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Chocolate Pastries

The 2011 Festival of Chocolate is just around the corner. Hundreds of chocolate-themed events will take place across the Lower Mainland from October 15 to November 10, showcasing local chocolatiers, artisan chocolates, pastry chefs, bakeries, wines, beers, whiskeys – all things chocolate and all things that pair WITH chocolate.

Explore the deeper meaning and magic of cacao and chocolate through seminars and pairings that will take place at local chocolate shops, wineries, breweries, restaurants, cafés and bakeries. There will even be a chocolate spa treatment to enjoy.

BC Blueberry, Caramel Fleur de Sel, Banana Rum chocolates
[BC Blueberry, Caramel Fleur de Sel, and Banana Rum chocolates]

According to Festival Director Dawn Donahue, “There are no limits to the use and enjoyment of chocolate – the unsung hero of the pastry chef, the baker, the home cook, and kids treats – the sinfully delicious small indulgences that have proven to be a healthy part of everyday life.”

Here’s a few highlights to consider:

On November 2, Chef Alessandra Quaglia and Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia expand outside the chocolate box with Chocolate and Salsa (as in dance), to be held at at Provence Marinaside. Chefs will pair the following delicious appetizers with three wines: cocoa and coffee braised short ribs, cocoa butter and espelette seared scallops, and duck confit with a cocoa nib vinaigrette.

After the tasting, you’ll experience a chef’s demo (and tasting) of mini pot-du-crème shots. And a salsa dance lesson to top off the evening, with Ivan from dance4u.ca. Chef Alessandra says “There is nothing better than being able to combine my two passions – cooking and dancing. Thank you, Festival of Chocolate.”

Dione’s Chocolates of Crescent Beach will pair with the Ocean Park Village Pub to bring an evening of fine wines and fabulous chocolates. Well-priced at only $28 for five wines, five chocolates, and a chocolate-infused Village Pub specialty coffee, this is one event not to be missed and worth the drive down to White Rock.

Rubens Chocolates

One event that I’m personally looking forward to is the Rubens Chocolate High Tea at Rubens Chocolate Bistro in Port Moody. Their bistro will highlight a menu filled with Belgian chocolate. This is a family-friendly event that should please chocolate lovers of all ages.

Delta’s Wellbrook Winery will host a chocolate appreciation tasting seminar. Limited to 35 attendees, the seminar will include four wines, a savoury appetizer, three chocolates, three chocolate inspired desserts, tasting hosted by the winemaker and non alcoholic drinks. Free parking is available.

The Chocolate Mousse Dome

Sinfully The Best Chocolates, located in Steveston, will offer complimentary samples each day throughout the festival. Owner Cathy Cheung says “The Goats cheese and chocolate truffle was inspired by Donahue’s Cheese, Chocolate and Champagne Tasting Seminar in 2010.” The Festival of Chocolate inspired us to create, bake, test, try and finally open our own artisan chocolate shop here in Steveston. We use fresh local fruit, and have regulars popping in every day to taste our newest creations.”

And for that ultimate in chocolate savouring, try a chocolate spa treatment at Vancouver’s Absolute Spa.

Don’t forget to enter CTV’s chocolate contest. Partnering this year with the Festival of Chocolate, you can enter for the grand prize, a Chocolate Experience, including:

– Chocolate pedicure and manicure for two at Absolute Spa in Vancouver
– Return flight for two from Vancouver to Victoria with Harbour Air
– Stay two nights at The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria
– Chocolate high tea for two at The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria
– Private Beer and Chocolate tasting at Spinnakers Gastronomic Brewpub in Victoria

Peruse the website for more details on the myriad of events being held this year.

2 Comments

  • Comment by Dawn Donahue — October 17, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

    Wow – the chocolate mousse dome looks delicious – great picture. Thanks Ariane.

  • Comment by Dawn Donahue — October 17, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

    To tempt you even further – here is the menu for Rubens Chocolate High Tea and Chocolate Fondue:
    Includes Assorted Savouries, Mini Belgian Waffles, Drizzled with Belgian Chocolate, Served with a scoop of your choice of Authentic House Made Italian Gelato; Chocolate Fondue Served with milk, dark and white Belgian chocolate, Assorted fresh and dried fruits, nuts, potato chips, and pretzels; Mini Cupcakes; A selection of Rubens Chocolate handcrafted Belgian Chocolates; Organic Medium Roast Coffee or Organic Tea; Hot Chocolate (Milk, White , or Dark) or Infused Hot Chocolate-All made with real Belgian chocolate – only $30, plus HST

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