I was contacted some months ago by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago inviting me to judge at their ‘World of Chocolate’ event held annually at Chicago’s Union Station. 22 culinarians would compete in three categories for the best chocolate themed dishes. I tasted many, many dishes and though they ranged from sweet to savory to sippable cocktails, the event for me was bittersweet.
This year’s winners of the World of Chocolate were Mercat a la Planxa for ‘Best Savory’ Award for it’s seared scallops with white chocolate cauliflower risotto with mushrooms. The Hotel InterContinental Chicago won ‘Best Libation’ with a delicious chili chocolate martini. Life’s Sweeter Side won as Best Small Business entrant in the category ‘Tastiest Treat’ with an array of chocolate truffles, mini cake bites, and cupcakes. The Peninsula Chicago won Best Large Business entrant in the category ‘Tastiest Treat’ with macarons, chocolate hazelnut tarts, and an extraordinary white chocolate panna cotta. Uptown Brownie won the Best Sweet Award with a selection of brownies, most notably the “Elvis” which featured peanut butter and marshmallow. The People’s Choice Award went to ZED451 for Executive Chef Michael McDonald’s chocolate mascarpone roulade.
All told, the event raised more than $134,000 to support the Aids Foundation of Chicago. The proceeds will support public advocacy programs and help HIV/AIDS patients access services like medication, medical care, and housing.
Below are images from the event. Scroll down to see the winners.
Here are the winners
Best Savory: Mercat a la Planxa’s Chef de Cuisine’s Cory Morris and his team won with their seared scallops with white chocolate cauliflower risotto and mushrooms.
Best Libation: The Hotel InterContinental Chicago Executive Chef Randy Reed and his team won with a delicious chili chocolate martini.
Best Large Business Tastiest Treat: The Peninsula Chicago Executive Pastry Chef Dimitri Fayard and his team won with macarons, chocolate hazelnut tarts, and an extraordinary white chocolate pann cotta.
Best Small Business Tastiest Treat: Life’s Sweeter Side won with an array of chocolate truffles, mini cake bites, and cupcakes.
Best Sweet Award: Uptown Brownie won with a selection of brownies, most notably the “Elvis” which featured peanut butter and marshmallow.
The People’s Choice Award: ZED451’s Executive Chef Michael McDonald won for their chocolate mascarpone roulade.
A special thank you to our wonderful escort for the evening!
Yum! Wow, your photos made me drool. You and Jason look great. Merry Christmas!
I just wanted to reach out and apologize that things never came to fruition for Bar Toma, as I ended up leaving the company to pursue new avenues and do more consulting, before I plan on moving to NYC (as that will be happening in the New Year).
I do have a couple venues I would LOVE to get you in to and have you review them, if you are up for it, and if so, lmk and I will start the introduction process as they can all benefit from having you in.
LMK and hope all is well with you and Merry early Christmas!!