First Annual International Chocolate Festival to be Held at Fairchild

Thursday, February 15, 2007

 Coral Gables, FL, February 16, 2007-Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is excited to announce its first annual International Chocolate Festival to be held on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, 2007. Join us for the celebration of that divine tropical plant, Theobroma cacao, the source of chocolate. For two days be immersed in the wonderful and diverse world of chocolate, from chocolate treats to tree sales, cooking demonstrations to chocolate sculpture competitions, kid‘s activities, a chocolate spa and more. Here are some of the festival highlights:

 Chocolate Lectures

 "Chocolate: Food of the Gods," by Dr. Anne Stewart, Institute of Maya Studies
"Growing and Making Chocolate - The Secrets of Taste," by Dr. Robert Steinberg, co-founder of Scharffen Berger
"The International Cacao Breeding Program at Chapman Field," by Ray Schnell, U.S.D.A.

 Chocolate Displays and Products

Buy and taste your way around the garden house with every variety of chocolate imaginable from various local vendors and an exhibit of photographic art by Ana Luisa Figueredo, entitled "Theobroma cacao."

On the Garden House Lawn

 ·        Cooking demonstrations: Experts including Edgar Leal, Executive Chef at Cacao Restaurant present their most divine chocolate recipes

  • Plant sales: Try your hand at growing your very own cacao tree, enjoy the dreamy chocolate smell of a Sharry Baby orchid or buy some chocolate mint for your home garden
  • Harvesting cacao pods: Learn the steps of chocolate making from bean to bar.  Also try some delicious smoothies made from cacao beans
  • Kids activities: Hershey Kiss© crafts, a chocolate scavenger hunt and many other fun things for kids to do
  • Music: From the haunting sounds of the Andean mountains to African drumming, enjoy the world of chocolate through music
  • Food: From Mexican mole to chocolate crepes, enjoy your favorites on the lawn.  Step back into time at the House of Chocolate where you‘ll be served a variety of hot chocolates, bon bons and sumptuous chocolate treats
  • Chocolate Spa: Equinox will present mini-massages and present cacao beauty products
  • Tropical Fruit Pavilion: A period Mayan family will recreate the harvesting of cacao pods all weekend long

About the Chocolate Festival

The International Chocolate Festival will take place on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, 2007from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, 33156. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $10 for children 6-17 and free to children 5 and under and Fairchild members. In conjunction with the Festival, Fairchild will hold a showing of the movie Chocolat on Friday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m., starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, as part of the Cinema Botanica series at Fairchild. Admission for Cinema Botanica is $20 for Fairchild members, $30 for non-members, $10 for children 6-17 and free to children 5 and under. For more information, please visit


About Fairchild

 Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is 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 both Florida and international conservation. Currently Fairchild has field programs in over 20 countries including support to protected areas in Madagascar and botanic garden development and renovation projects in South and Central America, the Caribbean and Middle East. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden houses the National Palm Collection as recognized by the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), has the world‘s greatest living collection of palms and cycads; an education program reaching more than 26,000 school children per year; hosts popular events like the International Mango and Orchid Festivals, the Ramble, concerts, affiliated plant society shows and sales and more; and, is a not-for-profit organization relying on the support of its 36,000 members and benefactors. We host major art events such as Chihuly at Fairchild in 2005 and 2006. Fairchild is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables (Miami), Florida 33156. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $10 for Children 6-17 and free to children 5 and under and Fairchild members. For more information, please visit


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