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David Lissner
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Early Bird Catches the Chocolate

As the Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show gears up for their second annual chocolate fete at Navy Pier, early bird tickets provide entry for just $15. That’s like finding the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. And in fact, the lavish event itself is indeed a Wonka-esque wonderland of chocolate, featuring demonstrations, galleries, competitions, and all the chocolate a cocoa obsessive could ever want. The only things missing are oompa loompas and a borderline sociopathic host.

Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show

The grand event doesn’t take place until October 18-20, so there’s still a bit of time before Navy Pier drips in chocolate. But there’s a lot to look forward to. The French Pastry School will curate a demonstration stage and chocolate art gallery, pastry chef Malika Ameen will conduct a demo, amateur bakers will vie in a cupcake competition, a cake and pastry art gallery presented by Cake Deco Magazine will display edible artistry, and a 1,000 pound chocolate replica of a saxophone-toting Chicago Blues Brother will be standing tall.

French Pastry School

French Pastry School

(Photo: Chicago Chocolate Show)

While Wonka’s factory had squirrel rooms and bratty children, the Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show one-ups it with a beer, wine, and spirits pavilion (Veruca Salt: Daddy, I want a beer NOW!), a “restaurant row” of culinary creations, and The Story of Chocolate, a sweet cocoa tale as told by the National Confectioners Association’s Chocolate Council. Familiar brands such as Dove and Hershey’s will be on hand, as well as more artisanal chocolatiers, like Flying Noir and Mayana Chocolate.
It’s a chocoholic’s dream come true (Augustus Gloop, are you listening?). Early bird tickets are $15 through May 15 and can be purchased here. Tickets increase to $25 after May 15.



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