April seems to be the “it” month for food events in Orlando, doesn’t it? There was Taste of Winter Park, Taste of College Park, multiple Food Truck Bazaars, and this coming, final weekend is no exception! There are four major events going on this weekend, and I encourage you to visit at least one or two of them; they all seem like such fun!
The Festival of Chocolate
The Festival of Chocolate runs from Friday, April 27th through Sunday, April 29th at the UCF Arena. The event includes activities for adults and children alike, so bring the whole family if you can! Tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children (for one day at the festival) and include entrance to most of the competitions and demonstrations throughout the festival. Advance ticket purchases through the website also include entry into a drawing to help judge the “Best of” chocolate indulgence competition (for adults) and in the ice cream eating and cookie stacking competitions (for children). Several vendors will also be present and selling their best confectioneries all in exchange for “chocolate chip” coins that can be purchased either in advance or at the festival itself ($1 = 1 coin).
Want to make your experience at the festival even more exciting? Sign up for one of the chocolate classes that are being offered! For $20, you can take a class in such topics as creating gumpaste roses, making chocolate truffles, cupcake decorating, and many more. There are also chocolate and wine pairings throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday that cost an additioal $10 (and are obviously for guests 21 and older only).
On Friday night only, visitors to the Festival can see The Cocoa Couture Fashion Show at 8:00pm. What a cool way to start the weekend!
The thing that excites me the most about the event, though? The free demonstrations! I can’t wait to see Chef David Ramirez from the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort talk about and demonstrate the art of chocolate showpiece making, and also to see Chef David Arnold of MTI Culinary Arts talk about making savory dishes from chocolate (something new for me!).
If you want to purchase tickets to the Festival of Chocolate, you can follow this link here.
On Friday night, April 27th, in Altamonte Springs’ Cranes Roost Park is Winestock 2012. The event is from 7pm until 10pm, with ticket costs of $30 in advance and $40 on the day of. There will be live music and plenty of wine and craft beer to go around. In addition, several local restaurants (including Cafe Murano and Rangetsu) will have food available for an additional charge. Tickets for Winestock can be purchased here or at Cork & Olive on Lake Mary Blvd in Lake Mary.
Central Florida Food Blogger Bake Sale
This event is one for a great cause. My friends Julie (from The Little Kitchen) and Katie (of Katie’s Cucina) have organized this amazing bake sale to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign as part of the National Food Blogger Bake Sale.
Julie, Katie, and several other local food bloggers will be set up on Saturday, April 28th from 10am until 1pm at 427 S. New York Ave in Winter Park outside of the Winter Park Harvest Festival offices. Last year they raised $1300 through their bake sale; this year they have upped their goal to $2000. I was unable to participate this year, but I will definitely be stopping by to purchase some goodies and help them reach their goal!
A few of the bloggers are also taking pre-orders for baked goods, and Julie is even willing to ship some of her amazing treats for a donation of $100! For more information, visit Julie’s blog post here and Katie’s post here.
The Great American Pie Festival
On Saturday, April 28th, and Sunday, April 29th, the Great American Pie Festival is taking over downtown Celebration! The Never-Ending Pie Buffet ($10 for adults and $5 for children) is the biggest draw for the festival, but there will also be numerous demonstrations, entertainment, pie decorating, and (of course!) a pie eating contest!
For those of you with children, there is a children’s area that offers activities (pie making and eating), bounce houses, and crafts. The children’s area has a fee of $10 per child.
Also, if you follow the pie festival on Twitter and Facebook, they are giving away sets of two pie buffet tickets each day!
Each evening there will also be an awards ceremony for the Crisco National Pie Championships (at least one of these has been aired on the Food Network in the past), with the amateur awards on Saturday and the professional and junior awards on Sunday.
For a full schedule of the festival’s various activities, click here.
Taste of Pointe Orlando
On Sunday, April 29th, from 2pm until 5pm, most of the restaurants at Pointe Orlando are gathering together to offer a taste of the venue for those who purchase tickets. Popular local eateries including Copper Canyon Grill, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and Taverna Opa will all be offering samplings of their menu items; it’s sure to be a fun (albeit filling!) event!
Tickets for Taste of Pointe Orlando are $30 and can be purchased here.
The Daily City Food Truck Bazaar
This week’s food truck bazaar is on Sunday, April 29th, in downtown Avalon Park from 5pm until 8pm. This event always promises great food and a great time. Bring chairs and be ready to meet lots of fellow foodies and eat amazing food! In the past, there have been anywhere from 8 up to 30 plus trucks at the bazaar, so there is always something for everyone. Bring the whole family! You can read about my first trip to a Daily City Food Truck Bazaar here.
This is just a sampling of the events going on around town this weekend! Are you planning to attend any of them? Let me know in the comments, and maybe I will see you there!