LEWISTON — The Green Ladle’s Seventh Annual Chocolat! was a great — and delicious — success.

This year, eight local vendors donated their time and cuisine to support the Lewiston middle and high schools and The Green Ladle, as well as provide positive publicity for their business. 

Each attendee — of which there were over 350 — paid a $10 entry fee to be able to try chocolate goodies from each participating vendor. Some options were raspberry-infused brownies, frozen yogurt cookie sandwiches, bananas foster and chili and espresso mousse. Each creation was as delicious and extravagant as the next. 

It was also a competition — after participants tried all the desserts, they were able to cast a vote for their favorite treat.

Event organizer Mike Courchesne came up with the idea seven years ago to help raise money for student activities. Charlotte Niles and Amy DiBenzo are his trainees, both of whom he hopes will take over for him next year.

“I’m getting old,” he said.

Niles explained that they’ve been selling tickets since early December. The event was so successful this year that they ran out of brochures, even after printing more. 

Co-chairman Sloan Shevrin is in charge of putting the vendors together, and was excited to say almost all of them have participated since the beginning.

“Rails is new this year,” she said. “It’s their first time at Chocolat.”

Students from the Green Ladle provided all of the non-chocolate food for when participants had loaded up on too much sugar and needed a break in the form of all things fried. 

“It’s also a great way for parents, staff, and students to connect on a more social level,” Niles joked. “Students can see their teachers are real people who eat food.” 

The money raised from the event goes toward six different middle school sports teams, yearbook, drama, and cribbage, as well as a $500 scholarship for The Green Ladle.

“We really want to thank all the vendors for volunteering their time and food, as well as the staff and students at The Green Ladle for their help.” Courchesne said.

This year’s vendors were Bates College, Maine Gourmet Chocolates, Top It Frozen Yogurt Bar, Rolly’s Diner, Central Maine Community College, Russell Park, Rails, and Marley’s Chocolate Lab. 

Between staff, volunteers, Green Ladle students and vendors, there were about 50 people working the event to ensure it ran smoothly. 

“Next year’s Chocolat! is scheduled for Jan. 29, 2017,” Shevrin said. “It’s always the last Sunday of January because there’s no football on.”

Chocolat! winners
 
Chocoholics Dream (judged by professional chocolatiers)
1 – Russell Park Manor
2 – Marley’s Chocolate Lab
3 – Maine Gourmet Chocolate
 
Decadent Display (judged by artists)
1 – Russell Park Manor
2 – Rolly’s Diner
3 – Rails
 
Candy is Dandy (judged by the public)
1 – Russell Park Manor
2 – Bates College
3 – CMCC 

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