For the second year in a row, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company has hosted an exhibit at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, the annual fall foodie event held at Walt Disney World Resort. The exhibit is one of the sweetest surprises of the festival, focusing on the art and artistry of chocolate-making and design.
Ghirardelli’s “The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar” exhibit is located at the Festival Welcome Center, the former Wonders of Life pavilion at Epcot’s Future World.
“The Chocolate Experience” is designed to appeal to the chocolate lover through multiple senses. The exhibit includes an understated display introducing a brief history of chocolate, free samples of Ghirardelli chocolate squares, a small bar offering drinking chocolate and wine for purchase, and Ghirardelli products for sale.
But the pièce de résistance of the exhibit? The chocolate sculpture designed by Walt Disney World pastry chefs from the theme parks and hotels. The Disney chefs’ designs re-interpret scenes from classic Disney animated films or represent natural landscapes. Represented in the sculptures are movies from “Fantasia” to “The Lion King” or such picturesque settings as Monument Valley and the Eiffel Tower.
Collectively, the detailed and colorful chocolate sculptures demonstrate the chefs skilled chocolate-patisserie techniques as well as a range of aesthetic approaches. Some pieces are highly ornate, while others are more minimalistic. Some figures incorporate a broad color palette and others are more muted. Some Disney chefs created chocolate sculptures with an almost photo-realistic, while other chefs others take a more “cartoonish” approach.
All, however, are mouth-wateringly and jaw-droppingly beautiful. See the accompanying list for a closer look at the chocolate sculptures showcased at Ghirardelli’s "The Chocolate Experience."
The 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs through Nov. 11 and is included with Epcot admission.