In Celebration of Chocolate

February 17 - 19, 2017

Come as friends or bring your sweetie and fall deeper in love with chocolate during the 5th Annual In Celebration of Chocolate. A winter getaway has never tasted so good with a weekend full of food pairings, demonstrations, evening dinners and events. From savory to sweet and everything in between, don’t miss this cocoa-themed celebration of the world’s favorite dessert. Topping things off is the opportunity for guests to taste the signature and newest creations from KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates.

Overnight Packages

  • Chocolate Indulgence

    Two Nights, February 17-19, 2017. Tickets to Celebration of Chocolate events.
    The American Club starting at $464 per person
    Inn on Woodlake starting at $397 per person

  • Sweet Treat

    One night, February 18, 2017. One ticket per adult to Sugar High.
    The American Club starting at $199 per person
    Inn on Woodlake starting at $165 per person

2017 Schedule

February 17, 2017


4-5pm - Craverie Chocolatier Café
Wine and chocolate—it’s a match that has stood the test of time. In this combination, the body and texture of port wine enhance the flavors of KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates. This seminar explores several styles of port wine expertly paired with chocolate by Head Chocolatier Anette Righi DeFendi. It’s a taste sensation you won't want to miss.
$35 plus taxes and fees.
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In Celebration of Chocolate Wine Dinner

6:30-9:30pm - The Grand Hall of the Great Lakes
Join Guittard Executive Pastry Chef Donald Wressell as he leads the preparation of an elegant, sweet and savory four-course chocolate-inspired dinner. Along with wine pairings, the dinner will feature courses prepared and created by some of the top chefs from The American Club® including Executive Pastry Chef Josh Johnson and Executive Special Event Chef James Deptula as well as a course prepared by renowned Midwest Chef Christopher Mangless. This distinctive dinner is a taste experience that will leave the chocolate-loving foodie inspired for days.
$128 plus taxes and fees.
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February 18, 2017

Morning Delight: Mimosas & Chocolates

10-11am - Appley Theater
For a refreshing eye-opener, you can’t beat the fun and fizz of a mimosa. Anette Righi DeFendi, head chocolatier at KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates, creates heavenly pairings of assorted fruity mimosas and Kohler’s signature chocolates. It’s a festive morning treat that can’t be beat.
$35 plus taxes and fees.
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Bean to Bar

10-11am - Craverie Chocolatier Café
Explore the story of chocolate with Heather Houston, of the Guittard Chocolate Company. Learn how chocolate is created from the cacao bean to the sweet treat we all love, then enjoy a range of flavors in single-origin chocolates made from beans from around the world.
$25 plus taxes and fees.
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Voilà! Le Croissant!

11am-Noon - Kitchens of Kohler
You need a snack. But do you want sweet or savory? Executive Pastry Chef Josh Johnson solves the dilemma with his demonstration creating croissants in a sweet and savory fashion. After Josh shares the secrets of these delectable bites, you’ll have the opportunity to put your skill to the test and roll out your own croissants (with his guidance). You’ll leave this demonstration with a new expertise that will have you impressing friends and family alike.
$40 plus taxes and fees.
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Chocolate & Beer Lunch

11:30am-1pm - The Horse & Plow
If you adore chocolate (and who doesn’t?) and you love beer, you’re in luck. Beer and chocolate both cover a wide range of the taste spectrum, which is why they go so well together. Here, specially selected beers play up the chocolate flavors featured in each of the three courses of this whimsical lunch. Seating is limited for this event, so sign up early.
$40 plus taxes and fees.
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The Dairy-est of Friends: Cheese & Chocolate

Noon-1pm - Appley Theater
When it comes to cheese, Wisconsin rules. And when it comes to chocolate, Kohler is king. And when you pair the two . . . it’s a surprisingly beautiful thing. In this fun, educational seminar, cheese expert Carrie Liebhauser, of BelGioioso Cheese, joins Kohler’s Anette Righi DeFendi for an intriguing food pairing session that you’ll want to share at your next dinner party.
$35 plus taxes and fees.
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Your Way Crème Brûlée

1-2pm - Kitchens of Kohler
Have you ever had the opportunity to work alongside a nationally renowned pastry chef to learn how to make one of the most popular desserts from scratch? This is your chance. Join The American Club Executive Pastry Chef Josh Johnson to create your own crème brûlée in this interactive demonstration. Learn how to prepare this delectable dessert, put on the finishing touches and then, bon appétit. Enjoy!
$40 plus taxes and fees.
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Red Wine Makes Chocolate Divine

2-3pm - Appley Theater
There are many iconic pairings in the world: peanut butter and jelly. Love and marriage. And, of course, chocolate and wine. Anette Righi DeFendi, KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates head chocolatier, demonstrates how chocolate brings out the flavors of wine and how wine enhances the flavors and rich notes of chocolate. Leave this seminar with the knowledge of how our palates react to this iconic pairing.
$35 plus taxes and fees.
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Tour of Cognac

2-3pm - The Winery Bar
A cognac-tasting seminar is most fitting surrounded by rich history and luxurious grounds. Take a little tour of cognac and learn about its origin. As an added bonus, we will explore the difference between cognac and Armagnac with sweet and savory pairings for each tasting.
$35 plus taxes and fees.
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A Special Dish by the Traveling Chef

4-5pm - Kitchens of Kohler
Join Chris Mangless, of Three Three Five, as he demonstrates a wonderful dish inspired by local, seasonal winter ingredients featuring a 70 percent bittersweet chocolate. Mangless, who is originally from Green Bay, spent years traveling and cooking in people’s homes, earning him the nickname The Traveling Chef. He returned to his home town and opened Three Three Five, a private dining studio in the historic Broadway District. Come watch this creative chef in action as he prepares a sweet and savory dish.
$40 plus taxes and fees.
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Kohler’s “Proof” of Excellence: KOHLER Original Recipe Dark Chocolate Brandy

4-5pm - The Winery Bar
Kohler teamed up with Central Standard Craft Distillery to create a 72-percent cacao Dark Chocolate Brandy, which brings a rich, elegant twist to classic cocktails. Our new brandy is the focus of this session with Destination Kohler Mixologist Peter Kalleward. Join him in The Winery Bar for a creative dark chocolate brandy take on some of your favorite cocktails paired with both sweet and savory foods. These distinctive flavors are sure to inspire you.
$35 plus taxes and fees.
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Dynamic Duo: Sweet & Savory 

5-6pm - Kitchens of Kohler
One of the best ways to improve your kitchen skills is to rub elbows with a pro. Even better? Learn from two world-class chefs. The American Club Executive Pastry Chef Josh Johnson joins his mentor and friend Guittard Executive Chef Donald Wressell in a chef tag-team event covering the ins and outs of creating a savory bite with sweet notes. With friendly banter, the two share their culinary methods, secrets and experiences as they create a dish that you’ll learn to make and get to sample while you sip on seasonal cocktails.
$40 plus taxes and fees.
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Luxuries of Life: Taittinger Champagne & KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates

7-8pm - Kohler Design Center
This exclusive event features three different marques of Taittinger champagne, including the premier Comtes, to enhance unique appetizers and chocolates that will not be featured at Sugar High. KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates Head Chocolatier, Anette Righi DeFendi, and Ron Breitstein of Kobrand will mingle with guests during this event. After conclusion of the event, continue the evening at Sugar High for more delectable food prepared by our talented chefs. Sample dishes from savory and sweet food stations as well as wine, spirits or beer from a range of producers will be featured. And, of course, indulge in some more of KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates finest. Live music by Jenny Thiel Quartet adds to the festive mood. This ticket package only has a few spots, ensure you secure yours today! 
$135 plus taxes and fees.
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Sugar High

8-10pm - Kohler Design Center
End this sweet weekend on a high note with an unforgettable evening of delectable food prepared by our talented chefs. Sample dishes from savory and sweet food stations and discuss the dishes with the chefs. Enhance the tastes with wine, spirits or beer from a range of producers. And, of course, indulge in some of KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates finest. Live music by Jenny Thiel Quartet adds to the festive mood.
$85 plus taxes and fees.
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February 19, 2017

Chocolate Lovers' Brunch

9am-1pm - The Wisconsin Room
The traditional Sunday brunch gets a chocolaty makeover during the In Celebration of Chocolate weekend. Reservations are required. Please call .


Anette Righi DeFendi

Anette Righi DeFendi

Head Chocolatier, KOHLER Original Recipes Chocolates

As Head Chocolatier at KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates, Anette Righi DeFendi develops new chocolates and oversees the day-to-day production of KOHLER’s famous Terrapins, Toffee Bark, Rare Facets and all of the fine chocolate collections. Before making a name for herself at KOHLER, Anette attended The French Pastry School in Chicago and graduated in 2010. She always dreamed of being a pastry chef, making wedding cakes and baking bread, but was lured by the art of chocolate instead. In June 2011, she accepted the position of Chocolatier Assistant at KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates and in February 2013 was promoted to Head Chocolatier. In 2016, Anette was named one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in North America of 2015 by Dessert Professional and one of Wisconsin's Top Female Chefs by Travel Wisconsin.

Josh Johnson

Josh Johnson

Head Pastry Chef, Destination Kohler

Josh Johnson began working in pastry as a teenager in his uncle Richard Rivera’s pastry shop, Ambrosia Euro-American Pâtisserie in Barrington, Illinois. Johnson then went to The Ritz-Carlton Chicago Hotel where he received the invaluable guidance from Chef Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F., co-founder of and dean at The French Pastry School, as well as Chef En-Ming Hsu, World Pastry Champion. He was inspired to move to New York and work at Payard’s Pâtisserie & Bistro. Johnson returned to the Midwest as Executive Pastry Chef for Everest, then rejoined Ambrosia Euro-American Pâtisserie. Josh Johnson’s next venture lead him to co-owning Cocoa Bean Fine Desserts in Geneva, Illinois. He was then brought on as a pastry chef instructor at The French Pastry School of Chicago. Chef Johnson competed in and won the National Pastry Team Championship with team captain Donald Wressell and fellow French Pastry School instructors, teammates Scott Green and Della Gossett. The team went on to win Best Dégustation and Silver Medal overall at the 2012 World Pastry Championship in Las Vegas.


Chris Mangless

Christopher Mangless

Executive Chef, Three Three Five

Chef and restaurateur Christopher Mangless has always done things his own way, trusting that his creativity and passion for quality would fall on the right audience. In 2005 Mangless completed his formal training at Johnson & Wales University and immediately began cooking in highly touted kitchens across the country. After his tenure in Denver, Colorado, Chef Mangless journeyed throughout the Midwest, landing back in his hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

In May 2011, Mangless unveiled Three Three Five, a private dining studio located in the historic Broadway district of downtown Green Bay. Three Three Five started as a basecamp for The Traveling Chef. It later evolved into a private locale for parties, events and intimate concerts where Mangless strikes a balance between catering to the whims of his guests while fulfilling his vision of what their experience should be. Over the years Mangless has been fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with Grammy-winning musicians, politicians and clientele from around the world in creating experiential events. The passion Mangless has for innovation has established him as a trusted leader in the community as well as a chef consultant for many global companies. Always redefining what is possible, Mangless relies on his team of talented chefs, artists, creative craftsmen and sophisticated event designers to consistently deliver a flawless departure from the ordinary.

Donald Wressell

Donald Wressell

Executive Pastry Chef, Guittard Chocolate Company

Growing up in Issaquah, Washington, Donald Wressell credits much of his cooking career to his grandmother. When he was seven, the duo would watch The Galloping Gourmet and entranced by the flipping, stirring, and sautéing, Wressell decided to become a chef.

As a young adult, he enrolled in the Washington State Chef Association Culinary program and continued to garner pastry expertise through positions at the Westin Hotel in Seattle, Watergate Pastry in Washington D.C. where he worked with Jean-Louis Palladin and the Breakers Hotel Sky Room in Long Beach, California.

He worked at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia in 1986 and remembers this as a formative time working with Executive Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix “who was brilliant with food and people.” In 1987, Wressell was named Executive Pastry Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. It was here that he wooed the hotel’s celebrity clientele with the sweet creations of his hands and humor. While at the Four Seasons, Wressell made the City of Beverly Hills’ 75th Anniversary cake, a gâteau enjoyed by 10,000 people. He continued to mix, frost and pipe at the hotel for 19 years. In 2015, he was invited to make the cake for Beverly Hills’ 100th birthday, this time for 15,000 people. The celebration took place April 27, 2014.

In 2006, Wressell joined San Francisco Bay Area based Guittard Chocolate Company as the Corporate Pastry Chef. “I have used Guittard chocolate both professionally and personally and I was thrilled at the opportunity to be the pastry chef for the oldest family run chocolate company in the U.S. I have always loved working with chocolate; it’s an amazing food with magical qualities. What other food can be made into decorative shapes and visual amusements that not only tastes good but has incredible food value?”

Wressell’s accolades are many. In 1998 and 1999, he was named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs by Chocolatier Pastry Art & Design magazine and in 2003 he was named Southern California’s Restaurant Writers Pastry Chef of the Year. He is the recipient of both Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire and the winner and in 1995 won the opportunity to go to the Les Masters du Chocolate competition. His pastry pedigree also includes “Pastry Chef of the Year” by the Organizing Committee of the 2005 National Pastry Team Championships as well as recognition from the White House for his work with the US Pastry Team.

Wressell’s experience in domestic and international pastry competitions is unparalleled. As team captain during the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship, his team was awarded a Gold medal and First Place in Degustation. In 2012 as team captain at the World Pastry Championship, his team was awarded the Silver medal and First Place in Degustation. In addition, Wressell has represented Team USA seven times at the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie, as a competitor, team captain, coach, manager and/or on the jury. He competed for the first time in 1993; in 1995 he was Team Captain leading the USA to a Bronze (the first medal won by Team USA at that time). In 1999, he was Coach/Manager with USA winning the Bronze. In 2001, he was Coach/Manager when the team won its first (and only) Gold medal to date. In 2003, he was Chairman/Coach/Manager/Judge with Team USA placing 4th. In 2005, he was Team Captain winning the Bronze. Most recently, in 2015, he was Coach/Manager winning the Bronze.

He has also made many television appearances: The Challenge Series; Coupe Du Monde; and Pastry Team Championship documentaries on the Food Network, ET, Roseanne Barr Show, Access Hollywood, Good Morning America and Chuck Henry’s Travel Cafe.

Today, Wressell continues to develop recipes using Guittard Chocolate and does speaking engagements, conducts demonstrations, participates in international competitions and leads his signature “Guest Chef Series” classes at the Guittard Chocolate Studio in Los Angeles. When he’s not in the pastry or demo kitchen or masterminding the design and production of a larger-than-life birthday cake, he derives great pleasure in his own kitchen and woodworking workshop.