One of the most anticipated Culinary Styles contests brought out chocolate lovers of all ages on Saturday, Sept. 18 – the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship competition.
The scent of rich chocolate – dark, milk, white and every variation thereof – filled the contest area as competitors delivered precious choco cargo before judging started at 1 p.m. There was a definite buzz of anticipation as passersby stopped not only to observe the judging but to simply inhale.
Thirty-three contestants turned out, bringing a wide variety of treats – cakes, mousses, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, tortes, candies – to challenge any expert to choose first-, second- and third-place winners. Winning entries were a diverse lot, representing many ways to use chocolate.
Chino resident Kathleen L. Cable’s S’more-iffic Cup of Ghirardelli Chocolate Mousse won the First Place ribbon, $150 and a Ghirardelli Gift Basket. In addition to the “great blend of flavors” the judges praised Cable’s presentation as “worthy of a gourmet magazine.” Her s’mores inspiration was complete with a toasted marshmallow topping each mug of rich mousse to be enjoyed by accompanying chocolate-dipped spoons.
Fullerton resident Kevin N. Haw’s Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake won Second Place, $50 and a Ghirardelli Gift Basket. The judges enjoyed each layer of texture from the bottom up: chocolate cake, chocolate mousse and white chocolate cream cheese.
North Hollywood resident Gigi D’Amore’s Dark Chocolate Chipotle Cookies won Third Place. Judges noted her creation’s “great cookie texture” and the chipotle “heat creeps up on you” for a good flavor.
Heather Moloian of Thousand Oaks earned an honorable mention with her Pecan Chocolate Roca Torte that judges enjoyed for its toasted nuts and toffee.
The L.A. County Fair continues through Oct. 3. Hours – Wednesdays, noon-10 p.m.; Thursdays, noon-11 p.m.; Fridays, noon-midnight; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-midnight; and Sundays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, visit lacountyfair.com.
Under the direction of the Los Angeles County Fair Association, Fairplex is home to the L.A. County Fair, the largest county fair in the world, as well as The Learning Centers which encompasses Fairtime Learning, The Child Development Center, The Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC), the Junior Fair Board, and the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts. Fairplex also operates a diverse hospitality business with the Sheraton Fairplex, McKinley’s Grille, KOA RV Park, Finish Line Sports Grill, Cornucopia Foods, and the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center (opening 2011). The campus is also home to the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona; horse-racing and Barretts Equine Limited; as well as the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition. For more information, please visit www.fairplex.com.