Tuesday, March 1

MSU Museum Chocolate Party Benefit 2011

Once a year, chocolate lovers gather at MSU's Kellogg hotel & Conference Center for MSU Museum annual Chocolate Party Benefit. This year, the event marked its 22nd on Sunday, Febuary 27th. I had such a great time once again. This tasty event has been a part of my mid-winter tradition for many years. There was quite a chocolate feast for my eyes -- and taste buds. My Sunday afternoon couldn't have been better!

Elaborate and edible chocolate masterpieces created by the area's finest chefs along with samples to savor from local bakeries and shops, all benefiting care and preservation of the MSU Museum's natural history and culture collections.

This year's participating chocolatiers include Acclaim Catering, Aggie Mae's Bakery, Awesome Chocolate, Bake N' Cakes, Kirabo, How Sweet It Is, Patricia's Chocolate, Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe, The Sweet Cake Company, and Wright Endings.

The Competition: Participants were required to create a completely edible showpiece and provide chocolate dessert samples, that tie in with the theme. The chosen theme for this year was Masks through time from around the globe -- serving as a prelude to the MASK Exhibit displayed at the MSU Museum.

2011 Professional Culinary Competition Results:

Masterpiece Category:
1st Place - Shelli Halman/Laura Alvarez, Culinary Institute of Michigan
2nd Place - Greg Stoker, Detroit area pastry chef
3rd Place - Joseph Gonzalez/Chad Starr, Culinary Institute of Michigan

Premier Chocolatier Choice:
Ashleigh Hile/Elizabeth Adamson, Culinary Institute of America

(Left) 1st Place -- Serpent sculpture by Laura Alverez and Shellie Hallman, students at the Culinary Institute of Michigan.

All chocolate sculptures were completely edible. Showpieces were composed of only chocolate, or a combination of chocolate and decorative sugar. Any decorative sugar technique was allowed.

(Above) Museum Director, Gary Morgan, thanked attendees, participants, sponsors, and staffs, in closing of the event.

(Above) People's Choice Award, based on attendee votes: Chocolatier vendor - The Wright Endings, Lansing, MI

Participants in the competition and exhibition -- from the Culinary Institute of Michigan.

The event is unique in that it's one of the few professional culinary industry competitions open to the general public, with area chefs and culinary students competing to create inspired, edible masterpieces featuring the key ingredient: chocolate! Meanwhile, attendees also have an opportunity to view part of the museum's current exhibit during the event.

(Above) Laura Abraczinskas - Collections Manager for Vertebrate Natural Science Collections, and Lynne Swanson - Collections Manager for Cultural Collections

A new special exhibition, "MASK: Secrets and Revelations", which opened in Feb. 13 and continues to Jauary 22, 2012 -- in the Main Gallery of the museum, showcases many of its global collections on public display for the first time.

The art of mask making and wearing is timeless. It has been practiced from our ancient ancestors through modern day cultures, performance, and cinema. According to the director of MSU Museum, Gary Morgan, "Masks are both works of art and powerful statements about cultures and human behaviors."
The MSU Museum is located on West Circle Drive next to Beaumont Tower on the MSU campus. It is open seven days a week free of charge (donations are encouraged).
[Source of information: Michigan State University Museum]

1 comment:

  1. This is just divine! Great photos and you really captured the feel and the flavor of the event. Thanks for sharing. -Lora, MSU Museum


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