Rita Cook – Guest Contributor
Sep 7 2017
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For Chocolate Lovers

It’s the eighth annual chocolate lover’s event in Dallas this weekend - the Dallas Chocolate Festival.

The chocolate extravaganza will be held at the Fashion Industry Gallery F.I.G  in the heart of the Dallas Art District and founder Sander Wolf said it is a celebration of everything chocolate.

Guests are invited to meet artisans, watch live demonstrations of the chocolate making process and sample and shop from over 40 vendor participants. 

It is being held the first time ever downtown. Wolf added, “We are very excited about expanding to a larger venue.”

With the new venue, the organizers are also expecting around 2000 people to come out to the event beginning Saturday.

“That will be a record for us, but we have a bigger space and more vendors this year so attendees should still be able to talk with the vendors and get to learn about some great chocolate,” Wolf said.

On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. guests can sample and shop chocolates, pastries and specialty foods with vendors as diverse as Amano Artisan Chocolate (Orem, UT), Bisous Bisous Patisserie, Cacao Santa Fe (Santa Fe, NM), Chocolate Secrets, CocoAndré Chocolatier, Collin College, Dallas by Chocolate,  Dallas Caramel Company, Dr. Sue’s Chocolate, Eileen’s Pralines,  El Centro, Escazú Artisan Chocolate (Raleigh, NC), Fresco Chocolate (Lynden,WA), FT33, Guittard Chocolate,  Hello Cocoa (Fayetteville, AR), Hoja Verde (Ecuador), Isabelly’s Chocolates and Sweet Treats, Izard Chocolates (Little Rock, AK), Jammit Jam, Kate Weiser, K’UL Chocolates (Minneapolis, MN),  Letterpress Chocolate (Los Angeles, CA), Pacari (Ecuador), Potamac Chocolate (Woodbridge, VA), SRSLY Chocolate (Austin, TX), Toffee Treats, Wackym’s Kitchen,  Wiseman House (Hico, TX), Xocolla (Sugarland, TX) and Yelibelly Chocolates.  

Madame Cocoa (Adrienne Newman) will once again serve as Mistress of Ceremonies along with Kandace Krueger in the Whole Foods classroom. There will also be free demonstrations and classes throughout the day including “Strange Chocolate Pairings” with Megan Giller and “Breaking Down the Chocolate Wall” with Heather Holland.

Sunday classes offer participants a hands-on chocolate experience in Bisous Bisous Patisserie’s state of the art commissary kitchen located in the Design District.

“Chocolate is loved everywhere, which makes it a lot of fun to work with,” Wolf said. “People are always happy around chocolate. We’ve noticed over the years that Dallasites have become more knowledgeable about chocolate, which increases their enjoyment. And when you have places like Kate Weiser Chocolate, Dr. Sue’s Chocolate, and Chocolate Secrets making such amazing chocolate, how can you resist?”

Since its inception, the Chocolate Festival in Dallas has changed. The first event was a lecture and dinner with a couple of chocolate makers with about 100 people.

Wolf said over the years, however, the festival has grown as word gets out that Dallas is a great city full of people who love and appreciate fine chocolate.

“Because of that each year we have more vendors from out of town that come to Dallas to meet the attendees and show them what they do,” Wolf explained. “And when they come to Dallas and meet our local vendors they help spread the word about all the great stuff happening in Dallas. It’s a great cycle.”

Wolf started the Chocolate Festival because he “had become aware of bean-to-bar chocolate and loved hearing the stories of people hand making what I had thought was only an industrial product. I then became more aware of all the local chocolatiers and wanted to get the word out about them all.”

More than anything, the founder just wants people to learn about all the great artisans who work tirelessly and passionately to make and work with chocolate.

“We also use some of the proceeds from the events to sponsor scholarships for pastry students at local community colleges,” Wolf concluded.