25th Chocolate, Wine & Roses to support Tahoe nonprofits | SierraSun.com

25th Chocolate, Wine & Roses to support Tahoe nonprofits

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, created Cuban-style confections for the 2012 Chocolate, Wine & Roses Festival.
File photo |

Tahoe SAFE Alliance and Project MANA invite the community to the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe to celebrate 25 years of the Chocolate, Wine & Roses Festival.

Guests will enjoy delectable chocolates, samplings of many wines and appetizers by Hyatt chefs, and they can bid on tantalizing items in a live and silent auction. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $85 at http://www.tahoechocolatefestival.org, or $95 at the door.

“For the past three years, the festival has enjoyed successful themes to the delight of guests,” said Dawn Harris, event chair. “The Chocolate, Wine & Roses Festival is an important fundraiser; for 25 years it has supported vital programs that address authentic social needs in our community.”

Many of the participating chocolatiers and restaurants have participated for many years and are all instrumental in supporting the collaboration that keeps Tahoe safe, healthy and fed.

Participants will compete for five awards including Most Decadent, Most Original Flavor, Most Creative Use of Ingredient, Best Tabletop Presentation and the coveted People’s Choice. There are 10 participants this year:

Mr. Z’s: Aaron Zendner reigns supreme, having won eight awards including People’s Choice each competing year. In 2011, Mr. Z’s received the first ever Platinum Award and was inducted into the “Chocolatier Hall of Fame.” While he will be serving up his homemade chocolates to the delight of guests, he will not compete at this festival; instead, he will serve as a judge.

Dorinda’s Chocolates: Dorinda Vance’s family confection business has moved from downtown Truckee to 727 Riverside Drive in Reno. This will be the family’s fourth year participating in the festival; the first year Dorinda won the award for Most Original Flavor, and then the coveted People’s Choice in 2011 and 2012. Dorinda will be serving her seasonal pumpkin truffle to the delight of attendees.

Hyatt Regency: The grand hotel is back for a fourth year in a row and will feature Executive Pastry Chef Guido Landolt’s latest masterpiece. In 2011, he won the award for Most Decadent, and in 2012, he won the Most Original Flavor award.

Jake’s On the Lake: This popular Tahoe City restaurant is back this year, having participated in seven festivals. Executive Chef Scott Yorkey will be serving marshmallow bon bons.

Nine 41 Eatery & Bar: This new Incline Village establishment and Executive Chef Justin Kaplan will be participating for the first time. Justin will be serving chocolate mousse with caramel ganache and gingerbread puree.

North Tahoe Catering: This will be Chris Banovich’s second time participating as North Tahoe Catering. Last year, Chris won the Most Decadent award for his Guajillo chile and chocolate parfait with dark rum soaked cherries. This year, Chris will be serving vanilla and chocolate bread pudding with cocoa crème anglaise.

Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe: This luxury hotel has a gem of a restaurant called Manzanita, and this will be their fourth year participating. Pastry Chef Maarten Vankruyssen has delighted guests with his creativity and last year won the award for Best Tabletop Presentation. This year, Maarten will be serving chocolate raspberry marquise.

Rustic Lounge: Tucked away in Cedar Glen Lodge in Tahoe Vista is a quaint restaurant with award-winning chefs doing big things. Rustic Lounge and pastry chef David Meade will participate for the first time and will showcase cassis truffle, “snickers,” “twix,” and chai tigers.

Resort at Squaw Creek: As a first-time participant, Resort at Squaw Creek and Pastry Chef Jason Frutos round out the “big three” lodge and hotels in North Lake Tahoe.

Sunnyside: This Tahoe City fine dining establishment participated the past two years with Executive Chef Lee Kresy competing in the festival. Both years he won the award for Most Creative Use of Ingredient. Lee has taken over D’Lish Catering, so Executive Chef Rob Wyss will be competing against his peers. Rob will be serving up “chocolate sushi” featuring coconut rice, chocolate ganache & pickled mangos.

While the evening has plenty of entertainment in store, the event is foremost a fundraiser for Tahoe SAFE Alliance and Project MANA. The Munson Family Foundation is offering a $20,000 challenge matching grant to help the organizations raise additional funds to support programs in your community, including the only 24-hour crisis line, the Mt. Rose Safe House, crisis intervention and support services, a comprehensive children’s program, violence prevention education to school children, community-wide emergency food distribution and nutrition education.

For more information, call 775-298-0010.

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