NWCF will be held in Seattle over the weekend of September 20th through 22nd at the Washington State Convention Center (800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA 98101). The main festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, there will be a separate VIP Awards party from 7 to 11 p.m.
Here's a list of chocolate makers currently participating in the festival, most of which will have a booth at which to taste and purchase chocolate bars: Caribeans, Chocolate Conspiracy, Dandelion, Dick Taylor, Divine, Fearless, French Broad, Fresco, Grenada, Kallari, Lillie Belle Farms, Lonohana, Madre, Olive and Sinclair, Organic Fair, Pacari, Raaka, Rogue, Scharffen Berger, Taza, Theo, and Zotter. More than two dozen chocolatiers and chefs will also be present.
In addition to meeting the people who make your chocolate and tasting their wonderful creations, you'll have the opportunity to attend some of the more than 40 workshops and classes. While I love trying new chocolate (which varies with every harvest and formulation), I highly recommend attending several classes. They are a wonderful introduction to many aspects of chocolate: cacao farming, trade equity, sustainability, genetics, origins, history, crafting, evaluating, etc. You can read more about the entire weekend on their website: http://www.nwchocolate.com/.
This year, there is also a separate new professional series (that includes admission to the festival), with three full days of classes. Friday is training on how to evaluate cacao. Saturday's classes are about crafting bean to bar chocolate. Sunday is for chocolatiers and tasters.
If you can only attend one day, don't worry -- you will still get nearly the full experience. The classes are all different, so you may want to choose which day based on the classes you'd like to attend. Saturday will be more crowded, and by Sunday afternoon there may be some chocolate that is no longer available.
You can purchase any of the following tickets in advance and print or pick up your non-transferable ticket at Will Call with photo identification:
- $62.22 full weekend pass [$65 at the door]
- $34.35 one day pass (age 13+) [$35 at the door]
- $73.37 one day family pass (2 people 13+ plus 2 children 5-12) [$75 at the door]
- $73.37 Friday Awards party [$75 at the door]
- $140.28 VIP full weekend pass (includes Friday party, Aphrodisiac Room tastings, priority workshop seating) [$145 at the door]
- $279.67 Pro-Series pass