Valentine chocolate fun at the bookstore

Heart-shaped chocolate boxes filled with goodies will be on sale in bookstore and Cuddy Hall for Valentine’s Day. (Photo by Lynette Peplow.)

Heart-shaped chocolate boxes filled with goodies will be on sale in bookstore and Cuddy Hall for Valentine’s Day. (Photo by Lynette Peplow.)

Chocolate. Some revere it as an aphrodisiac, a food of love or lust. For others it is a sinful pleasure that evokes guilt and self-loathing. Then there are those who simply enjoy it and move on.

Whatever your relationship with chocolate may be, all are invited to join Chef Vern Wolfram from the Department of Culinary Arts and Hospitality at 1 p.m. Feb. 13 in the UAA Bookstore, for a free Valentine’s Day chocolate art demonstration. Assisting him will be students from his advanced baking class.

“People who come are served all these different chocolates — white, dark, bittersweet, European. It’s common sense to be treated royally and to be pampered while Chef Vern talks about the chemical nature of chocolate,” Rachel Epstein, special events coordinator of the bookstore, said.

Epstein said Wolfram holds chocolate demonstrations at the bookstore regularly throughout the year, such as “Lucky Chocolates” during St. Patrick’s Day. There are times Wolfram brought chocolate facemasks, treasure boxes and fondues to dip bread in.

Students will sample an array of goodies for this event. Epstein said that something new and surprising will be at the event. There will also be “fancier” displays for sale.

“This year we made heart-shaped chocolate boxes that will be filled with truffles and other chocolate treats that will be available for purchase in honor of Valentine’s Day. They make great gifts for your sweetheart, or a very comforting consolation if you’re on your own this Valentine’s Day,” Sammi Wagner, Wolfram’s lab aide, said.

Wagner said the price of the chocolate boxes will range from $15 to $50 depending on the weight of the box. She also said a sale cart will be in the Cuddy Hall Feb. 13 -14.

Though Chef Vern’s well-known name is typically the attractant — other than the chocolate, of course — Epstein said that his students put in a lot of hard work and preparation to make it all happen. She hopes other students will learn from their examples of generosity.

“Many of the students can’t wait to get their hands on chocolate. Lucky for them, it usually doesn’t take long for them to be up to their elbows in rich, dark chocolate,” Wagner said. “We make truffles, filled chocolates, chocolate sculptures and garnishes for desserts.”

Wolfram shared a quote he has sprawled out on a poster in the bakery.

Simply put: “Forget love, wouldn’t you rather fall in chocolate?”

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