Most definitely a night of decadence, the 9th Annual Chocolate Ball Gala was this past Thursday, Oct 16th, and I am still recovering from all of the sugar. Having lived in Toronto for many years now and also being a serious chocolate fan, I was shocked to only discover last year that Toronto has an entire festival dedicated to celebrating everything chocolate, and the signature event of the festival is the Chocolate Ball. I was fortunate enough to attend last year and again this year and it has yet to disappoint. The entire evening is truly spectacular and sensational in every aspect of the word; I’m already anxiously waiting for next year’s Ball!
The Gala’s theme was Tropica Cocoa: A Salute to Movie, Music, and Dance of the Tropics. From décor to entertainment and even the wardrobe of the greeters and volunteers, everything was film and tropics inspired, right down to the beautifully constructed ice sculpture at the gala entrance. This entrance being the Eglinton Grand Theatre, probably the most appropriate venue for such an event, adding to the film motif.
The evening’s festivities included a silent auction, photo booth, a chocolate casino, caricatures, savory food stations, chocolate stations, dessert stations, as well as live entertainment from a DJ, the BASo Alto Dancers, Junior Ballroom Dancers, and the Polynesian Dreams Hawaiian Dancers. There were also door prizes and raffle draws.
Of course the main event, however, is the chocolate! Sweet meets savory in the succulent chocolate-infused food prepared by Chef Russell (from Penthouse Catering) and Chef Terry Port from (Personal Chef Solutions). Some of the “hit” items included chocolate braised baby back ribs and chocolaty pulled pork tacos infused with Cumin and Cocoa, topped with Queso Fresco and Cilantro. Although these infusions may seem a bit bizarre, they were wonderfully crafted, simply delicious, and cooked to absolute perfection. There was also a Crêpes À Go Go station managed by the wonderful Chef Veronique.
Chocolate stations included the beautifully crafted pieces from ChocoStyle, CocoaWorld Chocolatier, Giddy YoYo, Golden Apple Confections, M Thompson Chocolates, Old Time Confections, and Xocai. There was also the unbelievable dessert station Dolcini by Joseph which offered a breathtaking selection of the most delicate, melt-in-your-mouth pastries from master Pastry Chef Joseph Montinaro.
All that decadence and none of the guilt! Why? Because this event isn’t just about overindulging on chocolate; proceeds go toward Prostate and Breast Cancer initiatives. Eating chocolate for charity…it doesn’t really get much better than that.
If you are intrigued by the festival and your overwhelming love of chocolate, don’t worry there is still more chocolate festival to enjoy. The festival concludes on November 2nd with the Chocolate Sunday, Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show at Roy Thompson Hall. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.TorontoChocolateShow.com. Go ahead and indulge, you know you want to, and you deserve it!