« Back to January Events

Fairchild's Chocolate Festival
Fairchild's 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 24, 2014 - Sunday, January 26, 2014 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Where: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Join us for Fairchild's 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival!

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

Download the program here!

Cooking Demonstrations
sponsored by Whole Foods Market

Location: Cycad Circle, Earth Learning Mobile Kitchen Demonstrations Tent

Watch master chocolatiers and chefs demonstrate delicious chocolate recipes.

Friday, January 24, 2014

  1:30 p.m.     Chefs Charles & Judy McDonald, Peterbrooke Chocolatier
                         Dark Chocolate Caramel Corn

Saturday, January 25, 2014
*Arrive early and enjoy chocolate inspired poetry by W.R. Thomas Middle School.

11:30 a.m.    Chef Mariana Cortez, Bunnie Cakes
                        Vegan Brownies, Gluten-Free & Soy-Free

12:30 p.m.    Camille Lamb, Whole Foods Market Coral Gables
                        Healthy Eating and Green Mission Specialist
                        Pecan-Chocolate Truffles with Smoked Salt and Coco-Choco 
                        Chia Pudding

  1:30 p.m.     Chef Monica Duenas, Ortanique
                        German Chocolate Bread Pudding

  2:30 p.m.     Chef Gaby Ruiz, Gourmet Chef MX
                        Cocoa in the Kitchens of Mexico

Sunday, January 26, 2014

11:30 a.m.    Chef Allen Susser, Chef Allen's
                       Chef-Made Bitter Sweet Chocolate Fudge

12:30 p.m.    Camille Lamb, Whole Foods Market Coral Gables 
                       Healthy Eating and Green Mission Specialist
                       Raw Chocolate Mint Macaroons and "Choco-cado" Gelato

  1:30 p.m.     Chef Loren Pulitzer, Simply Sharons
                        Chocolate Avocado Mousse

  2:30 p.m.     Chef Debra Upshaw, Sisters in Pink
                        Chocolate Walnut Bars


Saturday, January 25, 2014
Location: Science Village Classroom

10:00 a.m.       Noris Ledesma, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden 
                          Growing Chocolate in the USA

11:00 a.m.       Osman Ariel Gutierrez, Ph.D., USDA-ARS
                           The Genetic Background of the Hawaiian Cacao  

12:00 p.m.       American Heritage Chocolate
                          American Chocolate History

1:00 p.m.          Maricel Presilla, Ph.D. Chef and Cookbook Author
                           Adventures in the First Lands of Cacao: Tasting Chocolates that
                           Tell a Story  

2:00 p.m.          Eduardo Cortes, Cortes Chocolate
                           Fine Cocoa Production in Puerto Rico: Chocolate Cortes

3:00 p.m.         Stephanie Cosme, Puerto Rico, USDA-ARS TARS
                          Puerto Rico's Ancestral Cacao

Sunday, January 26, 2014
Location: Science Village Classroom

 10:00 a.m.       Richard Campbell, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden 
                           How to Grow Cacao in South Florida

11:00 a.m.       American Heritage Chocolate
                          American Chocolate History

 12:00 p.m.        Eduardo Cortes, Cortes Chocolate
                            Fine Cocoa Production in Puerto Rico: Chocolate Cortes

   1:00 p.m.        Ricardo Trillos, Master Chocolatier-Cao Chocolates
                            Welcome to the Dark Side....of Chocolates

   2:00 p.m.        Oliver Kita, Master Chocolatier-Oliver Kita Chocolates
                            From Paris with Love, A Chocolate Journey

Kids Cooking Demonstrations
sponsored by Whole Foods Market

Location: Kidway Family Demonstrations Tent

Saturday, January 25, 2014

  1:00 p.m.     Debi Labelle, Common Threads
                        Homemade Hot Chocolate

  2:00 p.m.     Tracy Knight, Skinny South
                        Sugar Cookies, White Chocolate Cream and Fresh Fruit

Sunday, January 26, 2014

 1:00 p.m.     Maricel Presilla, Ph.D. Chef and Cookbook Author                       
                       Make Chocolate like the Maya: A Hands-on Cacao and Chocolate 

  2:00 p.m.     Ray Newlands, Short Chef 
                        Chocolate Fondue and Fruit Skewers 


Through hands-on exploration, kids of all ages can learn how chocolate is made, the history of chocolate and the environmental benefits of the cacao plant.

Chocolate Poetry

Enjoy chocolate inspired poetry by W.R. Thomas Middle School on Saturday, January 25th 10 minutes before our cooking demonstrations (Locations: Cycad Circle and KidWay)

Beer Tasting Garden

Saturday and Sunday Only, Pouring begins at 11:00 a.m.
Location: Cycad Circle

Enjoy seasonal brews brought to us by Whole Foods Market, Gold Coast BeverageBrown Distributing Company, Merchant Du Vin and Belukus Imports. Sample beers from Samuel Smith Brewery, Young's Brewery, Liefmans Brewery and more! 

Yoga with Rina Yoga

Join Rina Yoga for classes fit for all levels that will strengthen and stretch the body and mind for overall wellbeing.

Sunday, January 26, 2014
Location: Palmetum

11:00 a.m.     Adult Yoga

  1:00 p.m.     Super Yogis,class for kids

From Bean to Beverage

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, A Delicious Journey 

Get your Choco-Passport stamped while exploring the Garden from the Rainforest to the Tropical Fruit Pavilion, to the Cacao Route tent, and learn all about this wonderful fruit of the gods!

Choco-Walk Stops

  • Rainforest: Where does cacao grow? Plant parts and harvesting cacao.
  • Tropical Fruit Pavilion at the Edible Garden:  Harvesting process of cacao and types of cacao
  • KidWay : Create your own chocolate label
  • Cycad Circle: American History of Chocolate process presented by the Historic Division of Mars
  • Garden House Lawn: Cacao trees for sale
  • Garden House: Choco-Educators station

Plant Sales

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

Fairchild Farm Smoothies and Fruit Market

Join us at our Edible Garden for refreshing smoothies made from fruit from our Fairchild Farm living collections.  We will also have seasonal fruits from our Farm

USDA Cacao Display

Observe a cacao collection from the USDA-Puerto Rico, learn about cultivars and the APHIS detector dog program at our Edible Garden.


Follow this event on Facebook


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



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! Green Mobility Network will be here Saturday and Sunday offering their unique bike valet service at the South Gate. 

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.

Note: To ensure the safety of our guests, there will be no tram tours during this event.

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