If you can imagine setting food to music–like bold chocolate paired with bawdy big band–you’ll begin to appreciate what a night in Chicago might look like if you brought chefs, artists and fashionistas together. That’s exactly what happened at the city’s historic Union League Club for the 8th annual For the Love of Chocolate Scholarship Foundation’s Annual Gala. From food to fashion—and with food AS fashion–the night was a feast on all fronts.
An estimated 800 partygoers arrived to a red carpet reception complete with music, art and red carpet paparazzi that evoked both old-Hollywood glamour and modern elegance. VIP guests feasted on a 5-course dinner from celebrated chefs Paul Virant of Vie Restaurant, Yves Roubaud of Shaw’s Crab House, Dominique Tougne of Chez Moi, Paul Kahan and David Posey of Blackbird and Michael Garbin of Union League Club. All attendees wrapped up the night with music and decadent sweets at two Dessert Dance Parties.
Among the more notable highlights was the Cocoa Couture Fashion Show. Models strutted 26 dresses hand-crafted from chocolate, Jelly Belly jellybeans and more chocolate, highlighted with kitchenware accents. Model Christen Nehmer’s purple and yellow flapper dress was six weeks in the making, underwent three redesigns and added 25 pounds of candy to her frame . . . and all in high heels. “I felt like the 20s flapper look truly came out that night,” Nehmer said. “It was like taking a step back in time. The headpiece was kind of a last minute add on, but it totally pulled the whole outfit together and helped the look.”
All this delicious fun raised money for a good cause. Proceeds fund scholarships for pastry arts students at L’Art de la Patisserie and L’Art du Gateau programs at The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago. This year’s event brought in $106,000.