Get wasted on cocoa this weekend when the largest chocolate event in the Southeastern United States makes a pit stop in North Miami at the Miami Auto Museum.
Named one of the top ten chocolate festivals in the U.S., this one will bring the world's largest (and current Guinness World Record holder) cup of hot chocolate, armpit fudge (awesome or gross?), and a cocoa couture fashion show to the Magic City. "We've done Fort Lauderdale and Tampa before, but we've decided to try Miami," says festival producer (and chief chocolate chick) Aileen Mand.
If two days of nonstop chocolate programming (and eating) whilst scoping out cars from your favorite movies (think the Mystery Machine from Scooby, Marty McFly's time-traveling DeLorean, and the largest James Bond automobile collection in the world) sounds like your kind of weekend, you'll want to purchase tickets for the sugar-filled event. "We went with the auto museum because it gives chocoholics other things to do. By partnering with a really interesting venue it becomes a great afternoon out."
Always wanted to make your own chocolate lip balm? You can do that at the chocolate spa. Yes, there's a chocolate spa with products like chocolate face scrub and arm fudge. Test them out for yourself.
"What we say is whether you're five or 105 you're going to be a kid in a candy store cause something will sit with you." Basically, regardless of whether you prefer the finer things in life (like chocolate truffles) or a plain good old chocolate marshmallow (there will be a s'mores bar/buffet) there is something for every palate, so long as you like chocolate of course.
Considering admission to the Miami Auto Museum alone costs $25, and that the Festival of Chocolate is offering tickets for $20 it's really a no brainer. The only draw back? Once inside, you must pay vendors with chocolate currency (a dollar is the equivalent of a chocolate coin). On the bright side, many artisan vendors and chocolatiers might be giving attendees a taste of everything from cupcakes and cookies to liquid nitrogen chocolate ice cream and chocolate olive oils and balsamic. "We do minted coins for people to walk around and take one of this or one of that and not have to swipe a credit card. It's more fun that way." Although minted, the coins are not edible, so don't get any ideas besides making it rain chocolate.
And since no event (even a chocolate festival) is complete without booze, wine and beer pairings will keep your sweet tooth under control and whet your whistle. Need a pick me up? Go for a cup of chocolate java.
As for live entertainment, a fashion show on Saturday will showcase chocolate trends while a live cake decorating competition Sunday with will crown one winner. Demos from local and award-winning chocolatiers and pastry chefs will teach you how to properly taste chocolate, decorate a cake, and even create a delicate croqu'en bouche (courtesy of Chocolate Fashion pastry chef Armand Berger).
Need a sugar break? An unlimited and complimentary play arcade will help with your rush, but perhaps you'll want to take an extended break once the Festival of Chocolate wraps up on Sunday at 6 p.m. till next year.
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The Festival of Chocolate at the Miami Auto Museum is taking place this Saturday and Sunday (January 17-18) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entrance is included with the special MAM admission and costs $20 for adults ($12 for children and $15 for seniors). For tickets and information visit festivalofchocolate.com .
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha