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Chocolate Festival breaks records

KEITH SHEFFIELD, Sun News Service

CRYSTAL BAY – Tahoe Women’s Services broke more than one record Saturday with its 13th Annual Chocolate Festival held at the Tahoe Biltmore Lodge and Casino.

The agency more than doubled the money it raised last year bringing in about $30,000 from ticket sales and the event’s live auction. The agency serves the entire North Shore and Truckee area.

About 550 tickets were sold this year, which also brought out a record number of event goers, said Estelle Kersh, a TWS board member and an event organizer.

“The whole community pitched in for the Chocolate Festival,” she said.

Tahoe Women’s Services officials credited this year’s live auction with greatly helping bring in the record-breaking $30,000.

“It was very successful,” said Melanie Kauffman, TWS executive director. “We’re very excited about that.”

Kauffman said that the 2001 Chocolate Festival had the largest turnout in the event’s history.

Kersh added that the Biltmore’s event room had as many as 500 people sampling chocolate and wine at one point.

“We had great volunteer support,” Kauffman said. “We had volunteers who are professionals, they added expertise to the committees. I was personally impressed with them.”

Three chocolatiers out of 11 who entered the event’s competition came away with the big prizes Saturday.

Chefs Damon Ewasko and Andra Quinn, of the Lahontan Golf Club, took the People’s Choice award with their Rocky Mountain Smore creation.

Chef Kurt Witkowski and artist Dan Behnken, from the Lone Eagle Grille, joined forces to win the Best Presentation award for their romantic painting made entirely of chocolate.

Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique chef Kathy Cooney walked away with the Loveliest Taste award for her chocolate genoise hazelnut cream caramel creation.

Chocolatiers from Caker, Earthly Delights, Sunshine Pastry and Provisions, Crystal Bay Club, Flying Dutchman Bakery, Big Water Grille, Mountain Magic Catering and Captain Jon’s also competed in the event.

For more information on Tahoe Women’s Services, call the Kings Beach office at (530) 546-7804, or the Truckee office at (530) 582-9117.


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