I had the extreme pleasure of attending the 3rd Annual Chicago Artisan Chocolate Show which showcased chocolate, food and other fine creations from artists who were local or from around the globe. As I searched the web for tickets, my diet yelled “No! You can’t do this. You can’t go!” but then the explorer in me retorted “Why not? This is my year of adventure!” So I sprinted to www.chocolateevents.net and in doing so, learned that the event supported children who are battling illness.
Wait…what? I can have a day filled with delectable chocolates and support a good cause? Sweet!
It was an incredibly fun, educational, and tasty experience. The artisans were wonderful and they truly love their craft. I would love to tell you about all 20 Chocolatiers, but here are a select few that I absolutely must share!
The Giveback Kitchen was founded in 2015 by Jan and Drew Barkley. They have a wonderful array of chocolate fudge sauces that would please any chocolate connoisseur — Original, Decedent Dark, Sin-namon, Sugar-free Decedent Dark and New Mexican Warm — it’s your choice. Jan is a warm and kind soul who is passionate about giving back to help the community. She and her husband craft the sauces by hand without corn syrup or preservatives and their mission is simple….Eat Chocolate. Help People. I love that proceeds from each sale is given to support Make-a-Wish Illinois. You can shop their products online and if you are not sure where to start, try the deluxe gift pack – you’ll receive 6 jars of awesome sauces! It’s perfect for birthdays, Mother’s Day, or any occasion.
Sweet P’s Pantry is owned by Sharon and Pat Pavich and they are just as sweet as their hand crafted, all natural toffees and chocolates. After managing a catering business for over 15 years, they started their confection business and never looked back! Their award winning Rosemary Salt & Pepper Pecans will have you eating the entire bag before you know it. The entire suite (pun intended) of products use quality ingredients like cane sugar, Wisconsin AA Butter, and Belgian Chocolate.
When I stopped at Mera Bites (currently branded the Paleo Cookie Co.), I couldn’t help but notice how healthy and vibrant the owner, Anna Hagopian, appeared. Did she put the fountain of youth in a cookie? I’m not sure, but it’s no secret that the Paleo Cookie is made with 7 real-food ingredients (yes, names that you can actually pronounce and recognize). They are free from gluten, grain, dairy, soy and preservatives and can be enjoyed in a variety of flavors. I tasted the chocolate chip cookie and absolutely loved it. Just. Delicious. I was thrilled to see a Seasonal Paleo Pumpkin Cookie in the virtual cookie jar …mmmm, I can’t wait until fall is here. The Paleo Cookie is available throughout stores in the Chicago area. Check out the website to find a location nearest you or place an order online. This is a cookie that you can really feel good about giving…or eating!
Clusters and caramels and creams…Ohhh My! What an ahh-mazing array of confections! Cocoa Cabana makes gourmet chocolates that are absolutely mouthwatering. With their chocolate covered potato chips and toffee, Coco Cabana may very well be the hottest chocolate spot north of Havana! Ronda Priola’s story started when she made toffee for a fundraising event. Everyone wanted to buy more and her dream catapulted to success. Visit the Chocolate Café and experience the incredibly rich flavor of chocolate in paradise.
The 3rd Annual Chicago Artisan Chocolate Show was presented by Fine Artisan Events. All proceeds from admission, charity wine tasting, and raffles benefited the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, a wonderful organization that is committed to supporting children who are fighting for their health. Please visit the site and consider donating to this cause, thank you!
Pssst… visit again to read about my favorite things in Chicago. But first, head over to the giveaway page to win some treats from the show.