October 22 & 23, 2011
Seattle Center, Northwest Rooms
Tickets in advance and at the door all weekend
We have twenty bean to bar makers -- an unprecedented number at any chocolate festival -- as well as confectioners, pastry chefs, dessert makers, sculptors, and more, all of whom will be sampling their chocolate wares. With three thousand tickets already sold, we're set to be yet again the region's largest gathering of chocolate makers and chocolate lovers.
I am Education Director for this festival, and my job is to work with the craft makers and confectioners to make sure that while our thousands of attendees are eating chocolate, they're also learning about it - where it comes from, how it's made, and why we should care about cocoa trees. Here are some of the highlights at this year's festival:
- Fresh cacao, straight from the pod, presented by Bill Fredericks, The Chocolate Man. This is unique! I'm still amazed myself that we're doing this, because outside of the farms themselvs, which are all in the tropics, you just cannot taste raw cocoa. But you can at NW Chocolate Festival, thanks to Bill, who will be treating us to the taste of this fruit when it's fresh, before fermentation, before drying, before it turns into a chocolate bar.
- The lost chocolate of Peru, from Dan and Adam Pearson at Maranon Chocolate -- the very same Fortunato #4 I blogged about a few weeks ago. The Pearsons will discuss their discovery of this rare pure strain of Nacional in Peru, and then Karen Neugebauer of Forte and Aaron Barthel of Intrigue will treat us to a taste of this delicate chocolate in their confections.
Happy festival-goers will also
* meet cocoa farmer Leonor Cayapa Tapuy, from the Kallari cooperative in Ecuador,
* watch the creation of chocolate sculptures,
* learn how to pair chocolate with wine, tea, beer, and gin,
* taste Autumn Martin's Chocolate Whiskey Milkshake,
* and watch bartenders go head to head at the Chocolate Cocktail Throwdown!
More to come soon about my talks and panels. For now, if you live in Seattle, buy your tickets!