The 14th Annual New York Chocolate Show kicked off on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011, at Metropolitan Pavilion with an opening night preview and stunning fashion show that was as couture as the runways of Paris or Milan.

Cocktail hour featured drinks by Rums of Puerto Rico and delicious tastings from venues such as Casa Nonna, Cascabel Taqueria and Serendipity 3.  All the ladies fell in love with Pastry Chef Anthony Pena’s booth showing off his painstakingly hand painted chocolate stilettos and custom cupcakes.

DJ Ray Jarrell built up anticipation for the main event, as guests grabbed a glass of Pol Roger Champagne and took their seats for the night’s entertainment.

New York Chocolate Show founders Sylvie Douce and Francois Jeantet introduced the host of the evening, George Duran of TLC’s Ultimate Cake-Off and Food Network’s Ham on the Street shows.  Duran announced fifteen creations that were each more audacious that the last, culminating in a finale that featured the designers and chefs who made the costumes strutting their stuff with the models.

With the theme of the evening celebrating Broadway, there were designs inspired by oldies-but-goodies like Gypsy and Can-Can as well as new hits such as Addams Family and Wicked.  The dress that stole the spotlight was a showgirl-style costume glistening with crystals and chocolate and based upon the show Follies.  Executive Pastry Chef Steve Evetts of the New York Marriott Marquis and Tony award winning costume designer Gregg Barnes took a bow to big cheers for their stunning masterpiece!

Runway costumes were quickly moved to the expo hall for display and smelled so good you wanted to take a bite of their outfit!  After the show (presented by title sponsor Lincoln luxury automobiles), guests enjoyed walking the aisles of the chocolate expo as well as participating in a silent auction to support Groove with Me Charity.

Some of the same vendors have participated in the event for several years such as Dacor (which puts on many of the live instructional demos during the show weekend), Jacques Torres Chocolates, Payard Patisserie, and Spices & Tease.

There were a few new booths catching attention this year like Les Cinque Amandes, Maha Chocolate, Prestat (favored by Prince William and Duchess Catherine) and jewelry by Sweet Factory, but nobody tops our list more than Peanut Butter Co. for their yummy spread that brings out the kid in us every time!  (Have you been to their sandwich shop in Greenwich Village?  Every item on the menu is amazing!)

As if all the chocolate tastings at the booths and take-home samples weren’t enough, the sponsor gift bags handed out to VIP and Press were over-the-top-decadent.  Stuffed with generous-portioned dark chocolate bars, full size bottles of Palmer Skincare cocoa butter, a silver wine bottle stopper and goodies such as caramel filled chocolates in the shape of Buddha, it was a chocolate lover’s jackpot.

 The night was a huge success with media snapping photos and filming coverage at every turn, and we can only look forward to more indulgences next year at the 15th annual show!