Don’t miss Decadence on Feb. 16

Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute invites the whole community to a sweet celebration.

Decadence 2013, NC’s third annual celebration of chocolate and Icewine, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.

This year, the event will feature celebrity chefs – including ‘godfather of the grill’ Ted Reader, Carl Heinrich from Top Chef Canada; and Food Network celebrity Anna Olson – two student competitions; a variety of classes geared to chocolate, wine and beer enthusiasts; and a full roster of family-friendly fun.

“Decadence is an opportunity for the CFWI to not only showcase the skills of our own culinary students – as well as NC’s wine and beer students – but those from across Canada and the United States,” said Jon Ogryzlo, dean of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute “We welcome the public to visit our Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, connect with our students, and learn more about chocolate and icewine as part of our annual celebration.”

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Feb. 16, visitors are welcome to the NOTL Campus to sample great food, participate in classes, and enjoy a variety of activities. They can indulge in delicious baked goods prepared by CFWI at Decadence bake shops; get pampered with chocolate mini-manicures from NC Teaching Spa ($5), and enjoy a Decadence BBQ with celebrity chef Ted Reader. Attractions also include on-site ice carving, a birds of prey presentation, free horse-drawn carriage rides, and free face-painting, balloon making and glitter tattoos.

Children seven to nine, and 10-13 can enroll in a chocolate camp where they will learn all about chocolate from expert chef professors at the CFWI ($10 per child, advance registration – limited spaces available).

Free presentations will be underway at the Chocolate Theatre throughout the day. Featured presentations include chef professor Mark Picone and NC Teaching Winery assistant winemaker Gavin Robertson (11 a.m.), Food network celebrity Anna Olson (noon), Cacao Barry Chocolate Ambassador and World Chocolate Master Joseph Montinaro (1 p.m.), Debi Pratt from Inniskillin and estate chef David Penny (2 p.m.), and Top Chef Canada’s Carl Heinrich (3 p.m.).

The CFWI also presents wine and beer tasting seminars ($10 per person, advance registration – limited spaces). At noon, students from the College’s Wine and Viticulture Technician program will present a seminar on Icewine cocktails. Students of the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program will present a seminar on beer cocktails at 1:30 p.m. At 3 p.m., Brewmaster Jon Downing, wine program coordinator Jennifer Wilhelm and chef professor Alan Kerr will present a seminar on Beer and Food, and Wine and Food and pairings (3 p.m.).

In the CFWI’s culinary lab, students from NC’s CFWI will vie for pastry supremacy at Decadence’s annual National Student Pastry Competition facing student challengers from Humber College and Johnson and Wales University (U.S.). The competition will take place on Feb. 16 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The winner will be announced on Feb. 17.

The annual Decadence Gala Saturday evening at Benchmark Restaurant has an exciting new twist this year with the debut of the Battle of Ontario competition. Teams from Fanshawe College, Humber College, Canadore College and Fleming College will each produce a dish from selected Ontario-based products, while Niagara College students prepare the reception food and chocolate desserts. Guests vote for their favourite dish to determine the winner. The evening will be guided by Top Chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich and Food network celebrity Anna Olson. A variety of wines, including selections from the NC Teaching Winery, will be served, as well as beer custom-crafted for the event by students at NC’s Teaching Brewery.

Decadence 2013 will wrap up with a Decadence Brunch on Sunday, February 17, with seatings at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Cost is $30 per person.

For more details, a full schedule of Decadence 2013 event listings and ticket info, click here.

Seminars and gala and brunch have limited seating. Reserve in advance by calling 905-641-2252 ext. 4619.

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