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The Show Must Go On

Abbe Lewis / November 19th, 2012

The New York Chocolate Show celebrated its 15th year over the weekend with 45 exhibitors, 35 pastry chefs, demonstrations, and enough chocolate to make Augustus Gloop happy. While the show was, by all accounts, a smashing success, just a week earlier, the Metropolitan Pavilion was flooded with rains from Hurricane Sandy, and many of the exhibitors and chocolatiers experienced similar difficulties that left them working down to the last minute.

“We lost about a dozen exhibitors this year, and we’re not having the chocolate fashion show because of flight cancellations,” said Karine Bakhoum of KB Network News, “but the show must go on, and chocolate is a great way to lift spirits in light of what’s happened in the past two weeks.”

Indeed, it was. Pastry chefs Paul Joachim and Lauri Ditunno performed a live sculpting exhibit featuring a life-sized cake and molding chocolate version of the one and only Lucille Ball. David Burke Kitchen’s Zac Young performed the first of many demos at one of the two demonstration theaters, making his chocolate/bacon/hazelnut sticky buns. Other demos of note included a chocolate and wine pairing by chocolate sommelier Roxanne Browning, and executive pastry chef Joe Gabriel of local restaurant Oceana, who made a Valrhona chocolate/pumpkin/ginger verrine.

Guests nibbled on truffles by Eclat Chocolate, cookies by Salt of the Earth Bakery, and macarons by New York City’s King of Pastry, François Payard. Kids were welcomed (for free!) to enter the Kids Zone, while their parents meandered through the exhibition.

And although the fashion show was canceled, one Brooklyn chocolatier—Michelle Tampakis—showcased her “dress” modeled by her daughter, with fall foliage and vines made entirely of chocolate.

Proceeds from the first day of the event were donated to the nonprofit New York Cares, the city’s largest volunteer organization. A coat drive was also held for Sandy victims.