#FoodieFriday: The Dallas Chocolate Festival, a World of Chocolate in a Box

by Margaret Richards on August 28, 2020 in Food,
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What do you call a virtual weekend, featuring over 30 chocolate makers and chocolatiers from around the world? Correct: The Dallas Chocolate Festival.

So, chocolate lovers, it is time to buy your All-Access Festival Pass ($50) as this annual do-not-miss choco-filled event runs September 12 and 13. And, very importantly, the deadline to purchase full-access festival tickets, including a no doubt delicious box of artisanal chocolates, is September 2.

Organizers DallasChocolate.org are delivering the same beloved elements as the original Festival but, in this most unusual of years, the mouthwatering tastings, interactive and engaging educational programs, and live chats have all been retooled so they can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. 

Founded in 2009, the Dallas Chocolate Festival has become a signature fall event. In 2020, the festival is being held virtually, with registered full-pass festival attendees receiving a hand-delivered box of artisanal chocolate samples from over 30 chocolate companies across the globe. Photo Kathy Tran/2019 Dallas Chocolate Festival

Virtual festivalgoers will be immersed in the wonderful world of chocolate all weekend long—starting with their hand-delivered box of artisanal chocolate samples from over 30 chocolate companies across the globe. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn every element of chocolate-making, with live virtual demonstrations, discussions, guided tastings, and factory tours led by expert chefs and chocolate makers. Plus, exhibitors will also be able to video chat and text with in real time.

For 2020, the mouthwatering tastings, interactive and engaging educational programs, and live chats the Dallas Chocolate Festival is known for have all been retooled so they can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.
Photo Kathy Tran/2019 Dallas Chocolate Festival

As a quick taster, here are a few of the class and demonstration highlights. (Check the festival website for the full schedule.)

Saturday, Sept. 12, 11am: Chef Susan Notter, Making Chocolate Bars at Home

Graduating culinary school in England, Susan Notter has coached and won high-level pastry competitions; taught and directed departments at the International School of Confectionary Arts, Culinard, and YTI Career Institute (a prominent Pennsylvania trade school); appeared on several Food Network shows; and created chocolates in Lucerne and Zurich. Join Chef Susan as she demonstrates how to make chocolate bars at home using fine Swiss Felchlin chocolate.

Dedicated to promoting local chocolate artisans and continually educating chocolate lovers about the dynamic, innovative, and delicious world of artisan chocolate, the Dallas Chocolate Festival continues its mission September 12-13 immersing virtual festivalgoers in the wonderful world of chocolate all weekend long.
Photo Kathy Tran/2019 Dallas Chocolate Festival

Saturday, Sept. 12, 12noon: Chef Zach Townsend, Baking with Fine Chocolate

Chef Zach Townsend, one of Dallas’ foremost authorities on working with chocolate, will educate, enlighten and excite participants about the world of chocolate in this fun and informative class. Chef Zach studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and The French Pastry School in Chicago before founding Dallas Chocolate Classes and Pure Chocolate Desserts by Zach. He is also a magazine contributor, dessert consultant, and French-to-English translator of cookbooks.

Dallas-based chocolate authority Chef Zach Townsend, known for his unique and delicious private classes, hosts “Baking with Fine Chocolate” during the virtual 2020 Dallas Chocolate Festival.
Photo courtesy Zach Townsend/Dallas Chocolate Classes

Saturday, Sept. 12, 4pm: Carla D. Martin, PhD, What Makes Chocolate “Good?”

The Founder and Executive Director of the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute (FCCI), Carla D. Martin is a Lecturer in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Carla will lead an informative, conscious-arousing chocolate tasting while diving into the history and culture of the multi-billion-dollar business of cacao and chocolate. The chocolate box which is part of the full-access festival pass includes chocolate samples for this guided class.

Pictured here at the 2019 Dallas Chocolate Festival, Ben Rasmussen is the award-winning chocolate maker at Washington, D.C.’s Potomac Chocolate. Catch his 2020 virtual Festival class Saturday, September 12.
Photo Kathy Tran/2019 Dallas Chocolate Festival

Sunday, Sept. 13, 11am: Chef Brian Donaghy, Simple Techniques for Chocolate at Home

Chef Brian Donaghy is the Corporate Chocolatier and Chocolate Program Manager at Tomric Systems, Inc., a pioneer in the design, manufacture, distribution and sale of chocolate molds, equipment, packaging, tools and utensils. Follow along as Chef Brian shares his wealth of knowledge to make the oftentimes complex topic of making chocolate ganache at home simple and fun.

Sunday, Sept. 13, 4pm: Ben Rasmussen, Bean-to-Bar in an Absurdly Small Chocolate Factory

Ben Rasmussen is the chocolate maker and owner of Potomac Chocolate, the first bean-to-bar chocolate maker in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Take a cyber step inside his absurdly small workshop for a tour to see how he transforms raw cacao into award-winning craft chocolate. 


Cover photo Kathy Tran

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