9th Annual International Chocolate Festival

9th Annual International Chocolate Festival

When: Friday, January 23, 2015 9:30 AM to Sunday, January 25, 2015 4:30 PM

Indulge in chocolate delicacies during the season's most delicious event! Enjoy fine chocolate samples from artisan chocolatiers, lectures on chocolate making and demonstrations from Miami's master chefs and chocolatiers! Take our Chocowalk to learn about the life cycle of a cacao plant, with stops in our Rainforest and more. Find out everything you ever needed to know about chocolate from the experts.

View the International Chocolate Festival program!

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

The Chocolate Festival at Fairchild admission is included with Garden admission. $25 for non members and free for Fairchild Members. Tickets for non members can be purchased the day of the festival or pre-purchased below.  

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Friday, January 23

1:00 p.m. Lecture by Ricardo Trillos, Master Chocolatier-Cao Chocolates
Rainforest Plaza
Discovering the Magic of Chocolate from the Bean

Saturday, January 24

11:00 a.m. Lecture by Noris Ledesma, Fairchild
Science Village Classroom
Ecuador: A Living History of Cacao

12:00 p.m. Chocolate Lecture by Maricel Presilla, Ph.D.
Science Village Classroom
Learning to Taste Fine Chocolate Like a Professional: Understanding Flavor and Quality

1:00 p.m. Cooking Demonstration by Jacqueline Gadala, SuperFuzion
Cycad Vista Demonstration Tent
Chocolatey Superfuzion Oats and Coconut Bites

2:00 p.m. Cooking Demonstration by Allen Susser
Cycad Vista Demonstration Tent
Discover Tropical Dark Chocolate and Cocoa: Rocky Mango Brownies

3:00 p.m. Cooking Demonstration by Darren Laszlo, jugofresh
Cycad Vista Demonstration Tent
raw brownie, cacao cashew crema, raw chocolate-churro crumble, orange tuile

Sunday, January 25

11:00 a.m. Lecture by Richard Campbell, Ph.D., Fairchild
Science Village Classroom
Cacao's Struggle to Survive: Why We Should Care

12:00 p.m. Lecture by Osman Ariel Gutierrez, Ph.D., USDA-ARS
Science Village Classroom
The Genetic Background and Morphological Characterization of Cacao Genotypes from Plantations in Tabasco, Mexico

1:00 p.m. Cooking Demonstration by Danny Diaz, Sweetness Bakeshop & Cafe
Cycad Vista Demonstration Tent
Chocolate Pot de Creme

2:00 p.m. Cooking Demonstration by Chris Bulgarin, Delicious Catering Services
Cycad Vista Demonstration Tent
Five Spice Chocolate Glazed Grilled Colossal Shrimp served on Black garlic Sesame Noodle Salad

3:00 p.m. Cooking Demonstration by Monica Duenas, Ortanique on the Mile
Cycad Vista Demonstration Tent
Chocolate Caramel Brownie

ChocoKids Activities

Visit the KidWay and walk through the process of how chocolate is made by playing an interactive game. Discover the relationship that the cacao plant holds within tropical 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 learn about the power of Fair Trade and what you can do protect the people and places where cacao grows. 

12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Stroll the Garden and see if you can spot Fantasy Theater Factory's Giant Flamingo Puppet!

12:00 p.m. Family Cooking Demonstration by Maude Eaton, Common Threads
Kidway Demonstrations Tent
Hot Chocolate Creations

12:50 p.m., 1:50 p.m, 2:50 p.m. Chocolate Poetry by Youth Writers Project, W.R. Thomas Middle School
Cycad Vista Demonstration Tent
Enjoy chocolate inspired poetry by W.R. Thomas Middle School students. Students will read their poems before each Saturday cooking demonstration. 

11:00 a.m. Family Yoga by Rina Yoga
Bottom of Bailey Palm Glade

12:00 p.m. Family Cooking Demonstration by
Ray Newlands, Short Chef
Kidway Demonstrations Tent
Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

Choco-Walk, a Delicious Journey

Friday through Sunday, use your Choco-Passport to explore the Garden and discover the secrets of the fruit of the Gods while interacting with our Choco-educators.

Don’t forget to get your Choco-passport stamped! 

Go from the Rainforest exhibit to the Tropical Fruit Pavilion and learn all about it at the Choco-stations, please check the map for locations!

The Living History of Cacao and Chocolate

Visit our newest chocolate experience for 2015. From the seed to the chocolate bar and everywhere in-between, our distinguished scientists, chefs, horticulturists and chocolatiers will accompany you on an educational and gastronomical experience into the world of cacao and chocolate. A must-see for adults and children alike, the living history of cacao and chocolate at Fairchild is not to be missed. 

  • Learn about the History of Chocolate with Dr. Maricel Presilla, and Noris Ledesma, Curator of Tropical Fruit Program 
  • Book Signing: Have your copy of The New Taste of Chocolate signed by author Dr. Maricel Presilla
  • Discover how chocolate is made From Cacao to Chocolate with Pacari Chocolate and their display on the harvesting cacao, post-harvest treatments and chocolate manufacturing. 
  • Enjoy the Flavors of Ecuador with an educational chocolate tasting with Pacari Chocolate
  • Cacao and Chocolate Orchid Sales: Take home your very own cacao tree and start making chocolate in your own kitchen! Or grab a Oncidium "Sharry Baby" chocolate scented orchid!
  • View the USDA Repository Collection's Cacao Fruit Display
  • On Sunday at 11:30 a.m., Dr. Maricel Presilla will teach children how to make chocolate using traditional Mesoamerican techniques during a Hands-On Traditional Chocolate Making Demonstration for Children

The 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.  

Plant Sales

Take home your cacao tree and start making chocolate in your own kitchen! Oncidium "Sharry Baby" chocolate scented orchid!

Chocolate Spa

Relax at the Chocolate Spa while you enjoy mini massages, manicures and more.

Family Yoga with Rina Yoga

Sunday at 11:00 a.m. at the bottom of the Bailey Palm Glade, enjoy a complimentary family yoga class from Rina Yoga that is fit for all levels that will strengthen and stretch the body and mind for overall well-being and relaxation under a nature’s own ambience.

Beer Sampling Garden

Enjoy seasonal brews that pair well with chocolate and exhibit delicious chocolate notes!

The Biscayne Bay Brewing Company will be sampling their La Colada Porter, Biscayne Bay Saison and 1513 Golden Ale.

Travel Information

The Chocolate Festival is located in Coral Gables, FL, about 10 miles south of Miami International Airport, detailed driving directions can be found here. Nearby hotels include Hotel Indigo (call hotel for discounted rate and shuttle service offered to FTBG guests)Sonesta Coconut Grove, The Biltmore Hotel, and the Miami Marriott Dadeland

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

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