Hoping, dear readers, that you will accept this blog post as an invitation to get your tickets now, then plan to enjoy all of the chocolate-ty goodness at Sweet Escapes, this Saturday evening April 13 at 7 pm.
The event, now in its 8th year, is once again expertly organized by Chef Ashley Boyd of 300 East restaurant here in Charlotte. This annual sweet and savory chocolate-themed affair is a celebration of chocolate turned fund-raising extravaganza. Wonderful to have an event that celebrates the chocoholic in us all, while allowing us to so easily give back to our community.
Tickets for the Sweet Escapes event are $100 per person. Purchase yours right here and now, and then, your chocolate-laden evening awaits – a sweet escape from it all.
The evening begins at 7 pm on April 13 at the Mint Museum on Randolph Road. Plan to enjoy a buffet of chocolate desserts as well as chocolate-based savory bites from a team of Charlotte’s best chefs and pastry chefs.
Here’s how your attendance and support will help make a house become a home
Sweet Escapes was originally created 8 years ago now, in support of a local Charlotte organization called Community Link.
The mission for Community Link is founded around the principle of helping to secure and sustain safe, decent and affordable housing for all. Donations not only help Community Link clients to eventually secure housing; but provide them with a host of services designed to help achieve financial stability, as well.
Sometimes everyone needs a helping hand and for many individual and families in in 16 counties in North Carolina, the programs at Community Link have helped to make that connection.
Past Sweet Escapes events have collectively raised hundreds of thousands of dollars; and this year, chefs are hoping their culinary efforts will add to this total donation for a cause that, when you get right down to it, affects us all.
So, this is an easy way to help support the cause. Join in the fun, savor the flavors and give back all at the same time.
Did I mention, there will be specialty cocktails….?
And, as if you needed an additional reason to attend – aside from helping others in our community as you graze your way through the sweet and savory chocolate-ty goodness. There will be cocktails.
A trio of cocktails, if fact, and here they are. Moving from left to right: a Chocolate & Mint Egg Cream, made with vodka, dark chocolate, mint, cream and topped off with a splash of Topo Chico. A Sweet Escapes V&T with vodka, Haberdish housemade tonic syrup, Topo Chico, a wedge of lime and grapefruit. And finally, The Happy Go Lucky, made with vodka, Champagne, grapefruit citrus shrub and blood orange tea. All three crafted for the occasion in partnership with Tito Vodka by Charlotte mixologist Colleen Hughes. Colleen is also the creator of the cocktail programs at Haberdish, Crepe Cellar Kitchen and Pub, Sea Level NC, and Growlers Pourhouse.
Chocolate to drink, to admire and to take home, too
Guests can also look forward to a delicious assortment of non-alcoholic dessert bevvies created by Jennifer Cubillos Young, of Queen City Market.
In addition to the sweet and savory bites below, there will also be chocolate to admire. Look for gorgeous chocolate sculpture – suitable for all of your social media photos opts – from chefs Ellen Duke & Kelly Patkus, Johnson & Wales University and take-home bonbons from Johnson and Wales University. And, while you sip and savor, live music for your listening pleasure.
But, that’s not all. Everyone in attendance will enjoy the Sweet Escapes’ silent auction with all kinds of great auctions items. All to benefit Community Link and their tireless work to battle our affordable housing crisis in Charlotte.
More Talent and a Taste of the Menu
All together these talented Charlotte NC chefs and pastry chefs are cooking with pounds of internationally known Callebaut chocolate for the occasion. Then, chefs who are preparing savory items, paired the chocolate with locally grown ingredients donated by Charlotte’s own, Freshlist. You can certainly anticipate a sweet and savory spread you are going to love.
To that end, here is a taste of what you can expect to enjoy.
From Adam Duke of Duke’s Bread
Who among us wouldn’t love a NC Sweet Potato Bonbon with Toasted Marshmallow, a White Chocolate Sphere, Maple. Bourbon Rice Crispies and Popcorn – can’t wait!
From Samantha Allen of Wentworth & Fenn
A Dark Chocolate & Smoked Hickory Macaron that looks just like this one, straight off the new Wentworth & Fenn Food truck; but made, instead with White Chocolate Dust, Cracked Black Pepper Cremeux, and Bacon Lace! Bacon Lace!
From Chef Joel Talento of Johnson & Wales
A lovely brown butter pate sable with a strawberry sorrel bavarian and a whipped white chocolate ganache. The plate is finished with strawberry gel, and dehydrated meringues for a perfect bite of Spring.
From Miranda Brown at The Asbury
A smaller bite-sized version of this Caramelized White Chocolate and Miso Blondie, now on the dessert menu at The Asbury. The sauce is Miso Butterscotch, oh my! And on the side, a Vanilla Bean Cremeux.
Fun Fact to go with this one. Miranda is keeping it local and is using Miso Masters Miso in the blondie and in the butterscotch sauce.
Did you know that Miso Masters, located in Asheville NC is USDA certified organic miso, available in 6 delicious varieties at most every grocery store in town and online, and is the largest producer of miso in the world! How’s that for Got To Be NC!
Bo Southivorarat from Southminster
Bo is a part of the talented team at Southminster Charlotte Senior Living and for this event she is preparing a mango butter ganache tart with a yuzu pate de fruit and Pandan marshmallow drops.
Not sure what a Pandan marshmallow drop is? It looks like a candy on the outside, but on the inside its filled with chocolate covered marshmallow cream. Yes, please!
Blair & Margo Potts from Potts Chocolate
These are Potts Chocolate bars; made from the same chocolate Blair Potts uses to craft the delicious Potts truffles. At Sweet Escapes plan to enjoy a truffle tasting and see which one is your favorite.
And now, on the savory side of your Sweet Escapes evening…
Look for Chefs Paul Malcolm and Brian Campbell of Streamline Kitchen. These two will step outside their big Streamline trailer food truck for the evening to serve guests an all local plate of Corn Polenta, topped with Pork Mole and a side Jicama and Radish Slaw
Chef Quientina Stewart of Johnson & Wales University will offer her take on Caribbean Duck Confit. Enjoy this savory plate with a side of Spicy Mango Slaw, Roti Flatbread and Cilantro Crema.
All of this while, Chefs Ryan Forte and Michael Bowling of Southminster serve up a Chocolate-Infused Chicken Harissa with Chèvre and a Chocolate-Fig-Nut Bread Crostini.
Chef Chris Young of Queen City Market joins the team of chefs on the savory side of things with his Black Garlic hummus and pickled beet salad, drizzled with smoked cocoa nib infused EVOO, and a side of housemade laffa.
And, Chef Joy Turner of Pine Island Country Club presents her Saturday night answer to Taco Tuesdays with Chicken & Pork Taco, Mole Sauce, Chili Lime Slaw, Pickles & Crema, ole!
Don’t Miss It
Sweet Escapes only happens once a year and this weekend is your opportunity to enjoy it all. Get your tickets now and be sure to #TellThemHeidiSentYou