamic duo hand-rolls the truffles, and dip them into even MORE chocolate, creating a lovely shell around the rich and creamy ganache. Now here’s where the artistry and true showmanship come into play! These truffles then start to take on their own unique personalities as they are covered in chocolate shavings, cocoa or nuts and decorated with pearls and other lovely little adornments. Be sure to look for these gems at- The Festival of Chocolate!

Mini Chocolatiers

And, if your kids are Chocolatiers in the making… they can try their hand at dipping and decorating sweet symphonies of chocolate fused with some of your favorite crunchies! You can create and glamorize your own Marshmallow Kebobs at the Kids4Chocolate station at The Festival of Chocolate!

Adults Can Play Too!

While the Kids are getting their Chocolate on… do you know where the ADULTS can play? In their own Grown Up Chocoholics Nirvana – and yes… Wine! Take a 45 minute interactive and educational lesson on Chocolate and Wine Pairing at The Festival of Chocolate for $10 and you can be the showman at YOUR next event! Chill, Chocolate and Cabernet…need I say more?

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Scream, You Scream

I had a tradition when I was growing up. It wasn’t anything special to anyone else, but whenever it was just me and my dad we always went to our local ice cream parlor. It didn’t matter what we out for; whether it was to run errands for mom or to say we were running errands to avoid chores, we stopped by the parlor.

Think back to your favorite local ice cream parlor. We all have one. Got it?

Good! Now make it PINK! While you’re at it add an entire wall of jelly beans! How about some jumbo cupcakes and oversized cookies? And apples…s’mores apples, caramel apples, chocolate apples, all of which are jumbo! What’s that warm, delicious, sinks-all-the-way-to-your-toes smell? Must be fresh pressed waffle cones!

As amazing and nostalgic as our hometown ice cream parlors are, they have nothing on the one you just created in your imagination. But the truly amazing thing about that is -- this place actually exists!

Sloan’s Ice Cream Parlor is an extremely whimsical place. This isn’t just somewhere that you can get ice cream and treats, it is an entire experience for you and your favorite people to enjoy. The décor is enough to make anyone walking through the doors feel like they have entered a fantasy palace.

Sloan’s prides themselves on having over 50 homemade luxury ice cream flavors, which are of course made with the finest ingredients and gourmet chocolate! With 4 Locations and one in CityPlace just steps away from The Palm Beach County Convention Center – Ice Cream Nirvana is never far away. LIterally! Sloan's is located in CityPlace, just steps away from the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

Speaking of CHOCOLATE, Sloan’s will be showcased at The Festival of Chocolate so you’ll be among the privileged to dip into some of their unique to-die-for flavor combinations! Like their coffee & doughnuts flavor- Coffee ice cream with lots of Krispy Kreme doughnuts mixed in or the I Love Randi S'more which is delicious S'mores ice cream!

Whoa! Ice cream overload! If you are an ice cream lover – Sloans will be a perfect match for you at The Festival of Chocolate in two weeks! And, if you simply cannot get enough – then you can PROVE IT during the Ice Cream Eating Competitions! Guests (both the young and the young at heart) will get to show off their Ice Cream Eating Skills and yes... there are PRIZES! So, kids of all ages, men with beards, moms-to-be (these ladies tend to be the most competitive!) and anyone that embraces a face full of ice cream – the stage will be yours!

How are your matching abilities? If you are not having an Ice Cream Brain Freeze moment, be sure to Visit the Choc-O-Match Challenge at The Festival of Chocolate and test your memory during this scrumptious matching game! Correctly locating each deliciously creative counterpart is fun and challenging for all ages. Have you ever seen a donut with a top hat or an ice cream shake with an attitude? You will…

So now say it with me! I scream, you scream, we all SCREAM for CHOCOLATE & ICE CREAM!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Have a great weekend. I dare you!

It’s Friday. And you know what that means! Time to relax, cut loose and maybe even try something new. I personally enjoy winding down after a stressful week with a glass of wine and my DVR, but I am sure that many of you consider prefer weekends to be a little more exciting…

If you could plan out your perfect weekend, what would you do? Maybe go dancing on Friday night, or a nice relaxing bike ride on Saturday morning. Or sampling a brand new cuisine that you have never even imagined...

If you enjoy trying new foods, then we have just the thing for you. Would you eat a Chocolate Covered Cricket? How about Chocolate Covered Jalapeño Mice? What if you were dared? Many would say no, but how about a Double Dare? If no is still the answer, some may question your boldness.

For the past two festivals, Donna Moore, owner of Chateau Confections, has been provoking guests to get in touch with their daring side at the “Double Dare Ya’” booth at the Festival of Chocolate in Orlando. Boasting unique pairings with chocolate, that meld together into your mouth to provide you with freshly made unique flavors.

Do you like flavors that pop in your mouth? How about Chocolate covered Pop Rocks? Want to embrace your position at the top of the Floridian Food Chain? Try Chocolate Covered Alligator Jerky!

If daring not your thing, that is okay! Chateau Confections’ peanut butter fudge sauce is absolutely delicious and will leave you begging for more.

This year, Donna has also helped us to create chocolate moussestaches. Yes, a moustache made out of chocolate on a stick. I am not sure when moustaches became so popular again, but these creations are absolutely hilarious. You will be able to pick from several different variations, and once you have selected your favorite I promise that it will turn into an ongoing photo opportunity. We will even have the first one staged for you, large renderings of some of your favorite video game stars of all time, whose faces have been cut out so that you can put your own through them.

Do you have any guesses as to who those characters might be?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Art of the Brownie

For those of you who may not know this about me, I have a Bachelors Degree in Art History. It was not the first degree I sought upon entering school, but I loved the theories, colors and textures.

So when I first saw the Custom Chocolate Creations on display this past January in Tampa all I can say is that it was a Feast for the Eyes. (Unfortunately you cannot taste and or touch them albeit, VERY tempting.) This is the part of the event where The Festival of Chocolate vendors have the opportunity to showcase their creativity and their products in an artistic way. They really want you to take note of the details and revel in their vision. Each year, the theme is different . But the creations never cease to be absolutely amazing. The best thing? The winner is based on attendee votes. Chocoholics come Rock the Vote!

The Theme in November, “A Chocolate Holiday” has the Palm Beach vendors whipping up some cool and decadent Creations to display. And, one of those vendors might just have the corner on the competition...literally.

Shelia G’s Brownie Brittle is something that most of us have never seen professionally packaged before – although it has been at the heart of many of our lives. Inspired by creating peace for those who fight over the crunchy corners left over in the Brownie Pan, these delicious morsels are the delicate balance between the just-baked rich brownie taste and that nice cookie crunch.

Sheila G Mains has been baking gourmet brownies for restaurants and large corporations like Disney for over 20 years. Her favorite part of the brownie was always the edges. And after years of watching herself and others pick the crisp edges off the brownie pans at the end of a day of baking, she set out to create just the brownie edges.

Sounds simple. But trust me, from the first bite it is simple perfection. It conjures up that moment of childhood when the smell of warm brownies wafting through the house made you drop all of your Barbies and head directly for the kitchen.

Not only is The Festival of Chocolate thrilled to showcase such a unique product created by a Palm Beach local, but we are proud to be host to one of the hottest new culinary creations on the market. This is a company on the move…so watch them closely. Just this week they announced that they have been picked up by Bealls of Florida! And, more exciting expansion is just days away.

Are you one of the Corner Lovers? Lucky You! You can purchase the three signature flavors - chocolate chip, peanut butter chip and toffee crunch in Palm Beach and as far away as Canada. This past January over 100,000 bags were sold at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco! Big things are happening for Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle!

I am not sure what I am more excited about, finally getting to taste their peanut butter chip or seeing what incredible Custom Creation they will bring to the showcase!

So, Brothers and Sisters in Brownie Bohemia – JOIN US at The Festival of Chocolate and Rock the Vote for YOUR favorite Chocolate Creation. And, while you are at it have a brownie…a cookie….a cupcake…a crepe…a truffle. Well, you get my drift.

16 Days and Counting! Catch you around the Brownie Corner.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's Bananas!

In preparation for the Festival of Chocolate, I have decided to start jogging again (slogging as my father likes to call it – a very SLOW jog) to prepare myself for all of the running around the 55,000 square foot exhibit hall in the Palm Beach County Convention Center that I will be doing November 19th and 20th.

Somewhere around the mile mark my breathing started getting really heavy, and I began to think about the ways that I am going to remind my body that I do not hate it when I get back to my house. Three thoughts crossed my mind: water, banana, chocolate milk.

So I get back to my house, and as I am eating my banana I of course start thinking that it would taste significantly better if it had chocolate on it. I mean…chocolate is my life after all, and I then remember! It’s Bananas! Literally. Because we have a vendor for that!

Totally Bananas is the ONLY manufacturer of Frozen Bananas in Florida, and they have agreed to come sprinkle some fruity flare as a vendor at the Festival of Chocolate. Bananas and Chocolate is a marriage that not only allows us to enjoy our favorite potassium rich treat– but also enables us to do so in a way that is healthier than the average confection. And they aren’t only adding fruit to the mix – these treats are dairy-free, gluten-free and trans-fat free! Yum!!!

I bet when Mindy and Chuck Peterson lost their jobs in 2009, and had the idea to introduce a feel-good product into the economy – they had no idea how much they would help me stay on the right track post-slog. A product that is not only completely delicious but one that is also good for you is something I could definitely get used to.

My personal favorite? Has to be a tie between the dark chocolate topped with peanuts and the dark chocolate and rainbow sprinkles! The peanuts are a nice little crunch of protein, and as the epitome of a girlie girl, I feel no need to justify rainbow sprinkles. They’re just fun!

As for the chocolate milk, I have been reading a TON of articles recently about chocolate milk’s ability to boost your muscle recovery after a long work out. Many researchers are saying that it is actually better for you than just drinking water or sports drinks because it provides your body with both carbs and protein. Not to mention, it tastes delicious. For some reason I have always thought sports drinks taste like sweat.

Think you’ll be doing a little exercising before attending the Festival of Chocolate? Our Friends are McArthur Dairy will be helping us host MILK FRENZIES are various times throughout the event =)

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!


Want to know more about Totally Bananas? For more information about their Ahhh Peeling treats, please visit their website at http://www.totally-bananas.net/.

Don’t believe me about Chocolate Milk being good for your post-workout? I don’t blame you, I thought it was too good to be true when I first heard it! Check out the following articles to learn more:




Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hey There...Cupcake

I absolutely LOVE cupcakes. After working in a bakery and now with The Festival of Chocolate… it made me wonder WHO came up with the brilliant idea to create the perfect 2-bite treat.

Most people think the term “cupcake” comes from idea that a cupcake looks like a cake cooked in a cup. However, after some research, it turns out that cupcakes are so named because this was a snack that could be stored inside a protective athletic cup during baseball games. Abner Doubleday himself may have been the first to tuck a cake there, and he was known to reach down for a nibble of his “cup cake” even while running the bases.

The first cupcakes did not have frosting as we know it, but instead were topped with lard as a kind of cake-moistening gravy. And, get this…Winston Churchill was the first person to suggest a kind of sweet frosting on the top of the cakes.

Lard to Buttercream…that must have been a no brainer!

Cupcake Cottage will leave you Wanting S’more…

So, if I’ve gotten you craving a cupcake now, it’s about to get even more tempting. We just got word that Cupcake Cottage is bringing their Triple Irish Crown and S’mores cupcakes to The Festival of Chocolate.

Their cupcakes are as decadently delicious as they are beautiful. And, yes – for my VERY difficult job, I had to try a few. My drop-to-the-knees favorite was Boston Cream. (a REALLY Moist Cake, Injected with Rich Cream, Topped with Thick Rich Chocolate) Back off donuts…there’s a NEW Sheriff in town. http://www.cupcakecottage.net/index.asp

For those of you unfamiliar with this Royal Palm Beach gem, the Cupcake Cottage is a gourmet cupcake boutique owned by Lisa Hamilton. Just one year ago, Lisa’s love of baking took her from a life of building condos, high rises and shopping plazas to sweet days focused on constructing the perfect cupcake. Smart Lady!

SPEAKING OF CUPCAKES… want to get your photo taken IN a Cupcake? As it turns out, our Cupcake Photo ops that were originally built for the Festival of Chocolate children have actually turned into an adult adventure too! That’s right! At the Festival of Chocolate, even grownups can stick their head through a cupcake while eating a cupcake. What a perfect day.


One cupcake is consumed for every adult in the US every day. If you haven’t had yours, you better wrestle one away from that chubby dude standing in front of the bakery.

The number of cupcakes eaten last year have more mass than the entire Earth!