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(article, Mark Douglas)
The day after Halloween, people were already turning their focus to Thanksgiving and, yes, Christmas — but not me. I want some more time to contemplate candy. Clay Gordon, in his recent Dinner Guest Blog post "Taste test," talked about the basics of tasting chocolate, and that reminded me that Le Chocolate Show New York hits Manhattan this weekend (November 9th-11th). I attended that show a few years back, and it's an experience I won't soon forget: Booth after booth of delicious, chocolatey chocolate. [%image edibleboxholiday float=left width=250 caption="Edible Chocolate Box: Holiday Collection, from Charles Chocolates"] But, sadly, it ain't happening for me this year. Having lived in the NYC area for years, I have to admit I don't miss it too much, but not being able to do a last-minute trip into the city for an event like this disappoints. How could I enjoy the experience vicariously? I sent a quick note to Emily Stone of Chocolate in Context, my favorite chocoholic blogger, and soon I was in touch with Chuck Siegel of Charles Chocolates. We talked a little, and then we talked some more, and we came up with a wonderful opportunity: Culinate will furnish a reader and a guest with two one-day tickets to the show (you pick the day). The lucky pair will then get a personal tour of the show by Chuck, a chocolatier who knows his way around chocolate, and some special chocolate tastings and treats from Charles Chocolates. For those who can't be in Manhattan over the weekend, Chuck offered a wonderful second gift of an Edible Chocolate Box. Chocolate within chocolate. Yum. People, this is like winning Willy Wonka's golden ticket! (I know, I don't get out enough.) Entering to win either prize is as simple as leaving a comment below stating: list(compact). # why you deserve, or need, to go to Le Chocolate Show New York, or # if you can't attend or don't live near Manhattan, with whom would you share your Edible Chocolate Box. We will pick one winner for each prize from all the comments entered below between Tuesday, November 6, at noon PST and Thursday, November 8, at noon PST. The contest has ended, we will announce the winners soon! Congratulations to our winners: Lori and Stu from NYC for the show tickets and tour, and, as yet to be claimed, the anonymous winner the Edible Chocolate Box_ And for the rest of us . . . Chuck has offered to give 10 percent off any order online at Charles Chocolates. Just enter the promotion code "Culinate" with your order before November 30th, 2007. The same secret code also works if you happen by Charles' booth at the chocolate show this week. Enjoy!