We've all got a little bit of Augustus Gloop deep down inside us. Save for the occasional moment of weakness in the candy aisle, we may not always indulge those inner chocoholic demons, but this weekend is a different story. The Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show takes place October 18 through October 20 at Navy Pier, featuring a smorgasbord of confectionary wonders on par with Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. There is much to see, sample, smell, and experience at the festivities this weekend, so before you get all distracted and start eating grass you think is edible, here are some tips for must-visit events at the Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show.
Cake & Pastry Art Gallery Presented by Icing Smiles
Art galleries are good and all, but don't you always wish the eye candy was just a little more appetizing? Thanks to the Cake & Pastry Art Gallery Presented by Icing Smiles, now it is! This weekend, the pop-up gallery will feature Halloween-inspired cakes created by nationally recognized cake artists from shows such as Food Network Halloween Wars and TLC's Ultimate Cake Off. As attendees ooh and aah over the edible works of art, they're able to place monetary votes for their favorite pieces, with all proceeds going towards Icing Smiles, a non-profit that provides custom celebration cakes to families with ill children. Now that's sweet.
Haunted Cupcake Challenge
I am still mortified from when I first saw Paranormal Activity a few years ago, so I tread softly around anything remotely spooky. But a haunted cupcake challenge I think I can handle. Taking place October 18 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., the saccharine spookfest is the perfect precursor to Halloween, wherein amateur bakers showcase their Halloween-themed cupcake skills as part of Pastry Chicago's 7th annual Haunted Cupcake Competition and Costume Party.
Celebrated Pastry Chefs Council
Six of Chicago's most elite pastry chefs converge together for one sensational sugar summit. On October 19 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., the A-Team of pastry chefs unite to form the Celebrated Pastry Chefs Council, crafting their own unique desserts for guests to sample. The roster includes Thomas Raquel of Acadia, Elissa Narrow of Perennial Virant and Vie, Meg Galus of NoMI Kitchen, Patrick Fahy of Sixteen, Kym DeLost of Storefront Company, and Courtney Joseph of Takashi and Slurping Turtle. It's the perfect way to sample top-tierfine dining desserts without the pomp and circumstance.
Sugar Art Gallery Presented by Edible Arts Network
If sugar art and marshmallows are more your speed, then look no further than the Sugar Art Gallery Presented by Edible Artists Network. Here, blown sugar sculptures, marshmallows, and other sugary treats take center stage, featuring the works of masterful confectioners such as Peggy Tucker of School of Cakeology, Alejandra Morin of The Marshmallow Studio, Nicole Lang of Sugar Mommas Custom Cakes, and Michelle Boyd or Good Gracious Cakes.
The Chicago Fine Chocolate & Desserts Show will be held October 18 through October 20 in Navy Pier's Festival Hall. Tickets cost $25 per adult and children 12-years-old and under are $10. Most culinary demonstrations and seminars are included with admission. For more information on the show, click here.