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Chocolate lovers meet, mingle with artisans at Chicago chocolate show at Navy Pier

Friday, November 16, 2012

Trade shows are usually for industry folks, only -- but chocolate fans can meet artisans, see new products, and taste lots of treats at Navy Pier this weekend.

The National Chocolate Show and Chicago Fine Chocolate Show are mixing this weekend at Navy Pier.

Jacquy Pfeiffer works with sugar and butter all day long. As the co-founder of the French Pastry School, he's teaching the next generation of pastry chefs. But this weekend, he's taking that expertise to Navy Pier, for a one-of-a-kind trade show.

"Conduct some live demonstrations, obviously all around chocolate. Gonna make some marshmallows, some truffles, some ice cream - chocolate ice cream. And also we're gonna create five to six-foot sculptures right in front of the consumers," said Pfeiffer.

The first-ever dual Chocolate Show will bring together several players in the three-and-a-half billion dollar chocolate business.

"The reason we thought about bringing in two shows was really to create a synergy between manufacturers of chocolate and the artisan chocolatier," said Jeneane Ally, the Chocolate Show's Event Director.

So in addition to the pros and the top-tier pastry chefs..

"Retailers who actually work from their home and produce chocolate in small commercial kitchens and sell their product online," said Ally.

Folks like Flying Noir out of Mendocino, California and St. Croix Chocolates from Minnesota..As well as local companies like Terry's Toffee in West Town and Chocolat from Pilsen. There will be plenty to sample.

"They will also have an opportunity to shop, and we hope that being a few weeks away from the holiday will actually engage and incite people to think about cool hostess gifts and things like that," said Ally.

The Chicago Fine Chocolate Show will run in conjunction with the National Chocolate Show to be the only dual trade and consumer event dedicated to chocolate for both trade attendees and consumers alike.

Shows will be held simultaneously in Festival Hall B at Chicago's Navy Pier on Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18.

Ticket price of $25 and $10 for children for tickets, guests can enjoy and learn more about the craft of fine chocolate in addition to finding unique gifts for the upcoming holidays.

For an additional ticket price of $10, guests 21 and older can purchase an all-access pass which also includes 10 tasting tickets for the Beer, Wine & Spirits Pavilion in addition to the 15 tasting tickets to experience the chocolate exhibitors from around the country on hand.

Tickets can be purchased at chicagochocolatefestival.com

some of the chocolates featured in the story:

Chocolat
chocolatzuma.com

St. Croix Chocolate
stcroixchcolateco.com

Flying Noir Art + Chocolate
flyingnoir.net

Truffles in Paradise
trufflesinparadise.com

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