Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

A Taste of Chocolate – Fundraising Success

mini chocolate cupcakes with cayenne - miniscupcakes.com
mini chocolate cupcakes with cayenne - miniscupcakes.com

A Taste of Chocolate – Rotary Fundraising Event

Today along with some other Tucson food writers – Edie Jarolim, Rita Connelly, and Mary Paganelli as well as KOLD-TV reporter Mark Stine, I was honored to be chosen as a “celebrity” judge at the Rincon Rotary event – A Taste of Chocolate – at the Doubletree Hotel ballroom.

The Rincon Rotary raises money for local students seeking scholarships and the dictionary project for third graders. Internationally, the Rotary raises money for polio vaccines. According to the gentleman (whose name I don’t recall) said that four countries –Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Nigeria still have polio.

Botton line – The Rotary organization is doing great things for many and having fun along with chocolate while doing good deeds. This was the 4th Annual,  so it’s pretty well established and at the price point of $10/pp – many people can come and be introduced to restaurants, caterers, bakeries, and candy makers.  Okay, so what was the Velvet Bow Pet Grooming Company doing there? Pets? Chocolate? Kudos to them for thinking that it was a good way to get their name out there. Not only did they offer delicious pralines, but 10% off future pet grooming services as well.

 “You’re going to have to spit out your chocolate,” said the nice man giving instructions for how to rate the offerings.

Spit out chocolate?

chocolate shirts for sale
chocolate shirts for sale

The thought never occurred to me but he was right that there was no way that I could eat all of it. I would eat half or take a bite and throw the rest in the trash. I wished for smaller samples. Fortunately, we did not have to taste everything – my tastings were limited to bakeries and just chocolate where other judges tasted restaurants and caterers.

Unfortunately, I didn’t walk away with a list or everyone’s card so I cannot announce all the participants. A few standouts was the chocolate balsamic vinegar from Alfonso Olive Oil in St. Philip’s Plaza. They poured it over pound cake with blueberries. I think a splash of chocolate balsamic vinegar on fresh fruit would be a taste adventure. Or maybe on buttered popcorn? Someone else was making s’mores with chocolate dipped graham crackers. I didn’t taste as the line was long and each s’more was being individually made. The s’mores would be fun to have at a party. Helen’s Bakery offered a red velvet cookie dipped in white chocolate and the Small Planet Bakery’s Mexican empanada with cranberries and chocolate chips was divine. The 6th Street Gym provided chocolate and white milk which if I wasn’t lactose intolerant would’ve paired well with all the chocolates.

Le Bon Gateau Tucson - www.facebook.com/LeBonGateau

 Here are the winners — voted on by the judges:


Zona 78


Bakery – Tie

Bird’s Nest – loved their granola

Le Bon Gateau – loved their “Charlotte”


Just Chocolate

Doubletree Hotel – amazing presentation as well as texture, taste



Creative Catering


If someone has the people’s vote, please email me – karynzoldan@yahoo.com and I will update the blog post.

  1. It was fun wasn’t it? I do feel like a kid on the morning after Halloween (albeit a pretty fancy Halloween.)
    Great piece and great photos, Karyn.

  2. Karyn,
    Thank you so much for agreeing to act as Celebrity Judge for the Rincon Rotary Club’s 4th Annual Taste of Chocolate; your support is very much appreciated! A list of all the particpants can be found at http://www.tucsontasteofchocolate.org.
    Today, the Public voted Le Bon Gateau as their favorite Bakery, Culinary Design as favorite Caterer, Zink’s Treats as favorite “Just Chocolate”, and Dakota Cafe as favorite Restaurant.
    Stay tuned for next year’s event!!!

  3. So much chocolate and so little tummy! The people were wonderful, the participates were wonderful … its was wonderful. Can’t wait till next year. I’ll start cutting back on my calories now!

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