The Loudoun County YMCA will partner with local culinary talents to present the 33rd annual Chocolates Galore & More event at Lansdowne Resort and Spa on Feb. 28.
Chefs and bakers from all over the region will gather to present their desserts and hors d'oeuvres, which guests can enjoy along with music, dancing, champagne and an auction. Loudoun eateries represented at the event will include Sweetz Bakery, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Magnolias at the Mill.
"We are expecting around 900 and up to 1,000 guests this year, and we have 21 different presenters registered right now," YMCA Business Director Kasia Bochenek told the Times-Mirror.
Professional food critics and several guest chefs will act as judges for the evening's signature activity, the Best Taste and Best Presentation Competition, in which the county's most popular restaurants compete in the desserts and hors d'oeuvres categories. At the end of the evening, guest votes will be tallied and winners will be announced for Critic's Choice and People's Choice for Best Taste and Best Presentation.
Leesburg musician and DJ Nathaniel Davis will work the turntables to lure guests onto the dance floor with hours of lively music.
"Last year we switched from having a live band to a DJ. Guests decided that it's much better," Bochenek said. "I'm very, very grateful to Nathaniel that he decided to do this for us. He's awesome."
The event will be from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the resort's ballroom, with voting for the contest taking place until 9 p.m. Tickets cost $85 plus a $6.81 fee and include admission, a voting ballot for all tastings and free-flowing champagne. Other beverages will be available for purchase at a cash bar outside the ballroom. Business or cocktail attire is required.
The 2019 Chocolates Galore & More was the most successful event in YMCA Loudoun's history, attracting nearly 1,000 guests and selling out tickets for the first time since the event's inception. Proceeds fund the YMCA's Caring for Community Needs program, providing Loudoun children with scholarships to summer camps, after-school and preschool programs.
"Each ticket includes a $30 tax deduction. You know that you're doing good things, you're not only buying tickets but you're donating money to the mission of the YMCA," Bochenek said.
More information and tickets are available at loudounchocolates.com.