A dieter’s nightmare.
A chocolate lover’s fantasy.
From a chocolate crunch made with Pop Rocks and marshmallow bourbon crème (Levy Restaurants), to a hockey-themed white chocolate mousse from Canadian Chef Laurent Geroli at the Brown Hotel to chocolates infused with Ghost Peppers (one of the hottest peppers in the world) from Varanese, there were treats of all types to entice even the most anti-chocolate of folks.
The GuardiaCare annual fundraiser, Chocolate Dreams, took over the ballroom of the Louisville Marriott East on Monday evening as guests dined on delectables of every shape, size and color with one common element: chocolate.
Chocolate Dreams benefits GuardiaCare, an organization which runs the only licensed adult day care in Louisville, as well as provides other services for seniors and adults with disabilities, including financial management and guardianship.
Over 25 local restaurants and service agencies participated in the event, competing in several categories. Taking top honors of the evening were:
- Chocolate Bluegrass (Kentucky themed ingredients)—Levy Restaurants at Churchill Downs, Chef David Danielson
- Chocolate Savory (using chocolate in a non-sweet way)—Zi Olive, Chef Nancy Russman
- Chocolate International (using flavors from around the world) Ghyslain on Market, Chef Ghyslain Maurais
- Best Display—Wellstone Regional Hospital, Chef Greg Stewart
In addition honoring the winning restaurants, GuardiaCare also honored the Today’s Transitions Caregiver of the Year, Cindy Cahalan.
While all of the chocolate entries were unique, perhaps the most distinctive and flavorful was the fruit salsa (Chocolate Savory award winner) from Chef Nancy Russman, of using Zi Olive's Chocolate Balsalmic Vinegar.
Chef Russman has a storied history in the Louisville restaurant scene, from running the Culinary Arts Department at Jefferson Community College to working at four-star restaurants. Chef Russman (or Chef Nancy, as she is known by her students) now spends time working with kids in schools and other local institutions, teaching them how to make better choices about eating. To further her mission, she has published Chef Nancy’s Kids’ Club Cookbook, available locally at Carmichael's Bookstore.
Bummed you missed out on this event?
GuardiaCare, a non-profit organization, will not hold another Chocolate Dreams fundraiser until next year, but it is not too late to help. They welcome volunteers in a variety of capacities, and have a wish-list of needed items listed on their website.
Images: Courtesy GuardiaCare and B.Hendricks