« Back to January Events

Fairchild's 7th Annual International Chocolate Festival
Fairchild's 7th Annual International Chocolate Festival

Note: This event has already taken place. If you are interested in learning about current and upcoming Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Events, click here.

When: Friday, January 25, 2013 - Sunday, January 27, 2013 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Where: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Join us for Fairchild's 7th Annual International Chocolate Festival

Our most delicious event is back! Join us for three decadent days of chocolate!

View video and photos of past International Chocolate Festivals to see what makes this event so special.

Follow this event on Facebook



Cooking Demonstrations
Sponsored by Whole Foods Market


12:00 p.m.    Chocolate & Port Wine Braised Short Rib, Porcini Mushroom
                        Risotto and Buttter Braised Roma Tomatoes
                        Chef Chris Bulgarin, Delicious Catering

  2:00 p.m.    Chocolate Pizza 
                        Chef Charles McDonald, Peterbrooke Chocolatier


12:00 p.m.    Turkey & Bacon Stuffed Endive with Orange Cranberry White
                     Chocolate Drizzle
                        Chef Derek Hernandez, Whole Foods Market Coral Gables

  1:00 p.m.    A Pot of Gold: Chocolate & Spice
                         Chef Allen Susser, Whole Foods Market Coral Gables

  2:00 p.m.    Summer Salad with Chocolate Papaya Dressing
                         Chef Ray Newlands, Short Chef

  3:00 p.m.    Chocolate 101
                        Alejandra Bigai, Romanico's Chocolate


11:00 a.m.    Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Smores Tartlet with Orange Caramel
                        Chef Andrea Curto-Randazzo, Creative Tastes Catering

12:00 p.m.    Mini Chocolate Fondants and White Chocolate Mouse
                        Chef Diane Thuret Rabaut, Diane's Kitchen

  1:00 p.m.    Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles and Healthy Chocolate Mousse
                         Chef Jessica Grossman, Whole Foods Market Coral Gables

  2:00 p.m.    Vegan, Gluten-Free and Raw Dark Chocolate Truffles
                        Chef Loren Pulitzer, Meals that Heal

  3:00 p.m.    Double Double Chocolate Brownies
                        Chef Debra Upshaw, Sisters in Pink



11:00 a.m.    Santiago Peralta, Pacari Chocolate 
                        World-Class Chocolates from Ecuador and Peru

12:00 p.m.    Dr. Maricel Presilla, Culinary Historian, Chef and Restaurant Owner
                       Cacao and Chocolate without Borders: Tasting Exceptional
                       Chocolates that Tell a Story

  1:00 p.m.    Rodney Snyder, Mars, Inc.
                       Chocolate is American History     

 2:00 p.m.    Noris Ledesma, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
                      Growing Cacao in South Florida


11:00 a.m.     Dr. Osman Gutierrez, USDA 
                        Major Pest and Diseases that Affect World Cacao Production

12:00 p.m.    Dr. Richard Campbell, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden 
                       Home-grown Cacao: Lessons from Modern Production Systems

1:00 p.m.      Rodney Snyder, Mars, Inc. 
                       Chocolate is American History

2:00 p.m.      Santiago Peralta, Pacari Chocolate 
                       Pacari Chocolates to the Rescue of Endangered Andean
                       Fruits and Ingredients

2:30 p.m.      Dr. Maricel Presilla, Culinary Historian, Chef and Restaurant Owner 
                       Learning and Having Fun with Chocolate from Tree to Bar*
                        *This lecture will be held in Kid Way



Cacao and Tropical Rainforests: Learn the relationship that the cacao plant holds within rainforests. Does the cacao tree stand alone? Or do monkeys and fungi grow with it? How does sunlight affect the plant?  And don’t forget to check Fair Trade products and learn what you can do protect places where cacao grows.

Edible Garden

Discover how to make chocolate from scratch. Get a first hand look at the cacao pod and what sets go into creating chocolate. 

Kids Cooking Demonstrations


1:00 p.m.        Fruit Skewers Dipped in Chocolate and other exciting toppings! 
                         Loren Pulitzer, Meals that Heal

3:00 p.m.        Florida Salad with Chocolate Strawberries in a Swimming Pool! 
                        Ray Newlands, Short Chef


1:00 p.m.        Peanut Butter Cups! 
                        Jeannie Necessary, Common Threads

3:30 p.m.        Florida Salad with Chocolate Strawberries in a Swimming Pool! 
                        Ray Newlands, Short Chef

Choco-Walk, A Delicious Journey  

From the Rainforest to the Conservatory to the Tropical Fruit Pavilion, explore the history and lure of cacao! And don’t miss the From Bean to Beverage interactive demonstrations presented by the Historic Division of Mars.  Learn about chocolate from early Colonial times to the present. How has production changed? Sample their delicious hot chocolate created from an ancient recipe. 

Choco-Walk Stops

  • Rainforest, chocolate facts and history
  • Conservatory, a display of chocolate scented orchids
  • The Tropical Fruit Pavilion at the Edible Garden, chocolate smoothies, the history of chocolate, chocolate and coffee facts
  • From Bean to Beverage presented by the Historic Division of Mars
  • Chocolate Trees and Orchids
  • The Shop at Fairchild, Garden House, chocolate books, recipes and Samples.

The Historic Division of Mars: From Bean to Bar                              

About The Historic Division of Mars

The Historic Division of Mars’ mission is to share chocolate’s rich past by allowing people to taste and experience the fusion of history and Mars’ 100 years of chocolate making excellence.  This is accomplished through scholarly research, product development and education.

In 2003, Mars undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate. Through a partnership with University of California at Davis and historic partners such as Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, Fort Ticonderoga, Historic Deerfield and the Fortress of Louisbourg, Mars  leveraged an international team of historians, food researchers, and experts  to compile the most comprehensive and accurate account of chocolate's journey to North America, titled Chocolate: History, Culture and Heritage. Wiley 2009.

Plant Sales

Take home your cacao tree and start making chocolate in your own kitchen! Or grab a chocolate “Sharry Baby” orchid!

Chocolate Spa

Enjoy mini massages, chocolate manicures and pedicures with Mobile Spa Parties, handcrafted chocolate bath and body care with Pixie Dust Naturals and handmade soy chocolate candles from Candles by Fatima.

Chocolate Beer Tasting

Learn how to pair your chocolate with these brews. Gold Coast Brewing will be bringing us bringing us Brooklyn Brown Ale, Abita Turbodog, Schnebly Gator Tail Ale and Abita Purple Haze.  The Whole Foods Market will be bringing us Fort Collins Chocolate Stout, Rouge Chocolate Stout and Young's Double Chocolate Stout. 


Yoga with Rina Yoga

 11:00 a.m.     Yoga for Adults
  1:00 p.m.     Little Rina Yogis for kids

Check back as we confirm our chocolatiers, local vendors, Beer garden samples and more!

Thank you to our event sponsors:

Become a sponsor

Admission: Free for Fairchild Members and children 5 and under.

Non-members: $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up and $12 for children 6-17. 

Eco-discount: If you walk, ride your bike or take public transportation to Fairchild, receive $5 off admission for adults and $2 off admission for children. Members, remember to bring your Rewards Card to earn your gift passes! 

Military Discount: We are pleased to offer active military personnel free admission. In addition, admission for spouses is $20 and children $10. Please present Military IDs.



Events Calendar

Loading events...

To go directly to Fairchild's Events section, click here.

Discounts for Members
Discounts for Members
Fairchild members receive discounts on products and services from over 200 local partners through our Branch Out Program. More