One of the largest chocolate festivals in the Southwest returns with a futuristic new theme and some new chocolate makers in the works.
The 2018 annual Dallas Chocolate Festival, presented by DallasChocolate.org, will celebrate the Future of Chocolate, with a challenge to pastry artists to create a reflective chocolate work of art — along with appearances by dozens of chocolatiers and chocolate makers, demonstrations, and workshops.
DallasChocolate.org was started in 2009 with the goal of promoting artisan chocolate in Dallas. Founder Sander Wolf wanted to educate budding foodies about the complex processes and hand-crafted skill that result in a refined chocolate experience.
"A lot of our talks this year will center on what's happening with chocolate in the future," Wolf says. "We're also excited about some of the new chocolate makers we're bringing in, including Charm School, a Baltimore chocolate company that specializes in vegan chocolate. I've been wanting to get them to come for a long time."
The festival plays out over a three-day weekend, from September 7-9, anchored by a family-friendly expo on September 8 that offers samples, shopping opportunities, demonstrations, and classes.
The day features demonstrations, lectures, round table discussions, and a kids' area. Activities include a macaron-making demonstration by Isabel Mota, founder of My French Recipe; and a lecture by Lauren Adler, founder of Seattle-based Chocolopolis, a Seattle-based online store selling artisanal chocolate goods from around the world.
Sunday's events include hands-on workshops including a chocolate-tasting class and a chocolate-making workshop, held at Whole Foods Market in Preston Forest Shopping Center.
More than 2,400 attendees will learn, taste, and experience the artistry and craftsmanship of quality chocolate. A portion of proceeds will be donated as scholarship funds to local culinary programs for students focused on pastry arts with an emphasis on chocolate.
Wolf likens it to craft beer. "Similar to the recent craft beer revolution, the artisan chocolate industry is in the midst of a renaissance," he says. "There is so much good work being done, from farms around the world to mom-and-pop businesses within the United States. We look forward to sharing it with the chocolate lovers of Dallas at our festival."
A VIP party on September 7 will provide the opportunity to explore over 60 exhibitors, from chocolates and treats to cocktails and sweets.