MacKenna picked me up this morning and we headed to the Chicago Fine Chocolate Show at Navy Pier. We got there just as the place opened up at 10 a.m., but the crowds picked up pretty promptly.
I got my tickets through a Living Social deal, which means I paid $2 out of pocket for a morning packed with more chocolate than I could handle. Parking was $19. You receive 10 tickets for product tasting with this deal, which was quite generous and I didn't end up using them all. MacKenna upgraded her ticket when we arrived for $11.50 to include 10 alcoholic drink tastings, which we didn't use all of between the two of us. Chocolate wine, vodka and cocktails abounded, of course. This chocolate vodka was too delicious for words.
What I loved even more than the chocolate were the stories behind the treats. We met a man who left his job at age 45 without a clue what he would do and started a toffee bakery. We met a husband and wife who live in Wheaton and started a sweets company called Four Brothers Chocolate for their sons (I bought some of their drinking chocolate, it's what angels drink, I'm sure of it).
We met another husband and wife team who created Chocolate for the Spirit after the wife was forced out of a corporate job. The husband dresses up as the chocolate doctor and writes prescriptions, which include taking chocolate three times a day and Facebooking him in the morning. Side effects will include extreme happiness and the prescription never expires. Good for us, too, because their products were a-mazing.
We met a 19-year-old chocolatier who two years ago started making these beautifully crafted artisan chocolates that are rich and whimsical. I wish I had that kind of vision as a teenager.
|A sampling of the samples|
|This is a rooster made of chocolate.|
I even took a ton home and gave away a few tickets before we called it a day. This was a fantastic way to spend a Saturday and meet some small business owners who are making beautiful treats that taste even better than they appear. This show continues tomorrow, and I highly recommend you stop by.