On October 26, the fourth annual Dallas Chocolate Conference and Festival in Addison Conference Centre treated guests to sweet tastings. Pastry chefs and chocolatiers from around the country showcased their finest pieces of eatable art for all to see.
“This is probably the most vendors we have had ever,” Sander Wolf, the organizer of the festival said. “The whole point is to help the [chocolate] scene out, get the chocolatiers to meet each other, influence them by bringing in people from out of town that might be experts in the country, and then proceeds go to the [Collin College] scholarship.”
Thanks to the success of the Dallas Chocolate Conference, Dallaschocolate.org now awards a full-year scholarship to a pastry student at Collin College. A selection committee picks a student with a pastry student with a good grade point average and an interest in chocolate. Emily Huynh won this scholarship two years in a row and was excited to help out at the Chocolate Festival. “I don’t have to worry about the money,” Huynh said. “I can actually focus completely in the classes and in the school itself.”
Guests entering the conference center were instantly immersed into a world of chocolate . There were cooking demonstrations, including “Baking with Fine Chocolate” led by Derek Poirier, pastry chef for Valrhona North America. Zach Townsend, from Pure Chocolate Desserts by Zach, focused on how someone should go about baking with good chocolate. Vendors lined the walls with products for the guests to buy and sample chocolates. Some of the local talent at the festival included Bark Chocolate, Nib Chocolates, Kate Weiser Chocolate, Haute Sweets Patisserie, CocoAndre Chocolatier, and Spoon Bar & Kitchen. (Just to name a few.)
Samantha Peltier, a D Magazine intern, is a journalism student at Southern Methodist University and expects to graduate in May 2014.