On January 8th, 2017, I attended an event held by Barcelona Enterprises called the LA Chocolate & Pastry Festival 2017. It's the first dessert festival I have ever attended (how many dessert festivals are there?!), and it blew my mind. Here's what it's like.

The Venue

The event took place at Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza. The venue was beautifully decorated with elements from the Alice in the Wonderland universe. The crew wore themed costumes and poured drinks for the guests as they entered.

The Noms

chocolate, cake
Joy Stanley Chandra

The event housed brands that offered accessories and other fashion items, as well as wine, beer, and spirit. But I was there for the pâtisserie. The sophisticated way each of the pastries were presented did not help my self-control.

cookie, chocolate, cupcake, cake
Joy Stanley Chandra
There were a lot of variations of the desserts offered—including chocolate mousse with whiskey (try making a virgin version here), zeppole, white chocolate cheesecake (no oven? I got you), and blood orange mimosa cake. Are you drooling yet?

birthday cake, cake
Joy Stanley Chandra

The best thing I saw and ate was the White Chocolate Rose Baklava by Baklavalicious. Rose-flavored sweets always have my heart. The balance between the crunch and the gooey goodness in the baklava is flawless. I had to make note for the next time I bake my own baklava

Another dessert item that caught my eye was the Matcha Green Tea Toffee by McFaddy Candy Co. Oh, and Bottega Louie never disappoints me with their macarons.

One item I found very interesting was the Bone Marrow Caramel Bar with Chocolate Ganache. I asked pastry chef Gail Romulo from Alexander's Steakhouse to elaborate on it, and she told me that the fat was collected from roasted bone marrow, rendered (melted and purified), and then incorporated into the caramel. That's a whole new level of dessert that I've never experienced before.

The caramel bar is incredibly rich, both from the ganache and the bone marrow caramel. Sea salt sprinkled on top of the treat counterbalances its richness. It is definitely a unique take on caramel bars, although I would say the distinct smell might be a turnoff for dessert.

Sweets for a Sweet Cause

The most important thing about this event is that is benefits the largest private funder for childhood cancer research grants in the nation, St. Baldrick's Foundation. This makes the event that much sweeter knowing that all proceeds are donated to a greater cause.