Chocolate Expo @ Maritime Aquarium Norwalk

The Maritime Aquarium is offering a recipe you just can’t beat… especially if you are a foodie, chocoholic and animal lover! Once again, on January 29 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, one of Connecticut’s top attractions, is hosting one of the one of the largest and most unique consumer chocolate events in the United States. Chocoholics will have the opportunity to sample chocolates from 40 local and regional vendors – including top area chocolatiers that will fill the Aquarium galleries, offering samples and sales of their gourmet chocolates, baked goods and specialty foods. In addition, guests can meet “Willy Wonka’s” original Mike TeeVee and sit in on free presentations by celebrity chefs Barret Beyer, Tony Albanese and Larry Rosenberg, as well as famed mentalist The Amazing Kreskin.

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To pack it all in, the Aquarium will stay open two hours longer than normal – until 7 p.m.
The sweetest part of the day, however, is that admission on Jan. 29 costs less than a regular Aquarium ticket. For one day only, guests can enjoy jellyfish and gelato, tree frogs and truffles, crabs and caramels – all at discounted prices, especially with advance online purchase.

Festival attendees will find traditional and gourmet chocolates, as well as specialty offerings like chocolate-covered bacon, chocolate tarts, candy apples, fudge, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate vinaigrettes, and even chocolate-infused Brussels sprouts and chocolate-scented candles.

For ready-to-eat treats, Aurora Gourmet will have their chocolate fountains flowing, while Crazy Crepe Café will be making delicious crepes and Pika’s Farm Table will serve authentic Belgian-style waffles dipped in a choice of white, dark or milk chocolate. Screme Gelato will scoop a variety of unique flavors.
Non-chocolate goodies to be sampled and sold include gourmet tomato sauces, hot sauces, empanadas, nut butters, jams, syrups, sodas, pickles, coffees, horseradish, honey, popcorn, cannolis, cakes, pies, tarts and more. You can even bring home specialty treats for your dog!

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Buy your tickets online – even on the day of The Chocolate Expo – for the deliciously discounted prices of $15 for adults and $10 for children 3-12. (Under 3, free.). Tickets purchased at the door will be $20 for adults and $15 for children. Paid admission on Jan. 29 is required of Maritime Aquarium members: $13 for adults and $8 for children.
(Regular admission to The Maritime Aquarium is $22.95 for adults and $15.95 for children.)

This year, for the first time, an off-peak ticket for admission between 5 & 7 p.m. is available for $10 per person; an even greater discount.

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There will be no IMAX® movie presentations on Jan. 29, so the theater can be used for special presentations, including free 30-minute demonstrations by three celebrity chefs:
– Tony Albanese, pastry designer and former assistant to Buddy Valastro of TV’s “Cake Boss,” at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
– Barret Beyer of Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” at 2 and 4 p.m.
– and Larry Rosenberg, recipe-book author, owner of Bacon Bites and soon-to-be-seen on Food Network, at 1 & 5 p.m.
Plus, at noon, be astounded by The Amazing Kreskin. With a showman’s flair, a comedian’s wit and the capacities of a bona fide mentalist or thought-reader, The Amazing Kreskin dramatizes the unique facets of the human mind. For six decades, he has been wow-ing audiences and talk-show hosts – including Carson, Letterman, Stern and Fallon – with his unknowable insights and answers.

Seating of 310 for the chef demonstrations and The Amazing Kreskin will be on a first-come, first-seated basis. The chefs will be available throughout the day for pictures and autographs.

This year’s Chocolate Expo also celebrates cinematic chocolate history by welcoming Paris Themmen, who played Mike TeeVee – the boy in the cowboy outfit – opposite Gene Wilder in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” Themmen will sign autographs and pose for photographs throughout the day.

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