On Feb. 25 top food industry players converged on Chicago for the 7th annual For the Love of Chocolate Foundation gala at the Merchandise Mart. The event, which raises scholarships for students of The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King Colleges at City Colleges of Chicago, drew more than 1,500 guests from around the country.
More than $100,000 in scholarships was earned for students of L’Art de la Pâtisserie and L’Art du Gâteau thanks to various sweet and savory chefs, performers and volunteers. The event was composed of six themed areas featuring samples from various restaurants, cafés, bakeries and candy stores; models showcasing edible couture; and a live DJ.
The centerpiece of the event was a 9.5-ft. by 6-ft. by 5-ft. replica of Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate covered entirely in Jelly Belly® jellybeans and Chocolate Dips®. Also known as "The Bean," the replica was created by The French Pastry School and students from After School Matters, a program that enables teens in the Chicago Public School system to gain career skills through a variety of opportunities. All told, the sculpture took 400 hours of work and 120,000 jellybeans.