In Celebration of Chocolate

February 16 - 18, 2018

Come as friends or bring your sweetie and fall deeper in love with chocolate during our 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.

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2018 Schedule

February 16, 2018

An Unexpected Pairing: Chocolate & Spirits

4-5pm - Craverie Chocolatier Café
Presenters:
KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates
Dan Dufek–Beverage Development Specialist, Breakthru Beverage Wisconsin
Chocolate is the world’s favorite treat and many chefs as well as chocolatiers love enhancing the flavors and rich notes of chocolate by creating pairings with a variety of beverages. In this seminar we introduce you to an oh-so-tasty but unconventional pairing. Experience the worlds of chocolate and spirits melt into one as we create wonderful taste sensations with a selection of spirits including Correlejo Tequila, Zaya Rum, Brancamenta, and Templeton Rye 6 year old whiskey.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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In Celebration of Chocolate Wine Dinner

Reception: 6:30pm, Dinner: 7-approximately 9pm - The Great Lakes Ballroom at The American Club
Presenters:
Lucas Oppeneer–Executive Banquet & Special Event Chef, Destination Kohler
Nicolas Blouin–Executive Pastry Chef,  Destination Kohler
Jerome Ducrocq–Executive Sous Chef, The Venetian and The Palazzo Resort Hotels Convention Centers, Las Vegas
Abby Despins–Senior Public Relations and Digital Manager, Emmi Roth Cheese
Ron Breitstein–Group Manager, Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits

Join us for a dining experience that will leave the chocolate-loving foodie inspired for days. This elegant, sweet-and-savory five-course dinner will treat guests to a one-of-a-kind chocolate-inspired menu. Courses featured by Emmi Roth Cheese; The American Club Executive Banquet Chef, Lucas Oppeneer; Chef Jerome Ducrocq, Executive Sous Chef at The Venetian Hotel Las Vegas; as well as The American Club Pastry Chef, Nicolas Blouin, will send your taste buds on an unforgettable culinary journey. Carefully selected wine pairings picked by Ron Breitstein, Certified Specialist of Wine of Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits, will complement each course for this distinctive dinner.
$145 – includes gratuity, taxes and fees.
Note: The format of the dinner is assigned seating with 8-10 guests per table. Seating requests will be taken into consideration if noted with the purchase of the ticket.
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February 17, 2018

The Sweet Study of Chocolate

10-11am - The Council Room
Presenters:
Heather Houston–Midwest Territory Sales Manager, Guittard Chocolate Company
Josh Johnson–Pastry Chef, Guittard Chocolate Company

All chocolate lovers savor the rewarding moment after taking a bite of their favorite dessert and experiencing the rich and complex flavor sensations unfold. However, many of us don’t know where or how that flavor comes into being. Join Heather Houston and Josh Johnson– former Executive Pastry Chef of The American Club–for an engaging seminar about chocolate. You’ll learn about its origins and variations while having an opportunity to taste select chocolates from their pure form to their final product with a delicious treat inspired by Chef Josh.
$35 – includes taxes and fees.
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Wake Up to Chocolate & Bubbles

10-11am - The Appley Theatre
Presenters:
Matthew Bauer–Executive Chef, Destination Kohler
Ron Breitstein–Group Manager, Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits

Chocolate for breakfast? What better way to start the day than with chocolate-inspired breakfast bites. In collaboration with Ron Breitstein, Group Manager of Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits, The American Club® Executive Chef, Matt Bauer introduces you to some fun and tasty morning munchies paired perfectly with sparkling wine and other bubbly inspired beverages. Your day can’t start any better than this.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Astounding Chocolate Orb

11am-12pm - The Kitchens of Kohler in The Shops at Woodlake
Presenter: Nicolas Blouin–Executive Pastry Chef, Destination Kohler
Turn chocolate into art during this interactive demonstration where you'll learn how to temper chocolate into a flavor-filled sphere. Once your chocolaty orb gets dropped into hot milk it releases all your favorite ingredients (even marshmallows) for a delicious and memorable hot chocolate. You’ll leave this demonstration with a newly learned skill and will be able to create a delightful and astonishing chocolate surprise for your family and friends.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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A Clever Pair: Cheese & Chocolate

12-1pm - The Appley Theatre
Presenters:
KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates
Abby Despins–Senior Public Relations and Digital Manager, Emmi Roth Cheese
Ron Breitstein–Group Manager, Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits
Ask Wisconsinites about their favorite foods, and cheese is sure to top the list of many – and we're confident chocolate is up there, too. Abby Despins from Emmi Roth Cheese will show you how the this clever pair, along with a few wines to enhance the experience, will make for a charming match at your next dinner party.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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A Chocolate-Inspired Lunch

12:30-approximately 2pm - The Wisconsin Room
Presenter: Zeke Fitzgerald–Chef, The Wisconsin Room
If you adore chocolate and wine (and who doesn’t?), then you know that wine and chocolate both cover a wide range of the taste spectrum, which is why they go so well together. In this luncheon, The Wisconsin Room Chef Zeke Fitzgerald will prepare three chocolate-inspired courses paired with selected wines that will play up the featured chocolate flavors in each course. Seating is limited for this event, so sign up early.
$60 – includes gratuity, taxes and fees.
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A French Take on Chocolate

1-2pm - The Kitchens of Kohler in The Shops at Woodlake
Presenter: Jerome Ducrocq–Executive Sous Chef, The Venetian and The Palazzo Resort Hotels Convention Centers, Las Vegas 
The French are known for gastronomic excellence. They have done it by taking risks and experimenting with ingredients many would never consider using together. Jerome Ducrocq, Executive Sous Chef at The Venetian and The Palazzo Resort Hotels Convention Centers in Las Vegas, is a French chef who will push you out of the ordinary as he demonstrates how to transform some traditional, savory foods into treats with a sweet touch by using chocolate. Chef Jerome will introduce you to a guinea fowl chocolate bonbon, a foie gras lollipop, and an organic garden with edible soil. This unique seminar will inspire you to explore flavor profiles and culinary creations out of the ordinary for your next dining event
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Spruce up Dessert with KOHLER Chocolate Brandy

1:30-2:30pm - The Winery Bar
Presenters:
Peter Kalleward–Mixologist, The American Club
Travis Jeske–Pastry Sous Chef, The American Club

Like any dinner course, you can enhance dessert with the right cocktail combination. Peter Kalleward and Travis Jeske of The American Club will pair sweet treats with cocktails created from our own KOHLER Chocolate Brandy. Peter and Travis will discuss which flavor profiles pair well and how to balance them, so when you host your next cocktail party you’ll have dessert covered.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Sweet Friends: Port and Chocolate

2-3pm - The Appley Theater
Presenters:
KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates
Ron Breitstein–Group Manager, Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits

Port wine is a sweet, fortified red wine often served with the dessert course. In this unique seminar hosted by Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates and Ron Breitstein, Certified Specialist of Wine of Kobrand Fine Wine, you’ll discover how to pair port wine and port wine cocktails with Kohler’s own delectable chocolates.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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The Chocolate Mousse Trio

3-4pm - The Kitchens of Kohler in The Shops at Woodlake
Presenter: Nicolas Blouin–Executive Pastry Chef, Destination Kohler
Chef Blouin, Executive Pastry Chef of The American Club, takes his pastry making seriously and will challenge you in this entertaining and educational demonstration. The rich and velvety texture of chocolate mousse takes some effort and expertise to get right. Chef Nicolas will demonstrate some unconventional methods to create three versions of chocolate mousse for you to experiment with at home. Oh, and yes, there will be a small quiz that will make this seminar interactive and engaging.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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The Art of the Blend: Scotch Whisky Meets Sweet & Savory

3:30-4:30pm - The Winery Bar
Presenters:
Dan Dufek–Beverage Development Specialist, Breakthru Beverage Wisconsin
Doug StringerChef, The Immigrant Restaurant
Compass Box is a brand that challenges, asks questions, and experiments – all in an effort to make Scotch more interesting and more enjoyable. Scotch whisky paired with sweet and savory foods? Absolutely. As Compass Box founder, John Glaser, states: “there are no rules.” Join us for an illuminating session of Scotch whisky and cocktails paired with our chefs’ sweet and savory dishes. There are sure to be many surprises, including a rare and limited whisky that you may never see again
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Raise a Glass to Chocolate

4-5pm - The Appley Theatre
Presenters:
KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates
Ron Breitstein–Group Manager, Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits

Don't fret, chocolate and wine lovers. We would not let the weekend go by without the most loved and sought-out chocolate pairing. Ron Breitstein, Certified Specialist of Wine of Kobrand Fine Wine, will explore how KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates are complemented by wines including Merlot, Cabernet, Pinor Noir and Zinfandel. Treat yourself to a tour of chocolates and wines that you will want to repeat over and over.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Tiramisu Times Two

5-6pm - The Kitchens of Kohler in The Shops at Woodlake
Presenter: Trevor Koch- Cucina Restaurant
Tiramisu means “pick me up” in Italian. Certainly the original recipe with chocolate, coffee and amaretto does just that, but there is more to Italy’s favorite dessert than the traditional recipe. Trevor Koch from Cucina Restaurant will give you a little taste of Italy in this demonstration as you learn how to make a traditional tiramisu, then mix things up with a unique version featuring strawberries, citrus and Salerno blood orange liqueur.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Sugar High

8-10pm - Kohler Design Center
Presenters: The Special Events Culinary Team of Destination Kohler
Revel in the final moments of the weekend with an unforgettable evening of delectable food. Weave your way through the Kohler Design Center while tasting, savoring, and discussing a variety of dishes created by our featured chefs and the culinary team from Destination Kohler. The music of the Ryan McIntire Duo will add to the festive mood while you indulge in an assortment of KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates and sample a selection of wines and some wonderfully crafted cocktails.
$92 – includes taxes and fees.
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February 18, 2018

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 .
$45 per person plus tax and gratuity.

Featured Presenters

Nicolas Blouin

Nicolas Blouin

Head Pastry Chef, Destination Kohler

Raised in Toulouse, France, Chef Blouin began his pastry training when he was only 15 years old at a small bakery in his home town. He trained at the Pastry School of Muret and completed apprenticeships specializing in pastry and chocolate confections.

Chef Blouin moved to America and worked at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resort hotel under two-time world champion pastry chef Laurent Branlard. Eager to expand his knowledge, Chef Blouin returned to Europe and worked at Michelin-starred restaurants Le Richelieu in France and Didier de Courten in Switzerland.

In 2006 Chef Blouin returned to America to work at the Bellagio in Las Vegas under renowned Chef Jean-Philippe Maury. He served as a pastry chef at the Aria Resort & Casino, where he managed two locations of the Jean-Philippe Pâtisseries. In 2011 Chef Blouin joined Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in the role of pastry chef. In August 2017, he joined Kohler Co. as Head Pastry Chef for Destination Kohler.

With a passion for simple, strong and classic flavors, Chef Blouin strives to create desserts that encourage guests to explore exciting and unique new culinary delights. Featuring whimsical presentations, ingredients of the highest quality and bold colors, his creations offer unforgettable flavors ranging from light to decadent. His many popular desserts, including reimagined cheesecakes and soufflés, showcase his modern interpretation of classic desserts. In 2015 he won first place at the renowned Valrhona C3 Pastry Competition in New York, earning him the opportunity to represent North America in the International Chefs Congress.

“Creativity and invention are my favorite parts of the pastry industry,” said Chef Blouin. “Creating a dessert that is unique and that guests truly enjoy is the art of pastry at its best,” said Chef Blouin.

Chef Blouin continues to follow global pastry trends and French pastry chefs, including culinary icons Pierre Hermé and Christophe Michalak, who have had a profound influence on him both professionally and personally. Visionary creativity drives Chef Blouin to construct adventurous and delectable desserts for his guests at Destination Kohler.

 


Jerome Decrocq

Jerome Ducrocq

Executive Sous Chef, The Venetian and The Palazzo Resort Hotels Convention Centers, Las Vegas

Chef Ducrocq grew up in Vieille-Eglise a small village located in a rural environment in the north of France. Chef Ducrocq’s family owned the village butcher shop, where he spent every single day of his young life surrounded by People who were passionate about food.

After graduating from the St. Pierre French Culinary School, he spent eight years in Paris. He trained in several of the best 2 and 3 Michelins stars’ kitchens in Paris.

In 2009, Chef Ducrocq was named a member of the opening teams for the world renowned Jean Philippe Patisserie Shops at the Aria and Bellagio Resort Hotels in Las Vegas. While working as a Savory Chef along with the best pastry chefs in the world, he was exposed to artists and the artistic expression beyond what he could have ever imagined. As a result he has become dedicated to the principles of discipline and organization.

For the past two years Chef Ducrocq has served as the Executive Sous Chef for the Venetian and Palazzo Resort Hotels Convention Centers in Las Vegas.  He is responsible for the entire spectrum of daily operations and executions for banquets and dining. He has brought his considerable skills and extensive experience to fine and creative banquet dining. From developing a menu for a 15 person VIP Gourmet dining experience to a banquet reception for 22,000 attendees. Every week is a new challenge and the operations constantly pushes the Chef to new limits. He is very pleased that just as it was when he was a young boy in his father’s butcher shop, he still finds himself surrounded by people who are passionate about great food.

 


Lucas Oppeneer

Lucas Oppeneer

Executive Banquet & Special Event Chef, Destination Kohler

A graduate of the American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship Program, Chef Oppeneer has 17 years of culinary experience. He has worked in every Kohler restaurant, including The Immigrant Restaurant, Cucina, The Wisconsin Room and the Horse & Plow, and has been involved in Kohler Food & Wine Experience event each year.

During his five years at The Immigrant Restaurant, he was part of the team that moved the restaurant from a three-star rating to four-star status. While head of the culinary team at the Horse & Plow, Chef Oppeneer developed a new menu for the remodeled restaurant featuring innovative pub fare with an emphasis on fresh ingredients. He oversaw events for the 2015 PGA Championship, Kohler Festival of Beer and the 2015 and 2016 Wisconsin Sports Awards events.

Chef Oppeneer left the American Club in June 2016 to lead food and beverage operations for Holy Family Memorial Hospital in Manitowoc where he improved patient and employee dining with healthy, fresh, local produce and also lead the community health goals team to promote healthy eating/nutrition and exercise. Chef Oppeneer rejoined Destination Kohler in September 2017 as Special Events Chef just in time to lead the team through this year’s Kohler Food & Wine Experience.




Dan Dufek

Daniel Dufek

Beverage Development Specialist, Breakthru Beverage Wisconsin 

Before working for Breakthru Beverage Wisconsin, Daniel was a bartender and bar manager for nine years at Goodkind, Hi Hat Lounge and Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge in Milwaukee. Recent past accomplishments include winning the competition for Bols Best Bartender: Milwaukee Edition, being published in Gary Regan’s 2013 edition of 101 Best New Cocktails and competing in the Midwest regional finals for Diageo’s World Class competition.




Ron Breitstein

Ron Breitstein

Group Manager, Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits

Ron is a certified specialist of wine and an industry veteran with over 30 years in retail, wholesale and supplier experience. He is the coauthor of Wine & Dine: California Fine Wines Matched With Gourmet Recipes. He currently is the wine expert for CBS 2 TV in Chicago. He often contributes to Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Beverage Retailer magazines. Currently, Ron is the group manager for Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits and oversees the North Central United States. When relaxing with family and friends, Ron’s favorite wines to enjoy are Champagne Taittinger and ports from Fonseca and Taylor Fladgate.