The Art of Chocolate

Decadence in the Halls of Featherstone Center for the Arts

When you think of chocolate, art doesn’t necessarily come to mind. Things like indulgence, decadence, maybe late-night cravings are more like it. But one visit to the at , and you’ll be sure to add art to your list of chocolate definitions.

Festivities start this Friday, October 7 with a S’mores and More Preview Party hosted by Malcolm and Jeanne Campbell. The Cambells, who founded the Art of Chocolate Festival eight years ago, used to own the New Jersey–based Van Leer Chocolate Corporation and founded with their daughter Jan in 1984.

“We'll be roasting marshmallows over our fire pit and crafting delicious s'mores,” said Featherstone’s Assistant Director Emme Brown of Friday evening’s plans. The cost of $50 not only gets you said s’mores, it also includes a room full of chocolate temptations, wine, champagne and chocolate martinis.

The festival continues on Saturday and Sunday with two tastes for $5 and five tastes for $10. These “tastes” are samples of some of the Island’s greatest chocolate sensations. The likes of brownies, the gluten free chocolate macaroons, ’s chocolate snails, chocolate mousse by ’s chef/owner Peter Smyth – simply to name a few. “New to the Chocolate Festival this year are Jan Buhrman of and the will be offering their chocolate bread pudding with cherry ganache,” said Brown.

Keeping with tradition are a chocolate fountain that Willy Wonka would be proud of and a chocolate tempering and dipping demonstration by Brenda Mastramonico. There will be history, too, in the form of artifacts from the early days of chocolate making and a collection of books and cookbooks.

And since chocolate brings out the kid in all of us, there is a special chocolate-themed art class on Saturday morning. The class called, “The Reason I Like Chocolate – It Makes Me Happy!” is named for Nikki Giovanni’s poem “The Reason I Like Chocolate.” Kids of all ages are invited to take part in making and painting with the day’s special ingredient, with promises of a “silly and SWEET day!”

The 8th Annual Chocolate Preview Party: S'Mores & More! will take place Friday, October 7, 7 –9 p.m. in the Virginia Weston Besse Gallery at Featherstone Center for the Arts.

The 8th Annual Art of Chocolate Festival will take place October 8–9,  noon–4 p.m. in the Virginia Weston Besse Gallery at Featherstone Center for the Arts.


William Waterway October 07, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I enjoyed attending the grand opening this past Friday evening. As a chocolate connoisseur, I was impressed by the selection and presentation so many varieties of this gift from the gods. I tasted a little of everything offered at the festival, then dove in for a big slice of a dark chocolate cake accented with flakes of dark chocolate for icing - one of the best pieces of chocolate cake I've ever experienced. Thank you Featherstone for this delicious annual signature event, and thank you Malcolm Campbell, whose wife, Jeanne, inspired this chocolate festival. To add a bit of history - Jeanne Campbell's dad owned the former Van Leer Chocolate Company in New Jersey, and her husband, Malcolm, worked for the company, and developed a life career as a chocolatier. Jeanne's father, brother, two sons, and brother's two sons all worked for the company. The Campbell's daughter, Jan, worked for the company during college vacations, and in 1984 - Jan founded Chilmark Chocolates.
Mathea Morais October 07, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Thanks for this William! I wasn't able to make it to the opening this year and missed it very much!


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