Your rumbling stomachs have spoken and we've tried to answer their ravenous call. We've received a few inquiries about the www.chocolateshow.com 10th Annual New York Chocolate Show, coming up this weekend from November 9-11, asking about the discount code we normally offer. Unfortunately, the show's organizers were unable to give us the discount this year, but we have some consolation offerings: We've contacted a few of our favorite booths at the show, and they've agreed to give some discounts to Frommer's readers (see below). This requires you to do 3 things: 1) Print out this article. 2) Bring it to the show and use it as a coupon when buying from the booths listed below. 3) Gorge on chocolate until your stomach hurts.
You may achieve Step 3 early if you participate in this year's deliciously titled Chocolate Week (www.chocolateweekny.com) promotional events, currently in progress through November 11. See our list of highlights at the end of this article.
Chocolate Show Details
Tickets are $28 for adults, free for your first 2 kids under age 12, and $8 for additional kids ages 5 to 11. The show, an outpost of Paris' Salon du Chocolat (www.chocolateshowfr.com), will once again offer 65 booths spread out over 40,000 square ft. (in Chelsea's Metropolitan Pavilion and adjacent Altman Building), with samples of all-things-chocolate: milk and dark chocolate, organic and kosher chocolate, green tea-flavored chocolate, curry-flavored chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate-covered figs, chocolate-covered potato chips, and more. At the November 8th Chocolate Fashion Show ($200, tax deductible), you'll see chocolate-covered models. (The chocolate couture is then displayed on mannequins throughout the festival, so you won't miss it.)
You'll also find chocolate cocktails, chocolate-infused oil paintings, chocolate sculptures, and a few cocoa butter-infused facial creams. If your kids pick up on this idea that actually digesting chocolate is boring they can make chocolate arts and crafts in the "KidZone" ($1 to $5).
The show aims to please both connoisseurs and casual Snickers bar fans alike, so it's no surprise that Mars (www.mars.com) will attend the show for the first time this year. This move for mass appeal doesn't sit well with all of the show's high-end brands, and one gourmet label who no longer participates told us they felt the show's quality has declined a bit.
Still, you'll find plenty of fine chocolate here, and more than 20 new booths will vie for your attention. They've all no doubt read the New Yorker's profile of Dagoba (www.dagoba.com) -- the organic brand that debuted at last year's show and recently sold to Hershey's for $17 million -- which adds some drama to the festivities: Who will be this year's success story? Will the French brand Comptoir du Cacao (www.comptoirducacao.com) get American distribution? Will Brooklyn Fudge catch on outside the borough? Is organic chocolate still a profitable trend? Will this be coconut's year?
Our Favorite Booths -- With Discounts
Alright, enough questions and more chocolate. Here is your virtual coupon to bring to the show. Note that we contacted these brands about a discount, not vice versa.
We love Philadelphia-based John & Kira's Chocolates (www.johnandkiras.com), who pair Valrhona chocolate with organic and family-farmed ingredients, including "Papohaku Farm Ginger," "Eagle Ranch Pistachio," and more. The "Drew Elementary Garden Mint" is so pungent with the sweet, fresh herb, you'll feel you've never tasted a true mint chocolate before. Discount: Get up to 15% off of their signature line with this article; an $11.50 box (6 pieces) will now be $9, a $28 box (15 pieces) will now be $24, etc.
DeBrand Fine Chocolates (www.debrand.com) from Indiana impressed us last year with its handsome Connoisseur collection. Nuanced flavor combinations include "Chai" (dark chocolate, chai tea, and sweet honey), "Sesame" (sesame and poppy seed brittle, milk chocolate tahini, crushed peppercorns), and "Valencia" (orange marzipan, glacé orange peel, tart apricots, white chocolate, ginger), priced at $20 (9 pieces) and $36 (16 pieces). The Classic Collection is less expensive, at $19 for 14 pieces, $38 for 28 pieces, etc. Discount: Present this article to DeBrand and get a generous "buy one, get one free" deal on any single item, any price.
E. Guittard (www.guittard.com), started by a Frenchman in California in 1868, is a great place to buy some chocolate for baking. Most of the pastry chefs use this in their demonstrations -- they tend to use either the 61% cacao or 72% cacao chocolate -- so you can get a preview of the goods in action. Go for the 5kg (11 lb.) box; normally $115, it's a steal here for $50. Last year, we snagged a box for $40 just before they closed shop on Sunday (they can't guarantee this price). Discount: They will give you a free 2 oz. bar if you spend more than $10.
We can't quite call them a "favorite" yet, but we've heard great things about newcomer Brooklyn Fudge (www.brooklynfudge.com), and we like their website and their promise to hurl all sub-par fudge "into the Gowanus Canal." They sell flavors such as Dark Wasabi Pecan and Dark Cinnamon Almond in coffee shops and online (no storefront), and they're looking for further distribution. Discount: Owner Amanda Jones has agreed to give 15% off with this coupon, plus one free cupcake with fudge purchases while supplies last.
More Favorites, No Discounts
A small Brooklyn company called Gold Star Chocolate (www.goldstarchocolate.com) offers a deal on one of the show's best truffles: $12 for 2 large boxes of the dark, buttery Cemoi Truffes Fantasie, each coated in fresh cocoa powder. As usual, we've been ordered to ship a few boxes to our editor in San Francisco.
If you're still confused by cacao percentages and want to sample a wide range, stop by the French Michel Cluizel (www.cluizel.com). Bars range from 33% to 99% and hail from farms in Venezuela, Madagascar, and elsewhere. Also look for informational displays with a few cracked-open cacao pods.
The ladies of Divalicious (www.divalicious.com) will have 3-tiered chocolate fountains on hand for dipping sticks of fruit or marshmallows ($3). If only Central Park's Bethesda fountain functioned like this during "Chocolate Week."
Noteworthy Cooking Demos
Cooking demos are in two separate stage areas and are generally high-quality. Food festivals often charge extra for these types of shows, so take advantage. Highlights:
On Friday evening in the Viking Theater area, you can see Martin Howard of Brasserie 8 ½ as himself (8pm) or as "Chocolatina, Queen of the Dessert" (7pm).
On Saturday, while everyone else is at the Jacque Torres demo (4pm, Viking Theater), catch Natasha Misanko of Nantucket's bold, inventive American Seasons (Chocolate Theater, 4:30pm). We've had her delicious foie-gras crème brulee; here she's making a "S'mores Tart." At 5:30pm, we're curious to see Kevin Stanton of Sanctuary Tea create "Kartankulas Pinks: An Ode to South Park Episode 506," which we think was a dessert in "Cartmanland" (Chocolate Theater).
On Sunday, two shows at the Viking Theater stand out to us: Matt Gennuso of Chez Pascal will cook the savory "Spicy Black Bean Chocolate Soup with Pork Stuffed Piquillo Peppers" (5pm), followed by Gustavo Tzoc of DavidBurke & Donatella (6pm). His brilliant cheesecake lollipop tree is legendary; who knows what he'll create here.
Chocolate Week Highlights
- Discounts at stores such as Roni Sue's (www.roni-sue.com) at the Essex Market and Michel Cluizel (www.chocolatmichelcluizel-na.com) at ABC Home & Carpet.
- A chocolate walking/tasting tour ($75; www.chocolatetoursnyc.com)
- Unique desserts at restaurants such as Artisanal (www.artisanalbistro.com) and Per Se (www.frenchlaundry.com/perse/perse.htm).
- Free chocolate soup dumplings at Rickshaw Dumpling Bar (www.rickshawdumplings.com) (usually $1.75, always fantastic; wear a bib)
- Chocolate cocktails at Brasserie 8 ½ (www.rapatina.com/brasserie8), Davidburke & Donatella (www.dbdrestaurant.com), and Payard Bistro (www.payard.com)
- Savory chocolate dishes such as "pulled pork tamale with chocolate Habanero sauce" at Crema (www.cremarestaurante.com), and "duck braised in Pinot Noir and chocolate" at P*Ong (www.p-ong.com).
Regardless of your proximity to New York, you can take advantage of chocolate companies offering web discounts this week: Get 25% off of DeBrand's chocolates (see above) at www.debrand.com through November 26 with the promo code TIMEOUT; get 15% off chocolates at ChuaoChoacolatier.com this week only with online code NYSHOW07; get 15% off at Chocolatmoderne.com; and take 10% off the politically charged Sweetriot.com with code RIOTING.
Enjoy Chocolate Week through November 11. Pimple Week begins November 12.
Hours: Friday, November 9 from 11am to 9pm; Saturday, November 10 from 10am to 8pm; and Sunday, November 11 from 10am to 7pm