Choc fest to indulge all senses

Hunter Valley Gardens is proud to announce its second annual Chocolate Festival to be held on August 1st and 2nd, 2009.

Over 4,000 visitors indulged their taste buds last year and in 09, the Festival is bound to be bigger, better and sweeter.

Guaranteed to immerse visitors in a world of chocolate, the two day extravaganza will be held in the spectacular grounds of Hunter Valley Gardens and feature all things chocolate, such as chocolate masterclasses and cooking demonstrations, wine and chocolate pairing, dessert competitions, chocolate talks and walks, all-things-chocolate market stalls, with plenty of fun and entertainment.

Better Homes and Gardens resident chef, Ed Halmagyi, known as ‘Fast Eddy’, will be the official host of all main stage activities located at the Formal Garden.

‘Fast Eddy’ will deliver demonstrations of mouth watering chocolate inspired dishes of his own throughout each day of the Festival.

According to Hunter Valley Gardens head chef, Nick Vivian, “both children and adults are fascinated by the world of chocolate, and the activities we’ve lined up this year at the Festival will be sure to satisfy the sweet tooth in all of us.”

Delectable chocolate activities taking place across the weekend will include:

  • Master Classes and Cooking Demonstrations

    Cooking sensation Fast Eddy, master chocolatier Dean Gibson and other industry experts will demonstrate how to craft fabulous chocolate recipes, desserts and other creations including chocolate sculpting throughout both days of the Festival.

  • Market Stalls

    Even bigger than last year, a huge array of market stalls will be located throughout the gardens and will feature items such as fudge, fruit dipped in chocolate, chocolate fountains, delicious ice cream, hot chocolate, cakes, truffles, gourmet foods, and chocolate related goods such as soaps, candles and cosmetics to sample and purchase.

  • Unique Pairings

    Hunter Valley wine connoisseurs will select special wines and beverages that pair perfectly with chocolate and offer advice on how to marry the two for the ultimate food and wine experience.

  • Kidzone Area

    There will be lots of activities including a jumping castle, face painting, chocolate painting, hosted party games, entertainment, chocolate treasure hunts and prizes, and sampling for the kids to be involved in throughout the Gardens.

  • The History of Chocolate Walk

    The ‘History of Chocolate’ walk will provide details, dates and interesting chocolate facts displayed on sign boards throughout the festival grounds that will leave you feeling like a true chocolate expert. Savour Chocolate School director, and Australian Ambassador for premium Belgian chocolate Callebaut, Kirsten Tibballs will host the ‘History of Chocolate’ talk twice a day.

  • Entertainment

    A variety of live music, roaming entertainment and clown shows will take place throughout the Festival so that it’s not only alive with the smell of chocolate but is a feast for all the senses.

  • Free Prize Draw

    All visitors will be able to enter a free prize draw to take home lots of yummy chocolate prizes, so they can satisfy their cravings once they get home!

  • ‘Best Chocolate Dessert’ Competition

    Following last year’s success, chefs, pastry cooks and apprentices are invited once again to take part in the chocolate dessert competition which will be held at on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd August.

    The competition is sponsored by Callebaut chocolate with the first place winner will receive an international trip for three days training at a Callebaut Chocolate Academy valued at $5,000.

    Second place getter will win a 3kg chocolate fondue melter valued at $700 and the third place prize will be a two nights’ accommodation and breakfast for two people staying in a Premier Riverside Studio at Harrigan’s River Lodge (Harrington Waters) valued at $500.00.

    The best dessert made by an Apprentice Chef will receive three books written by Master Chocolatier Jean Pierre Wybauw valued at $300.

    The competition will hosted by Tibballs, and will be judged by celebrity chef, Halmagyi, Hunter Valley Gardens award winning chef Vivian, and award winning pasty chef, Dean Gibson.

Entry to the Gardens is $19.90 per adult, $12 for children between 6 — 12 years of age with children 5 years and under admitted free.

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