August 30, 2019

HOW SWEET IT IS

The city’s sweetest festival returns for a 10th year

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! The Dallas Chocolate Festival returns September 6–8 for its 10th year with over 60 innovative chocolate makers and chocolatiers (the chefs that transform chocolate into truffles, bark, sauce, and more) from around the world offering tasting samples, demonstrations, workshops, and treats for sale. Along with artisan bean-to-bar chocolate, bonbons, truffles and baked goods, attendees will find a kids’ area, food trucks, and an array of cocoa-centric talks, and demos this year.

The Dallas Chocolate Festival, founded by locally-based aficionado Sander Wolf in 2009, has pretty much grown up with the craft chocolate revolution in America. Prior to 15–20 years ago, mass-produced chocolate candy was the norm, at least in this country. Around 2000, a few pioneers (largely techy-types) became interested in the nuances of cocoa beans grown in different parts of the world.

Much the same as coffee beans, the beans of the cacao tree (from which chocolate is derived) have wildly different flavor profiles depending upon the region they were grown.  Little existed in the way of equipment to transform those beans into the luscious small-batch scratch-made products we know now. Entrepreneurial scientists and engineers with a taste for sweets fell in love with the challenge of sourcing the beans, rigging equipment, and developing processes to handcraft bean-to-bar-chocolate—hence, the tech connection.

Fast forward to today and the craft chocolate industry has grown exponentially, as has the Dallas event taking place in its honor. So, how best to enjoy the Fest?

  • Beat the crowd at the VIP Party Friday, September 6, 7–10 pm with light bites, cocktails, samples, shopping, goodie bags and complimentary valet parking. Tickets: $75 (adults only).
  • Pre-purchase timed entry tickets for the main event Saturday or Sunday for admission at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, or 3:00 PM. Tickets: $35; children 4–11, $7.
  • Sign up for separately ticketed workshops led by industry experts on the history of chocolate; pairing whiskey, wine and beer with chocolate; and hands-on chocolate making. Tickets: $25-$60. —Valerie Jarvie

The Details: Dallas Chocolate Festival, September 6-8. Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Avenue. Tickets available at www.dallaschocolate.org.