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A chocolate lover's dream

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By Special to the Monitor

The Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization Community Health Council is offering a sweet deal, feast on chocolate while supporting good causes. The third annual Festival of Chocolate will be held from 7-9 p.m. Saturday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. The slightly formal affair may include dancing and feature Blue Heaven.“They really love to do this event, because they have people who like to dance, people love their music,” Pauline Powell Schneider, LARSO director, said.Funds raised through the elegant evening will benefit the LARSO and the Community Health Council. The organizations have united in their efforts to provide programs that aid every age group in the community.Chefs Michael Mason, Fred Ortiz and Edwardo Rivera are uniting their culinary talents to produce several spectacular sweets for the night. Mason and Ortiz delight the taste buds of local seniors on a daily basis at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, while Rivera kicks up hospitality a notch for the residences of both Sombrillo and Aspen Ridge Lodge.Mason will be working with apprentice Dante Chapman, this year. A plan is in the works for a “pumpkin pie,” which will actually be constructed from a variety of chocolate confections. “The chefs work so hard for this event. They want people to be able to try chocolate in ways they have never seen before,” Schneider said.The second annual event showcased the sheer talent of these chefs with edible treasure chests, Yule logs and a variety of fudge. Additional contributions from chef Diego Torres, truffles from CB Fox, Plaza Bakery, Schwans home delivery, Target, Trader Joes and more provided chocolate ristras and other samplings.This year, participants will see the return of the endless chocolate fountain with a host of items for dipping. Then, Ben Martinez of Bee Smart catering will round out the evening with fruit to cleanse the palette during the two-hour taste fest.An added benefit to the Festival of Chocolate is the unveiling of the Festival of Trees. Those attending the culinary nosh are permitted to see the public display for the first time. Holiday trees and wreaths in a variety of sizes will be auctioned off by silent auction and raffle to benefit the community programs as well.Pictures from both festivals are available on the Community Health Council web site, www.lafamilycouncil.org/mch.Tickets to the Festival of Chocolate are $20 each and are available through the Betty Ehart Senior Center, the White Rock Senior Center or by calling the Los Alamos Resource directory at 699-5969.