by Andrew Chalk
This year is the 5th anniversary of The Dallas Chocolate Festival and it is bigger and better than ever. There will be over 30 craft chocolate makers at the event September 13th at the Addison Conference centre. Attendees can walk around sampling the products of chocolate makers and chocolatiers and take instructive classes throughout the day. Confirmed exhibitors include Barry Callebaut USA; Amano Artisan Chocolate; Valrhona; Tejas Chocolate; Taza Chocolate; Pacari Chocolate; Chocolates El Rey; Potomac Chocolate; Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Company; Sublime Chocolate; Chocolate Secrets; Wiseman House Chocolates; CocoAndré Chocolatier; Dr. Sue’s Chocolate; Nib Chocolates; Toffee Treats; Bark Chocolate; Dude, Sweet Chocolate; Goodies Texas; Kate Weiser Chocolate; Haute Sweets Patisserie; Dallas Caramel Company; Steel City Pops; Tarrant County College; Elegantly Chocolate; Spoon Bar and Kitchen/Knife; The Mansion; JK Chocolate, Kiskadee Chocolate; Srsly Chocolate and ChocoSutra. If you are serious about chocolate, the local producers in the list above are a who’s who of the best.
There is a special room rate at the within-walking-distance Intercontinental Hotel, Dallas for out of town visitors.
On the day following the festival the super-serious can sign up for the Dallas Chocolate Workshops. Held at Trinity Groves in the 3015 event space, the workshops feature subjects like making chocolate desserts, bean-to-bar chocolate making and pairing chocolate with wine.
Emcee for the whole event is Madame Cocoa (Adrienne Newman) who teaches chocolate classes at cooking schools and a class on chocolate at UT Austin. She was on-hand at the launch party this week where she gave the media a Chocolate Tasting 101 class (much like a wine tasting). We worked our way through no fewer than sixteen samples of chocolate from a tasting sheet in front of us. The chocolates were arranged by country of origin. Some even had vintages on them reflecting the year of the cocoa crop.
As we worked our way through the samples it was instructive how different countries possessed different and distinctive flavor characteristics. Adrienne Newman explained the chocolate making process and who the chocolate companies (like wineries) were.
Also present at the launch party were some of the local chocolatiers who will be present at the event and they brought along some of their creations. As the pictures show, it was a chocolate-lovers dream event.
Tickets are on sale now. Sign up soon as this year will likely be the largest ever, with over 500 attendees.