Chocolate Bash has cosmopolitan flavor

Odom employees Amanda Swanson (right) and Carey Sphon (left) offer guests beverages during the Chocloate Bash held Saturday at the UAF Museum of the North. Photo by Angela Milliron/The Sun Star

By Angela Milliron
Sun Star Contributor

The Fairbanks community welcomed the sweetest sign of spring this past weekend during the University of Alaska Museum of the North’s 23rd Chocolate Bash. Chocolate lovers and wine connoisseurs from around the city had eagerly awaited the return of the annual event.

This year’s theme, A Passport to Chocolate, featured a selection of wines, hors d’oeuvres, and chocolates from around the world. The beautiful array of treats complimented an evening of smooth jazz music by the Ron Veliz Trio, a local ensemble.

The event was styled as a wine tasting giving guests the opportunity to sample savory international hors d’oeuvres paired with wines from their respective regions. Wines were featured from Argentina, Chile, Italy, Spain and the United States.

The enticing array of confections ranged from Italian Tiramisu to Argentine Yerba Maté Truffles. Chocolate dipped red peppers and delicious liqueurs were presented with decorative sculptures that lined the tables and all the decadence was for a good cause.

This year’s Chocolate Bash served as a fundraiser for the museum endowment fund. The fund supports exhibits, research and educational programs for the University of Alaska Museum, something beneficial for university affiliates and Fairbanks community members alike.

“It supports research and things like UAF students being able to go out in the field,” said organizer Kerynn Fisher. Funds also support museum exhibits, something everyone in the Fairbanks community can learn from and appreciate in both an educational and entertaining manner.

Last year’s event was cancelled because of the economy’s effect on local restaurants and their ability to donate.

“Donations have had a big impact on the event this year. Based on what happened last year, we’ve changed the format of the Chocolate Bash a bit,” Fisher said. She said that rather than rely on restaurant participation they would have NANA cater the event with wine and beer donations from Odom Company. “It will be interesting to see what people thought about this year’s event because of all the changes from past years,” she said.

The museum has a maximum capacity of 450 people. In prior years only 350 to 400 tickets were available because of the presence of restaurant workers. With those individuals absent there were more tickets available for the general public to purchase.

Two guests will be the recipients of a pair of round-trip tickets on Alaska Airlines for the evening’s door prize. The winners will be announced this week.

Fisher said she feels really good about the turn out and looks forward to next year’s event. “I don’t know the final ticket count, but the crowd size feels really good.”

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