November 11, 2008

The Haul

Hey, wow. That's a lot of chocolate. Friday I snuck off to New York City for the big New York Chocolate Show and the picture just above here? That's the resultant pile of joy I shipped back to myself. It's missing a few things I had hoped would be in there, but that's life I suppose.

So, the 2008 New York Chocolate show. This year they made a rather big move to Pier 94 which is a mixed blessing. It gives them a great big space in which to have the show which was wonderful, but it isn't quite so easily accessible as the old location was. The walk from Seventh Avenue seemed a lot longer than I expected. But I got there and the venue was big. They were disorganized and there was some annoyance with wristbands, but wristbands are a wonderful thing and allow for re-entry the lack of which was a big drawback of last year's show. So while I was irked at having to wait in the will-call line while I had my ticket in hand (got it weeks ago) the whole wristband thing was a big improvement.

And the vendors this year were pretty impressive. With both Amedei and Domori at the show it was difficult for me to keep from buying nothing but their goodies. I'll go into more detail in another post, but suffice to say that the lineup was great. I was told that John & Kira's had to cancel at the last minute which was a soul-crushing disappointment, but there was a lot of other fabulous stuff to try so I'll live. And place an online order for the goodies I missed.

After the chocolate show I managed to knock about Manhattan a bit and got to have a nice slice and bought some manga and some more chocolate (one of those boxes is from Kee's). There was one other little disappointment along the way, though. Seems that Cluizel isn't in their little nook in the ABC store any more. I was so dying for a Grand Marnier Thistle and was planning on sharing a bunch with some friends, but no dice. The website says they're still there, but I sure wasn't finding them and the ABC employee I asked said they'd left a couple of months ago. Very sad. I was dying to hit them again.

But aside from those two little disappointments the trip went off with very few hitches (like me underestimating how fast I can get around Manhattan and ending up back at the airport early). Sometime this week I will be posting a full writeup of the show, but I'm not sure whether the Holiday Gift Guide will be up before or after the writeup.

Anyway, it was a good show and a good time and it was quite a lovely way to spend my Friday.

September 29, 2008

Charles Chocolates 4th Anniversary

This Wednesday, October the first, marks the fourth anniversary of the opening of Charles Chocolates! It's hard to believe that as big and polished as they are they're only four years old.

But birthdays and annivarsaries pass all the time and I don't post word one on them. For me to actually bring it up on the site it's got to offer some benefit for my readers even for one of the companies I like to cheerlead for. Having said that it should be no surprise that they are having a nice set of specials this week - Monday to Friday only - to celebrate! And the deals are good online or in-store.

  • Spend over $40 and receive a free jar of their handmade marmalade

  • Spend over $80 and receive a free jar of their handmade marmalade and two homemade s'mores

  • Place ANY ORDER on their birthday, Wednesday, October 1, and receive a "special present" (mysterious!)

So, now that October has rolled around and the weather has cooled enough that shipping chocolate isn't such a dicey proposition it's a really good opportunity to try some of the wonderful goods they offer. I'm a big fan of their Tea Collection, but everything I've been lucky enough to try has been great. So help celebrate and treat yourself or someone special to some fantastic chocolate!

Charles Chocolates Online Store

Happy Birthday Chuck and Company!

December 1, 2007

Safari Report Part Four

I really wasn't entirely sure how to proceed with the next part of this. After the Chocolate Show I cut back on what I was spending at each individual chocolatier to the point where I only picked up a couple of pieces from each one (with certain exceptions). And I made my way through the city at a pretty quick pace so some of the places sort of jumble together in my mind. I figure the best I can do is to try and just give my impressions of each place as best I can and call it good enough.

When the Chocolate Show got to the point where it was just too crowded for me to enjoy myself any more I decided it was time to head back to the hotel to unload my haul of chocolate. Once I had unloaded everything I figured that I might as well take the opportunity to head down to SoHo since I had missed out the previous night.

So it was time for me to finally face the subway. I had read all sorts of things about the subway, both positive and negative, and therefore had no idea really what to expect. But I bought my MetroCard, swiped through the turnstyle and jumped on the train as it pulled up all quite painlessly.

A few minutes later I emerged from the Houston Street station and started hoofing it over to Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven. The place feels really comfortable and relaxed while at the same time maintaining a casual class about itself. I had been partaking of chocolate all day (and was planning on having a hot chocolate at my next stop) so I only bought some pieces to go as opposed to kicking back and having a Wicked Hot Chocolate (which I love). I figured I'd have all week to head back for one so why rush to do it all on day one? Of course I didn't make it back. In the end I had a few pieces from the case and a package of dark chocolate covered marshmallows (which I could eat all day).

After a bit of routing trouble with the entrance to the Holland Tunnel I managed to make my way over to MarieBelle (who just opened a new place up on Madison Avenue - cool). I'd say it's a bit more elegant than Chocolate Haven, but still manages to be relaxed and comfortable. In the back of the store, behind the main counter, is their Cacao Bar and Tea Salon, which is where I had been planning on having a cup of their Spicy Hot Chocolate or at least a cup of their Dark Obsession Chocolate Rose Tea (ooh, that sounds all kinds of tasty), but they were crowded. Lots of people in the store and full up in the Cacao Bar. So I added it to the list of places I would return to later in the week (and the list of places I would fail to return to) and pushed on empty handed (noooo!). I wanted to take pictures, but the place was pretty crowded and while it's one thing to take pictures of a business and the people working there it's quite another to take a picture of the place and all the customers as well. At least to me it is. So I didn't even bother asking if photos were ok because even if they were I would have been unhappy taking pictures with lots of innocent people who have nothing to do with my blog.

The next stop was, in theory, Kee's Chocolates, but I got sidetracked by the art vendors along the street and ended up buying a piece (which was brutalized in my luggage on the way back home - the glass in the frame was shattered and there is a small dent in the picture itself which is a watercolor of a bunny - decor for Sophie's room). Alas. In the course of buying it I needed to get some cash (since the chocolate show had taken it all away) and some lunch so I stopped by Famous Ben's Pizza of SoHo and got a slice of white pizza (which was good - not great, just good - but not the way I like my white - I like garlic and fresh basil on top and this was bare) and hit the atm.

So, full of pizza and loaded with street art and a bit of cash, I turned my attention to finding Kee's. The shop itself is really simple as I remember it. Brick walls leading back to a small case where the chocolate is. And the chocolate looks fabulous of course. This was one of my primary destinations for my trip so I got a box of a dozen assorted pieces from the case (somehow I missed the macaroons - I don't remember seeing any at all and I would have probably bought some if they had registered in my brain at all). Everything I've had from it was really good, but the standout piece for me was the Pistachio (a white chocolate and pistachio truffle). I need to go back at some point and get a selection for tasting with a eye toward time and careful thought as opposed to the grabbing a piece from the box when the fancy takes me (which is how the box I bought went). Very pleased that I got to visit.

The final stop on my quick run through the streets of SoHo was Vosges Haut-Chocolat. At this point I was ready for that hot chocolate that I had missed out on back at MarieBelle so I ordered their Aztec Elixir which is the hot chocolate that I managed to forget to order for hot chocolate week last winter. Quite good. Drinkable (as opposed to some of the thicker hot chocolates out there) and nicely spicy. And, since I had been dying of curiosity (however it's spelled), I bought a box of the Itialiano Collection to try out. After seeing how well the combination of cheese and chocolate could be from the Smokey Blue Truffle I was really looking forward to trying the Rooster. At that point I still had the strange misconception that it was a chunk of cheese covered in chocolate (they show those spikes of cheese and a rooster next to it and my mind rushes to the wrong conclusion). After I let one get up to room temperature back at the hotel I was pleased to find that it's a truffle and a really neat tasting experience.

At this point my rush of planning fell apart. I had planned a good bit of what to do when I made my SoHo run, but since I had planned for it to be my first night in the city I had also added onto the end of it some optional places to go to top off the night and one of them was Alison Nelson's Chocolate Bar NYC. I had every intention of going there the first night and once I got past the first night and out and about town I forgot it entirely. So that's one more place I missed.

It was late afternoon at this point and I had a full load of stuff again so I hopped the train back to the hotel and went in search of dinner and found my way to Whole Foods for some dinner (where I skipped the chocolates in the case - Knipschildt I believe - I just don't trust that they'll be fresh from a display case like that). And then I settled in to relax a little (with a little chocolate) before setting out to wander the city a little more on foot (I did this a lot - it's a fun place for people who like to walk). And that's pretty much where day one ended.

Most of the write-up for day two is done so it should show up tomorrow. Then I can wrap up the whole mess and turn my attention to some items that have been happening since I got back. Not to mention holiday chocolate.

November 26, 2007

Safari Report Part Three

Two long posts and I still have things I need to address. Here goes.

First, in the first part of the show report I mentioned the artist doing collages who I couldn’t figure out who was. Finally got it! She is Christina Stahr and her chocolate work is called (ready for this) Chocolate Obsession Collages! I love the name (of course). But I love the idea and it's well executed too. So glad I actually looked at the program for the show or I'd never have figured it out. Couldn't remember the Chocolate Obsession connection. I'm bad.

Movin’ on!

I was glad to see Dagoba had a booth and I was especially glad to see that they had a number of bars that I had read about but never had a chance to try yet. So I took a stack of bars home with me (the classic Xocolatl, Lemon Ginger, Seeds, Superfruit, and Prima Materia with 100% cacao content!). I was tempted by the Xocolatl Nibs, but will try them later (I can’t get everything all at once).

Another company in attendance that I was familiar with was Theo Chocolate. I’d only had one of their bars before and they had a pack of their five Origin bars so I grabbed one to give it a shot (I was going to buy just a couple of bars until they realized that with the price they had posted it was cheaper to buy the bars individually – glad the mistake was caught and I was able to get more for less). As I said, I haven’t tried a lot of their chocolate, so I’m interested in how these bars are.

Bits and pieces….

Picked up a Nocturne bar from E. Guittard which I don't think I had never seen before. 91% cacao content on this one so it should be interesting.

Got to pick up one of Amano’s new limited edition Cuyagua bars. I love the small batch producers because they have the ability to take a small batch of really special beans and make a small run bar. There may be variance between individual bars and individual batches, but that’s one of the charms of the small batch. Each bar is an adventure.

Oliver Kita had some really great looking chocolate Buddhas. Very cool. And sadly that’s about all I remember from that booth.

Coppeneur had a really nice booth and I swear that they were talking up a brand new NYC location but I can’t seem to find any evidence of it. This bothers me. Anyway, I tried a bar with ginger and banana and it was pretty darn tasty.

After researching Coppeneur I find myself wanting to visit Fog City News in San Francisco.

Capital One? You can’t go anywhere these days without somebody trying to get you to accept a credit card. And Marriot Vacation Club. Why? I realize that they’re paying for space, but can we focus please? This is the New York CHOCOLATE Show.

Mad Mac! Macarons and Madeleins by the box. The looked lovely and I need to look into them in the future. I like macarons. They is yummy. And the Mad Mac ones looked very pretty and very tasty.

The chocolates from Anna Shea Chocolates were beautiful. I should have bought some.

Chocolate Bar NYC. I was planning on visiting so I just sort of looked at the pretty bars and shirts and stuff and moved on. I never got to the store/café so it’s on my list of things left undone (to be handled on my next trip to the city).

Cosmic Chocolate had some very attractive chocolate hearts (hand painted) and I grabbed some since I had never heard of them and would likely never have another shot to try them before Chocolate Show 2008. Their other big deal item was a small set with celebrity faces on them. A uber-gimmicky product like that makes me worry for the quality of the hearts, but they get the benefit of the doubt for now.

Mars had Java Twix samples, but they weren’t passing them out while I was in the area and the show got to be too crowded for me to be happy there any more so I went without.

There are a number of places I don’t even remember seeing (and some I know I saw and just can't remember) and I’ve got to get some of their chocolates at some point. No rush, I suppose, but I feel like I may have missed out on something somewhere.

Ok, I think that will do for now. Next up is a quick rundown of my quick tour of the city's chocolatiers. The ones I managed to hit.

November 25, 2007

Safari Report Part Two

Ok now, where was I?

Ah, yes. I had just partaken of the goodness that is the Smokey Blue Truffle. A pretty amazing little treat. Just a few short feet away was the booth from the lovely people from SweetRiot who make chocolate covered nibs in varying levels of dark chocolate and packaged in those little art covered tins. I had been hoping that the cinnamon version that they had for the holidays last year might be back, but no such luck. Still, it was nice to get a taste of an old friend.

Across the way from them was the booth for Chocolate Moderne, one of the chocolatiers I had been hoping to get a taste of while I was in the city. They make some very attractive chocolates with some very good sounding flavors. I didn’t pay them quite the attention that I felt they were due as I was planning to grab something from them later in the week as I worked the city over. In retrospect I really wish I had given them some more time as I never got around to finding any of their collections around town. Ah, hindsight.

I knew I was planning on hitting Cluizel and Torres actual stores while I was in town so I kind of breezed past them as well. Lindt kind of falls into that category as well, though I did spend some time talking cookbooks there (I need to add their cookbook to my collection). And on the subject of cookbooks the Barnes and Noble booth had a pretty impressive collection of them including a lot that I had never even seen and one that I had been trying to find a good copy of for a long while - La Maison du Chocolat. I’d seen a copy or two before, but they always tended to be in less than wonderful shape and now I finally got my hands on a nice clean copy.

Back around the corner, in the booth next to Lillie Belle was Fairytale brownies and I had a nice sample from them. They do a good brownie and are somebody I need to look at again in the future. Before I get to them, though, I have some local brownie action I need to address.

Chuao had a nice booth with samples of their bars. There are a couple of their bars that I hadn’t had the pleasure of trying before and this was a nice opportunity to remedy that. The Earl Grey was good, but the bar I was most surprised by was the Spicy Maya. I had tried the Spicy Maya hot chocolate last year and loved it and the bar was (at least to my memory) exactly the same as the hot chocolate. They are both fantastic. I’m looking forward to trying more from them.

Another “old favorite” I got to visit with was Charles Chocolates. Prior to this I had only had the opportunity to try their bars, but this time I had the opportunity to try a couple of their other pieces. First up was a Mojito Heart which, like it sounds, is a mojito chocolate in the shape of a heart. Quite tasty if you like mojitos. The crowd seemed to have a very mixed reaction to my eyes, but I enjoyed it. I also got to try one of their Orange Twigs which are, frankly, awesome. I missed out on the Caramel Almond Sticks, but I’ll get to try them, and the Tea Collection (tea and chocolate is my latest love) later on. Oh, I also got to say hi to Chuck Siegel, the man behind it all. Seems a nice guy.

The next of the places that I really fell hard for was John and Kira’s, from Philly. I feel bad that my attention was so easily captured by their cute ladybug (in mint, raspberry, and honey lavender) and honey caramel bee chocolates. My attention shifted quickly, though, and it was the figs that finally caught my eye. Their normal fig is filled with ganache and dipped in chocolate and look and sound great. The one I got to try was their Fig “Pumpkin” Bonbons. They have a whiskey clove ganache and a (orange colored) white chocolate coating. The coating and the stem protruding from the top make them look just like little pumpkins. And they taste amazing. One of my very favorite items from my trip. I’ve got to order more. They’re just fantastic.

The last place I’ll cover today is Mary’s Chocolate. They make the trip from Japan for the show and do I ever feel blessed for their attendance. First, their booth was one of the cooler booths at the show. They were actually coating and decorating chocolates in the booth and, even better, they were very accommodating to people who wanted to take pictures. And they were generous with the samples. They were handing out their Green Tea, Dark Sesame, and (apparently) Passion Fruit ganaches. The Green Tea is another of my favorites from the show. Fantastically smooth and tasty. The Dark Sesame is also great. While I was there I got (what I think was) a Toasted Sesame Truffle which was also very good.

Tomorrow I’ll finish yapping about the show itself with some talk about the booths that I sort of breezed through and some of the things I need to address next time I go (hopefully 2008). Then I’ll talk a little about the chocolatiers I visited in the city and wrap up the trip with some of the items I need to address next time I head for the big city.

November 21, 2007

Safari Report Part One

First off - I added some more pictures to the set - they're all in the same set as the previous entry and are tagged with "round2" for easy filing (a sad workaround for not being willing to go pro on Flickr just yet). The whole mess is found here as before or you can go down to the prior entry and use the cool little PictoBrowser thangaroo. There are no descriptions or real titles yet, but hopefully that will change in short order.

And on to the content!.

Sadly things weren’t timed quite as well as I would have liked them to be and I didn’t get to New York until Saturday evening so my only shot at the chocolate show was Sunday. So, after rambling about the city on foot Saturday evening, I got up bright and early and started my walk down to 18th to where the show was. I figured it would be nice to start things off with a bagel so I stopped at a place I had noticed the night before and got a shmear and sat and enjoyed it for a bit. When I had finished with my bagel I turned my nose back toward 18th and pushed on. Ended up getting there with more than a half hour to spare so I decided that I would switch gears to my original breakfast plan of hitting City Bakery, which, I had heard, had some of the best hot chocolate in the city. Got a cup with a fresh marshmallow and enjoyed that while killing time. Got to say it was one of the better cups I’ve had (and if you were around for hot chocolate week last winter you’ll know I’ve had a few). Not too thick to drink, not so hot it burns. It was pretty darn good and as the marshmallow slowly shrank it added a little extra sweet creamy something that was quite the nice addition.

But a cup of hot chocolate just can’t last forever and when it was gone I decided to add myself to the queue for tickets to the show. I hadn’t bothered with getting my tickets ahead of time so I was forced to wait in line. The line moved pretty quickly, though, and they gave out these little Valrhona chocolate stick things (and who doesn’t love free chocolate - good chocolate at that) so I wasn’t too worried about the line. Getting in to the ticket desk brought up one of my major complaints about the show. Tickets were cash only. And guess how many atm machines there were to help out those who found themselves short of cash during the day. ZERO. Bad form. Tsk. Cash only tickets aren't so much a problem if there are ample atms around, but that, alas, was not the case.

So, with ticket in hand I was able to finally get into the chocolate show, just a year later than planned. The first thing that greeted me was a nice little art exhibit of something I had been thinking of doing myself: sort of collages made of chocolate bar wrappers. I love the art and style that goes into a lot of the packaging and these showcased some very nice wrappers in a nice classy manner. I wish they had the appropriate info on the Chocolate Show website, but they don’t have it filled in so I can’t give props where due and that disappoints me. I’ll keep trying to figure it out.

She is Christina Stahr and her chocolate work is called (ready for this) Chocolate Obsession Collages! I love the name (of course). But I love the idea and it's well executed too. So glad I actually looked at the program for the show or I'd never have figured it out. Couldn't remember the Chocolate Obsession connection. I'm bad.

Anyway, after that we had some more chocolate art, which I took a couple of shots of. It’s nice. Reminds me of Ikebana which I quite like. I afforded it less time than I really should have, though. I was in a hurry to get into the show and make sure I managed to get my hands on a certain something before it disappeared.

After trying a generic mass-produced truffle (the kind you can buy a jillion of in a little box at the grocery) from someplace I will never remember the name of I quickly made my way to the Lillie Belle Farms booth where I got to chat a bit and try the award winning Smokey Blue Truffle. For those who are unfamiliar they took the award winning Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue Cheese and made a truffle with it and toasted almonds. It is pretty amazing that chocolate and blue cheese could go so well together, but it really works beautifully. It’s smokey, creamy, tangy and all around wonderful. One of the two best things I tried at the show. And one of the three best I tried while in New York. I bought a package of the truffles and a package of chocolate covered dried pears (I love dried pears) and when these are gone I’m going to have to order some more. They are one of those items that are just too good not to share.

More to come..... tomorrow most likely. I've been a bit busy baking today.

November 19, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

Friday evening I finally returned home and Saturday morning I had recovered the rabbit and settled in for a bit of rest and the big game on the tube (OSU v Michigan of course). I've got to admit I was (and still am) exhausted. It wasn't until yesterday before I even tried to get my thoughts organized as to how to address the whole adventure. The only thing that makes sense to me is to break it all up into smaller more digestible pieces. There is a lot of ground to cover and a lot to organize and I even have a lot of pictures yet to take. But I need to get started at some point, so this is it.

The first thing I'm going to do is to get the initial batch of photos uploaded. A lot of them didn't turn out as well as I'd like so a good number of them just didn't make the final cut. I really wish I had more decent shots from the Chocolate Show, but things were getting too painful there for me to stick around. But I did manage to get some worthwhile pictures and have shuffled them off to Flickr and into a new set for the whole Concrete Jungle Chocolate Safari (I do like the whole safari thing I've been doing with Jungle Jim's so why no carry it over to NYC). I'll be adding comments as I go, but for now the least messy of my pictures are up for perusal. The actual show report will follow shortly and will likely be spread over a couple of nights followed by the SoHo report and the Midtown and Union Square trips. And somewhere along the line I need to do some sort of basic wrap-up report.

Anyway, I'm back and finally getting started on getting it all out of my head (and camera) and onto the blog.

Here is an experimental PictoBrowser for you to play with or you can go to the actual set right here.

November 11, 2007

Of Sore Feet and Empty Wallets

Got into my hotel a little later than I had hoped and my plans of heading do SoHo to hit the big four down there kind of hit the skids. So I went for a walk instead. Up almost to Central Park and then down to 18th to check out where the chocolate show is and then back up to my hotel at 34th. I like the ability to walk all over the place. It works for me. But I wasn't wearing my walking shoes or socks so my feets were less than thrilled when I got back to the hotel. Eh, who cares. No pain no gain. And no blisters to speak of either, which is great.

So the only chocolate I managed on my first night in town was a Chocolixir from Godiva.

I think I made up for it today. There was, of course, the chocolate show. But even before than I headed over to City Bakery for a hot chocolate. Once I was done there I headed in to the show and was floored by some of the amazing chocolates (more on them in the big wrap-up post in a few days). Got to try the Smoky Blue Truffle (amazing) before they sold out and that was my big goal for the show. My other goal was to get over to Mary's Chocolates (from Japan) and give them a try and am I ever glad I did. I left with a lot of chocolate. And I headed back to the hotel.

And then, like the nutjob I am, I jumped onto the 1 Train down to SoHo so I could get into the places I missed out on yesterday. Hit Torres' Chocolate Haven, MarieBelle (which was insano-slammed - no space in the chocolate bar at all), Kee's Chocolates, and finally Vosges. And I even had time for a slice from Famous Ben's Pizza while I was at it.

So I got off to a good start. Had hot chocolate twice, a proper bagel once (reminds me of my favorite bagels from home), pizza twice, Whole Foods salad bar once (I gotta eat at least a little healthy here and there), Godiva once, bought a little bit of street art, and hit four Chocolatiers ignoring the ones I hit at the show itself.

Not a bad 24 hours.

And guess what: I was a good little blogger and took pictures! I got back to the hotel and took more pictures of my loot. And then I realized: I forgot my usb cable. Unless I buy an sd reader of a cable my pictures are trapped on my camera. le sigh.

I'll post pictures later. I promise nothing in terms of quality and not huge numbers when it comes to quantity, but I did take pictures where and when it seemed prudent (I didn't in Vosges and MarieBelle because they were super crowded and I wasn't allowed at Kee's but I got some nice pics at Torres Chocolate Haven and some nice shots at the Chocolate Show).

Gotta run. My salad is getting warm.

July 11, 2007

wow. just.... wow.

wlk-small.jpgIf you've been paying any attention over the life of this (poorly updated) blog you'll probably have picked up on the fact that I really love the big, crazy, mind-bogglingly huge things that people make out of chocolate. Normall it's a clock, or a christmas tree, or an Igloo, or an alpine village or something of the like. Something with small parts that is as impressive in its intricacy as it is stunning in it's size. This isn't quite one of those. It's a bit simpler in design than a lot of the giant chocolate items, but it doesn't fail to impress. It is a giant Hershey®'s Kiss® made to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the tiny treat (and if you've already read about it make sure you didn't miss the video - it's very cool). As a kid I was always impressed with the giant kisses you'd always find running around at Christmas. They were like a whole pound of chocolate. For a kid that was really impressive (now the thought of trying to eat a whole pound of chocolate makes me a little ill), but the giant Kiss we're talking about today is on a whole other scale. It's 12 feet tall and made of - get this - 30,540 pounds of chocolate. That's fifteen tons (and change). That is BIG. It is, in fact, World Record big.

And if you can't see it in person you sometimes have a hard time comprehending just how big a thing like this is. And that's why it's so nice that there is a video taken over the nine day build. It really illustrates just how much chocolate that actually is.

And, yeah, I'm late posting this. I was eventually going to put it in a mass post, but when I finally realized there was a video (!) I decided it deserved it's own post. So check out the video and the pictures and maybe have a Kiss (or three) to celebrate 100 years of sweet history (the history itself being a great read).

Press Release

September 28, 2006

World’s Largest Ice Cream Social

coldstone.gifTONIGHT (September 28, 2006) Cold Stone Creamery is holding its fifth annual World’s Largest Ice Cream Social, a special fundraising event that benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Between 5:00 and 8:00 tonight customers attending the event at any of their locations in the US, Guam, and Puerto Rico will receive a free 3oz Cole’s Creation (chocolate ice cream, yellow cake, chocolate chips, and rainbow sprinkles) and are encouraged to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Chocolate, ice cream, charity – what’s not to love?

Sorry about the short notice, but the press release came out two days ago and I missed it! If I hadn’t been cruising my favorite deals site I wouldn’t have known about it at all.

Press Release

June 30, 2006

Chocolate Safari Goes Super-Sized

For a couple of weeks now I've been putting in some work on planning a Chocolate Safari on an extravagant scale. Barring unforseen mishaps I will be heading for New York City this November to visit the big Chocolate Show. And the Chocolate Show is only the tip of the chocolate iceberg (ooooh, that's a good image). New York City is home to more than a few shops that carry fine imported chocolate and I plan to get myself a nice variety of bars I haven't tried yet. But even better is the array of top notch chocolatiers and candy shops and restaurants that are scattered across the city. And I plan to hit a lot.

Continue reading "Chocolate Safari Goes Super-Sized" »

January 23, 2006

Event: For the Love of Chocolate

forthelove.gifChocolate is not my only weakness. I also roll over for charities very easily (which I really don't feel is such a bad thing) and try to be as generous as possible with each one that calls (and they all call - I think they share their lists or something). Anyway, one of those rare opportunities to combine my giving nature with my love of chocolate has come around.

On Saturday, February 11, at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago, they are holding a charity event they are calling For the Love of Chocolate. The proceeds from the event will be split between the Children's Memorial Hospital and the Children’s Organ Transplant Association Fund for Abigail Wodrich. Abigail, daughter of area chef David Wodrich, was born 9 weeks early and with only 5% kidney function. Her father has been screened as a donor and was determined to be a match. Abigail is scheduled to receive her new kidney this April.

This is a good opportunity to support a pair of worthwhile causes and enjoy some chocolate at the same time. The event will be a treat for all the senses and will feature work from some of the best chefs in the city as well as a make your own truffle bar, desserts and cocktails from Chicago restaurants, live music (on three stages no less), chocolate fashion and wearable chocolate art, and a silent auction. The event sounds like fun and you get to help people at the same time: a complete win/win. It will run from 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm and tickets are $45 per person.

Event Site
Press Release