Fairchild Gardens' Tenth-Annual Chocolate Festival: The Sweetest Way to Spend Your Weekend

Cacao Art employees serve hand-crafted truffles.EXPAND
Cacao Art employees serve hand-crafted truffles.
Photo by Julie Harans

Thousands of chocolate lovers gathered for educational exhibits, live music, and plenty of sweet samples at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden’s tenth-annual International Chocolate Festival this weekend. Though Miami has several events featuring the confection, Fairchild's festival takes guests on a journey through the entire chocolate process, from cacao tree to bar. 

The connection between a botanic garden and a celebration of chocolate lies in the education. The garden allowed curious guests to explore the various practices of growing and harvesting the tree, which is in critical shortage around the world. The festival's hands-on educational experience also included learning to cook with chocolate and candy-making techniques. 

For guests wanting to attend simply to enjoy chocolate, vendors were on hand offering it in every form, from cakes to drinks to cacao nibs.

Gerbaud Bakery offered a variety of filled pastries, including this chocolate rugelach.EXPAND
Gerbaud Bakery offered a variety of filled pastries, including this chocolate rugelach.
Photo by Julie Harans

From 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, food trucks and kiosks were nestled in Fairchild's clearings. Tents housed various chocolate-related displays and live cooking demonstrations, led by leading Miami chefs. 

Guest sampled and purchased chocolate in pies, pastries, and other forms.EXPAND
Guest sampled and purchased chocolate in pies, pastries, and other forms.
Photo by Julie Harans

Miami chocolatiers such as Cao Chocolates and Exquisito offered all the classics, from bars and barks to the famous chocolate fountain.

In addition to offering their bestselling coconut flavor, Gringa Flan created a special chocolate flan for the festival.EXPAND
In addition to offering their bestselling coconut flavor, Gringa Flan created a special chocolate flan for the festival.
Photo by Julie Harans

Vendors also sold more innovative takes on the treat, featuring chocolate baked into intricate truffles, coated on crisp quinoa, and drizzled onto candied bacon.

These treats by Exquisito Fine Chocolates — made with Oreo wafers, torched marshmallow, and ganache with cookie crumbles — will also be featured at the upcoming South Beach Wine & Food Festival.EXPAND
These treats by Exquisito Fine Chocolates — made with Oreo wafers, torched marshmallow, and ganache with cookie crumbles — will also be featured at the upcoming South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Photo by Julie Harans

Spending the day munching on cocoa can make you wonder what makes this stuff so damn good. luckily, lectures by local experts covered a wide range of topics, including chocolate's recent diversification and sustainable harvesting methods.

At the Living History of Cacao and Chocolate Tent, guests could learn about the chocolate-making process.EXPAND
At the Living History of Cacao and Chocolate Tent, guests could learn about the chocolate-making process.
Photo by Julie Harans

Guests seeking a more immersive experience could explore the Chocowalk, a series of educational booths throughout the gardens that traced the chocolate-making process, from fruit to the beloved final product. Also on the route was a KidWay Station, where children could create their own chocolate labels and customized treats.

Crepes from CrepeMaker were among the savory options.EXPAND
Crepes from CrepeMaker were among the savory options.
Photo by Julie Harans

For some much-needed sugar rush relief, savory options including tacos, gyros and crisp fried conch.  

Whether guests were looking to learn the history behind the fruit of the gods or simply snack the day away, Fairchild's tenth-annual International Chocolate Festival was a chocoholic's dream of a weekend.

Use Current Location

Related Location

miles
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10901 Old Cutler Rd.
Coral Gables, FL 33156

305-667-1651

www.fairchildgarden.org


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >