Tampa's First Festival Of Chocolate at MOSI

Most of us with a sweet tooth have imagined a place like Candyland or Willy Wonka's. A place where one is surrounded by sweet treats to be indulged upon endlessly. Thanks to the MOSI, chocoholics will have an opportunity to experience something close to being swallowed up by sweetness.

The Museum of Science and Industry will host Tampa's first Festival of Chocolate, January 15-17, 2011. The all-chocolate tasting experience will begin on Saturday, Jan. 15, from 9am-6pm, continue on Sunday, Jan. 16, from 9am-6pm and conclude on Monday, Jan. 17, from 9am-5pm. An entire weekend filled with chocolate cakes, cookies, brownies, ice cream, truffles and more!

Produced by Aileen Mand of Indigo Creative Productions in partnership with Edgar Schaked, a third-generation chocolatier, The Festival of Chocolate, the only traveling chocolate-themed museum, launched in Orlando in 2009 with an estimated 9,500 people in attendance.

"The thing about chocolate is that everyone loves it, but people don't really know about it," says Mand. "We're trying to educate people about chocolate because it's a really interesting food and good for you in moderation."

Mand says the event itself is educational, interactive and involves eating, of course. Chocolate vendors and confection companies from around the Tampa Bay region will be in attendance showcasing, selling and sharing items. Pastry chefs and chocolatiers will be on hand for interactive demonstrations, there will be chocolate and wine pairings, and a live chocolate showpiece competition where guests will vote on the best cake creation in Tampa.

As if the kids won't be engaged by the chocolate, MOSI has found a way to incorporate its interactive learning experiences by allowing the kids to create edible masterpieces and take a journey through the life of a cacao bean. Plus a Chocolate University taught by Chocolate Masters, cookie stacking contests and brownie bingo.

Admission to The Festival of Chocolate is free with purchase of admission to MOSI, and each adult advance purchase ticket will receive $3 in chocolate coins to spend in The Festival of Chocolate. A discounted entry price of $10 a ticket is available for MOSI members and member children are free.

Also, the MOSI is currently selecting chocolate judges! For more information, visit www.festivalofchocolate.com or call 813-438-4066.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Aileen Mand, Indigo Creative Productions
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