Festival of Chocolate Kicks Off Holidays Nov. 16

Selection from the 2012 Festival of Chocolate. Photo by Chad Lauritzen


The Betty Ehart Senior center is the place to formally kickoff the holidays from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 with the annual Festival of Chocolate. The two hour long chocolate bonanza, benefits youth and senior programs in and around the community and will have you a buzz in chocolate therapy and charity giving, all at the same time.

The $20 tickets include an all you can eat array of fine and fabulous chocolates, live music and food and fellowship to set the holiday mood into overdrive. The event is the official kickoff for the Festival of Trees and those in attendance have the first opportunity to view and bid on a variety of items for gifts, for the home or just for fun. The night of chocolate decadence has local chefs, like Los Alamos Medical Center’s, Deb Jaus welcomes the public to their cafeteria, Monday through Friday 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Every day, you will find Jaus and friends preparing homemade entrees, great sandwiches, salads and desserts.

“The dessert I am donating was a favorite Dome Cake called, “Triple Threat,” Jaus said. “The cake is a hollowed dome made from brownies, filled with a chocolate mousse, and sealed with chocolate glaze.”

Selection from the 2012 Festival of Chocolate. Photo by Chad Lauritzen

Chefs like Jaus and Chef Michael Mason and Chef Fred Ortiz cook for the masses daily, serving up smiles and a range of options to delight their patrons palates. The festival allows them to show off some skills not seen on a daily basis. Occasionally the chefs may not disclose their creations until the event begins to unfold. Carmela Martinez wears many hats at the Aspen Ridge Lodge. While many know her for coordinating activities for the retirement community, “built by the community for the community,” they may not know that the woman behind the baking apron is also Martinez.

She will be preparing a, “Chocolate Winter Wonderland,” that will include all forms of chocolate. The Aspen Ridge Lodge is one of two facilities owned by the Los Alamos Retirement Community, who also owns the Somrbrillo Rehabilitation facility. Martinez likes to promote her social hours, which bring together family and friends, allowing new residents a chance to meet staff and other residents. Curtis and Miracle Miller have jumped in with both feet preparing pain au chocolates for the fetching fete, newcomers to the restaurant business, but known to the community already.

Selection from the 2012 Festival of Chocolate. Photo by Chad Lauritzen

“We love seeing smiles on our communities faces, young and old,” Miracle said.

Curtis and Miracle are best known for their customer service and coffee, but burgers and breakfast burritos are a close second. They purchased the restaurant in October and while changing things to make them their own, they report that things are going great.

Tickets are $20 for the two-hour event, which also includes live music from My Blue Heaven. The event raises funds for both the senior center and youth programs with Champions of Youth Ambitions. The chocolate gala is also the official unveiling of the Festival of Trees, which will be on display to the public starting Nov. 18, during normal hours of operation.

Tickets for the Festival of Chocolate can be reserved by calling 662-8920.