Fairchild’s International Chocolate, Coffee and Tea Festival Starts Today January 20th!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fairchild’s International Chocolate, Coffee and Tea Festival

Starts Today January 20th!


Coral Gables, FL, January 20, 2011—Chocoholics take note! Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s International Chocolate Festival starts today and runs for three days—Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 20-22, 2012.  Now it its sixth year, it’s a chocolate lover’s must attend event and this year it’s bigger and better than ever!


For three days visitors will be immersed in the wonderful and diverse world of chocolate, coffee and tea—from chocolate treats to tree sales, delicious cups of coffee and soothing cups of tea, cooking demonstrations to fun and educational kid’s activities, and so much more. So come get a taste of chocolates, coffee, tea from around the world and join in on the celebration of that divine tropical plant, Theobroma cacao, the source of chocolate!


 Here are some of the festival highlights and a schedule of events:

  • Enjoy fine chocolate samples from artisan chocolatiers
  • Take our Chocowalk to learn about the life cycle of a cacao plant, with stops in our Rainforest and more
  • Watch master chocolatiers and chefs demonstrating recipes with chocolate 
  • Attend lectures on the chocolate making, chocolate history, science and more
  • Sip coffee, tea and hot chocolate surrounded by the beauty of Fairchild

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



12:00 p.m.        Short Chef
                         Chocolate Chicken Quesadillas and Salad with Cacao Bean Dressing

2:00 p.m.         Alejandra Bigai, Romanico’s Chocolate
                        Basics for Chocolate Connoisseurs


11:00 a.m.       Chef Allen Susser, West Indian Chocolate Tea and Great Chocolate Chip



12:00 p.m.       Chef Loren Pultizer, Meals that Heal
                       Carob Brownies (Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free and Delicious!)

1:00 p.m.         Whole Foods Market Heath Starts Here Chef Jessica
                           Health Starts Here Chocolate Mousse and
                           Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies


2:00 p.m.         Chef Ze Carlos Jimenez, MexZican Gourmet Food Truck 
                           Marinas de Mole


12:00 p.m.       Chef Franck Monnier, Atelier Monnier 
                           Parisian Macarons


1:00 p.m.         Executive Pastry Chef Max Santiago, Tuyo
                           Chocolate 3 Ways: Toast, Butter, Vinaigrette


2:00 p.m.        Chef Andrea Curto-Randazzo, Creative Tastes Catering
                           Dark Chocolate “Thin Mint” Panna Cotta


3:00 p.m.         Chef Chris Bulgarin, Delicious Catering 
                           Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin with Dark Chocolate BBQ Sauce


Lectures (Corbin Classroom A)


10:00 a.m.       SantiagoPeralta, Pacari Chocolates
                          Pacari: Making World-Class Chocolate in Ecuador


11:00 a.m.       Osman Ariel Guitierrez, Research Geneticist USDA-IRS
                           Molecular Breeding in Cacao


12:00 p.m.        Noris Ledesma, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden 
                            The Chocolate Persimmon:  The Aztec Fountain of Youth


1:00 p.m.          Maricel Presilla, Ph.D Culinary Historian, Chef and Restaurant
                           Owner, Ecuador: The New Destination for Chocolate and Cooking


2:00 p.m.          Freddy Amores, Fine Cocoa Production: A Tradition in Ecuador


3:00 p.m.*        Dr. Howard Yana Shapiro, Global Staff Officer Plant Science
                          and External Research, Mars, Inc., The History and Future
                          of the Cacao Crop, *Please note: this lecture will be held
                          in our
Visitor Center Ballroom


11:00 a.m.        Georgia Tasker, FairchildTropicalBotanic Garden 
                            Tea in Darjeeling    


12:00 p.m.        Dr. Richard Campbell, FairchildTropicalBotanic Garden
                           South Florida Chocolate Alternatives


 1:00 p.m.         Maricel Presilla, Culinary Historian, Chef and Restaurant Owner, 
                           Cooking and Traveling in
Ecuador for the Love of Cacao


2:00 p.m.          SantiagoPeralta, Pacari Organic Chocolate
                           Ecuador: Soaring to New Heights in Chocolate


3:00 p.m.*        Dr. Howard Yana Shapiro, Global Staff Officer Plant Science and 
                           External Research MARS, Inc, The History and Future of the
                           Cacao Crop, *Please note: this lecture will be held in
Visitor Center Ballroom


The Historic Division of Mars, Inc. Presents From Bean to Bar

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about making chocolate with an interactive presentation from the experts at Mars, Inc. Learn about chocolate from early Colonial times to the present and how production has changed. You can also sample their delicious hot chocolate from an ancient recipe.


Experience the Choco-Walk

Explore the history and lure of caco by taking the Choco-Walk through the Rainforest,ConservatoryEdibleGardenand The Shop at Fairchild. Kids can get a ChocoPassport that they can get stamped.


Chocolate Beer Sampling

Taste chocolate beers and beers that pair well with chocolate at Gold Coast Beverage's beer tent.  They will be sampling:

 BrooklynBlack Chocolate Stout



  Abita Turbo Dog

*While supplies last

Plant Sales

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


Chocolate Yoga with Rina Yoga (near theKid Way)

 Saturday and Sunday

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.       Yoga for Adults  
1:30 – 2:00 p.m.            Little Rina Yogis for kids



All Day

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. 


12:00 p.m.       Storytime with G.G. Hall, Educator and Author of Hershey-A Tale of a Curious House Rabbit.  Join Hershey the Rabbit for an interactive storytime and puppet show!

 1:00 p.m.          Short Chef, Fun Cooking with Chocolate  



11:30 a.m.        Dr. Marisel Presilla presents The Secret of Chocolate, an Interactive Workshop for Kids of all ages. 

12:00 p.m.        Storytime with G.G. Hall, Educator and Author of Hershey-A Tale of a Curious House Rabbit.  Join Hershey the Rabbit for an interactive storytime and puppet show!

1:00 p.m.          Short Chef, Fun Cooking with Chocolate   


 Bike Valet

Green Mobility Network will be here Saturday and Sunday offering their unique bike valet service at the South Gate. Bike and $5! If you walk or ride your bike to Fairchild, you will receive $5 off the admission price for adults and $2 for children. It's our way of thanking you for contributing to conservation. 


About the Chocolate Festival

The International Chocolate Festival is a must attend event in South Florida! The Festival it is in its sixth year with over 12,000 visitors attending last year. This year, the Festival will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 20, 21 & 22, 2011 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, 33156. Admission is $25 adults, $18 seniors, $12 children 6-17 and free to children 5 and under and Fairchild members. Eco-discount: If you ride your bike, walk or use public transportation, receive $5 off for adults and $2 off for children. It's Fairchild's way of thanking you for contributing to conservation. For more information, please visit www.fairchildgarden.org.


About Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

FairchildTropicalBotanic Gardenis dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. It is one of the premier conservation and education-based gardens in the world and a recognized international leader in bothFloridaand international conservation. Fairchild has field programs in over 20 countries throughout the tropical world including theIndonesia,South America, theCaribbean,AfricaandSoutheast Asia. Fairchild’s palm and cycad collections are considered the greatest collections in the world and are nationally recognized by the American Public Gardens Association. Fairchild has the largest education program in a metropolitan area reaching more than 100,000 schoolchildren in 2011. Fairchild hosts popular events like the Chocolate, Mango, Orchid, Food and Garden, Ramble and Edible Garden Festivals, as well as an annual art exhibition, concerts, plant shows and sales, evening events and more. Fairchild is a not-for-profit organization with 45,000 members. Fairchild is located at10901 Old Cutler Road,Coral Gables,Florida,33156. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors, $12 for children 6-17 and free to children 5 and under and Fairchild members. Information at www.fairchildgarden.org and on Facebook and Twitter.


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