Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Chocolate Affair

I attended the Chocolate Affair, sponsored by Health Care for the Homeless, tonight at M&T Stadium. I was there on behalf of a client, but I got to have a little fun for myself! This annual event draws a LOT of attention, but I was there to work the media.

I learned from a staff member that they were expecting 1,600 guests. At $75/ticket (and up), that's a solid fundraising effort. Roughly 150 food vendors (restaurants, caterers, chocolatiers) volunteered their time and products to show off their sweet and savory wares. Three vendors in, I was already sick of chocolate. Whew!

It was a tasteful event. Attire was dressy business to semi-formal (I saw models sporting Victor Rossi ballgowns and other girls with hot pink pantyhose). Sampling was endless, and the bars were open. Live entertainment included bellydancers, a Caribbean band, Baltimore jazz singer, Maysa Leak, chef demonstration by "Top Chef" contestant, Jill Snyder, and guest appearance by Ravens tight end, Daniel Wilcox.

To prevent getting my hand slapped by NBC, let's just say that I had an opportunity to meet Jill Snyder. She and I had spoken several times over the phone, and it was great to finally meet and catch up. When I asked how Sotta Sopra was going, she said she's now at Woodberry Kitchen! Woo hoo! One of my favorite places! She was trained by owner Spike Gjerde, so I'm glad an opportunity came about for the two of them to reunite. I really enjoyed hanging out with her and look forward to sampling her contributions at Woodberry!

I wasn't too impressed by any of the savory vendors, but here are the sweet vendors that I cared enough to pick up info about:
  • Sweet Fortunes - a beautiful hand-dipped chocolate fortune cookie company. I had the strawberry kiwi cookie and the LoveBerry. You can customize fortunes for a special occasion. (Lots of people are doing this for weddings now. You can have fun with it). They have 52 flavors!
  • Dominion Ice Cream - They make ice cream out of fresh vegetables! I was in heaven! I tried the "Muscle Up" spinach ice cream and the "Sweet Tooth" sweet potato ice cream. They also had cardamom ice cream, but I was stuffed.
  • CakeLove - I hit up this table towards the very end of my visit, so my sweet tooth was starting to rot. But I talked with CakeLove founder, Warren Brown, for a bit. Super nice guy and very interested in talking and getting to know the guests. I like him even more after reading his bio.

Now can someone please show me the way to the gym?

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