It was a Wonka wonderland on West Campus

Adriana King

Every two years, the culinary program at Del Mar holds a class devoted solely to one of the most popular treats: chocolate. At the end of this course, students are challenged to create their very own creations, as long as chocolate is a key ingredient, and present them during the “Chocolate Gala.”

This year the gala took place on April 20 in the restaurant management building on West Campus. Everyone was invited to come see and enjoy the outcome of several weeks of emersion into the world of chocolate.

Thirteen students participated in the event, which boasted dozens of sweet treats, plus savory dishes like enchiladas, stew and chili. A large aquarium sat in the center of the spread, filled with coral, fish and other items found in the sea that the students made themselves, all edible and made out of chocolate and sugar.

“I learned a lot about chocolate, it’s amazing. The difference between the expensive chocolate versus a Hershey bar is huge,” said Christa Pruesser, who made over five different candies for the event.

The students didn’t only learn how to prepare chocolates, but also the history, pairings and more.

“You get to know the history of chocolate,” said Jameson Bucsit. “I tasted chocolate from the early ages and it had no sugar and was really bitter. I thought, ‘This is really how it started?’”

Claudia Hurt, assistant professor of hospitality management and teacher of the chocolate class, wants students to be able to take what they learn in the course and use it in the future.

“It’s an art that’s getting lost. We’re helping them develop skills they can use,” Hurt said. “This is the final project for my chocolate class. It’s nice to see people enjoy the fruits of our labor.”

For some students, this class was just another course in their degree plan, but others left more enriched than they had anticipated.

“It was really fascinating, I wanted to learn more,” said Cristina Olvera. “It’s a nice treat, and not just a sweet, it’s comforting.”

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