In Celebration of Chocolate

February 8 - 10, 2019

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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Overnight Packages

Chocolate Indulgence

Two Nights, February 8–10, 2019. Tickets to multiple Celebration of Chocolate events.
The American Club starting at $459 per person
Inn on Woodlake starting at $400 per person

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Sweet Escape

One night, February 8, 2019. One ticket per adult to The Chocolate and Wine Dinner and the Saturday Sweet Additions to Brunch demonstration.
The American Club starting at $273 per person
Inn on Woodlake starting at $245 per person

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Sweet Treat

One night, February 9, 2019. One ticket per adult to Sugar High.
The American Club starting at $189 per person
Inn on Woodlake starting at $155 per person

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2019 Schedule

February 8

In Celebration of Chocolate Wine Dinner

Reception: 6:30pm, Dinner: 7–approximately 9pm – The Great Lakes Ballroom at The American Club
Lucas Oppeneer–Executive Banquet & Special Event Chef, Destination Kohler
Nicolas Blouin – Executive Pastry Chef,  Destination Kohler
Sean Moran – Vice President of Sales, BelGioioso 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 with courses by BelGioioso Cheese, The American Club's executive banquet chef, Lucas Oppeneer, and The American Club’s own pastry chef, Nicolas Blouin. Wine pairings carefully selected by Ron Breitstein, certified specialist of wine at Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits, will complement each course.
$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 9

Create with a Chocolatier: Truffles & Trade Secrets

10–11am – The Kitchens of Kohler in The Shops at Woodlake
Presenter: Crystal Thomas – Head Chocolatier, KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates
Ever wonder what happens when a chocolatier is inspired to create a new chocolate? Have some great ideas for a new flavor? Join Kohler's chocolatier Crystal Thomas and explore the process of creating and launching a new chocolate. In this interactive seminar, Crystal will teach you some great chocolate skills and demonstrate how to make delectable chocolate truffles. You'll have the opportunity to share ideas with Crystal, and she may even create a new flavor based on your suggestions.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Guittard Chocolate Presents: Sweet Additions to Brunch with Scott Green

10:3011:30am  The Appley Theatre
Presenter: Scott Green – Chef/Owner, Devil's Food Kitchen
Sometimes the sweet items are overlooked for savory when planning for a brunch. Executive Pastry Chef Scott Green makes your brunch menu planning easier & will prepare two of his favorite chocolate inspired brunch treats for you.

Learn from Scott how to make a decadent milk-chocolate orange pound cake, as well as a rich and creamy dark chocolate custard.

Of course you will get a taste of the chocolatey creations while you sip on a brunch inspired beverage.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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The Queen's Tea Takes a Chocolaty Turn

11am12pm – Thunder Bay at The American Club
Presenter: Hannah Hunt – Head Baker, Destination Kohler
Afternoon tea is an English tradition that dates back centuries. In this interactive demonstration, The American Club's head baker, Hannah Hunt, will give this tradition a fun, chocolaty twist. Hannah will teach you how to make two flavors of chocolate scones and a delicious hazelnut spread while you sip on a chocolate chai. You’ll also have a chance to make your own tea blend to take home.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Layers of Flavor: Creating a Classic

121pm – The Kitchens of Kohler in The Shops at Woodlake
Presenter: Nicolas Blouin – Head Pastry Chef, Destination Kohler
Nicolas Blouin, head pastry chef at Destination Kohler, will show you how to skip the trip to the store and make the legendary Snickers bar in the comfort of your own kitchen. Learn how each delicious ingredient is prepared and combined to create this all-time favorite during this hands-on experience, and then taste the results.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Two Wisconsin Originals: KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates & BelGioioso Cheese

12:30–1:30pm – The Appley Theatre
Crystal Thomas – Head Chocolatier,  KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates
Sean Moran – Vice President of Sales, BelGioioso Cheese
Ask Wisconsinites about their favorite foods, and cheese is sure to top the list of many. We're confident chocolate is up there, too. When you pair the best cheese with the best chocolate, you’re in for a fun, educational seminar. Sean Moran from BelGioioso Cheese and Kohler Chocolatier Crystal Thomas will show you how this clever pair can make a delightful match at your next dinner party.
$39.99– includes taxes and fees.
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A ChocolateInspired Lunch

12:30–2pm – The Wisconsin Room
Presenter: Zeke Fitzgerald – Chef, The Wisconsin Room
If you adore chocolate and wine (and who doesn’t?), you know both cover a wide range of the taste spectrum. That's why they go so well together. In this luncheon created for the wine and chocolate lover, Wisconsin Room Chef Zeke Fitzgerald will prepare three chocolate-inspired courses and pair with selected wines to play up the chocolate flavors in each courses. Seating is limited for this event, so sign up early.
$60 – includes gratuity, taxes and fees.
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Finishing Flavors: Brandy and Dessert

1:30–2:30pm Thunder Bay at The American Club
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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Guittard Chocolate: Choosing the Best Chocolate for Your Desserts

23pm – The Kitchens of Kohler in The Shops at Woodlake
Josh Johnson – Head Pastry Chef, Guittard Chocolate
Heather Houston – Territory Sales Manager, Guittard Chocolate
Get inspired to elevate your next dinner party with Guittard chocolate. Head Pastry Chef Josh Johnson and Heather Houston of Guittard team up to take you through the nuances of flavor for chocolate and how to choose the best one for your desserts.  Along with tasting various chocolates, Josh will share & treat you to a great chocolate dessert you can make at your next dinner party.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Smooth Creations: Caramels Handcrafted in Kohler

2:30–3:30pm – The Appley Theatre
Presenter: Crystal Thomas – Head Chocolatier, KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates
While KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates showcase a variety of delicious flavors, one ingredient featured in many of our favorites is the hand-made caramel. Kohler's own chocolatier, Crystal Thomas, will offer you a glimpse inside her world and demonstrate how she creates the rich, smooth caramel. She'll share her secrets, so you can add this treasured treat to your own recipe book.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Move over Cupcakes – It's the Return of the Mac

4–5pm – The Kitchens of Kohler at The Shops at Woodlake
Presenter: Travis Jeske – Pastry Sous Chef, Destination Kohler
In a world filled with changing dessert trends, one has withstood the test of time: the classic French macaron. This is your opportunity to learn the proper technique involved in creating this colorful and delectable treat. Destination Kohler's pastry sous chef, Travis Jeske, will be your guide as you actively partake in preparing two types of macaron fillings. Apply your knowledge beyond the seminar and experiment with endless flavors for your next get together.
$39.99 – includes taxes and fees.
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Raise a Glass to Chocolate

4:30–5:30pm – The Appley Theatre
Crystal Thomas – Head Chocolatier, 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. Chocolatier Crystal Thomas and Ron Breitstein, certified specialist of wine of Kobrand Fine Wine, will explore how KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates are complemented by a variety of wines. 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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Sugar High

810pm  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. Live music by Wait for Morning will add to the festive mood while you indulge in an assortment of KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates and sample a selection of wines and wonderfully crafted cocktails.
$92 – includes taxes and fees.
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February 10

Chocolate Lovers' Brunch

8am1pm  The Wisconsin Room
The traditional Sunday brunch gets a chocolaty makeover during the In Celebration of Chocolate weekend. Reservations are required.
$45 – plus taxes and gratuity

Please call to make your reservation.


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.


Crystal Thomas

Crystal Thomas

Head Chocolatier, KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates

Crystal Thomas, Head Chocolatier, graduated with honors from Charleston South Carolina at Johnson and Whales University with a degree in culinary and pastries/science. While attending college, she worked in the kitchen at the Charleston Grille, one of the top restaurants in South Carolina at the time.

Crystal became pastry chef in Portmeirion in North Wales, United Kingdom, and received her teaching degree in culinary and pastry arts in Wales. After graduating, she worked as an apprentice for 11 years before accepting the position of assistant chocolatier at Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates in 2018.


Josh Johnson

Josh Johnson

Pastry Chef, Guittard Chocolate Company

Josh Johnson is the Pastry Chef of Guittard Chocolate Company, the revered San Francisco Bay Area family-owned chocolate maker, where he brings his celebrated craft, artistry and palate in developing new recipes and ideas with Executive Pastry Chef Donald Wressell.

Josh has competed in and won the National Pastry Team Championship with team captain Donald Wressell and 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. Josh also competed in the 2015 Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie with teammates Scott Green and John Kraus, coached by Ewald Notter and Donald Wressell, where they brought home the Bronze medal.

Josh started working in pastry as a teenager in his uncle’s pastry shop in Illinois and honed his skills training under the tutelage of mentor Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F., and pastry chefs En-Ming Hsu, World Pastry Champion, and François Payard. He was Executive Pastry Chef at Everest in Chicago, co-owner of Cocoa Bean Fine Desserts in Geneva, Illinois, an instructor at The French Pastry School and, most recently, Head Pastry Chef at Destination Kohler in Kohler, Wisconsin.

He is inspired by chocolate’s infinite variety of flavor profiles and its versatility as an ingredient that can also be sculpted and shaped to delicious and delightful effect.

Scott Green

Scott Green

Chef / Owner, Devil's Food Kitchen

Chef Scott Green is a Pastry Chef, Author, and Entrepreneur. He is the owner and author of the Devil’s Food Kitchen pastry and baking blog, a resource for professional and amateur pastry enthusiasts. He has been the recipient of several awards over his career, including the 2011 National Pastry Team Gold Medal, 2012 World Pastry Team Silver Medal, 2015 Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie Bronze Medal, and was named one of the 2016 Top Ten Pastry Chefs in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine.


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.

Hannah Hunt

Hannah Hunt

Head Baker, Destination Kohler

Hannah Hunt, head baker at Destination Kohler, graduated from The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel Apprenticeship Program in her home state of New Hampshire with a degree in culinary science. Hannah realized a passion for baking early in her schooling and requested that bread be main focus at every internship. In 2004 Hannah interned at The American Club® and was able to work with the resort’s Head Baker Doug Stieber.  He had a wealth of knowledge and was the most talented bread baker she had ever worked with. 

In 2006 Hannah began her career at Kohler in the pastry kitchen as a baker, getting to work under Doug Stieber again. She continued doing so for five years before heading back to the East Coast as a sous chef at Sunday River, a ski resort in Maine.  Missing the Midwest, Hannah moved back to Wisconsin in 2014 and worked as a sous chef at the Sheboygan Yacht Club, until the need to bake full-time came over her again, and she returned to The American Club. 

For Hannah, baking has been part of her life for as long as she can remember. Whether it be pies of all seasons, bread with every meal or cookies at Christmas, baking equals family, and the want to share her love for both is what drives her in her baking.

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.

Sean Moran

Sean Moran

Vice President of Sales & Marketing, BelGioioso Cheese

Sean Moran has been in the cheese industry for over 21 years.  Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and a graduate of UW – Madison, he began his cheese career as an entry level Sales Manager at Schreiber Foods, Inc.    At Schreiber, Sean focused on selling a variety of cheeses, specialty cheeses, cream cheese, and even yogurt to everyone from restaurants to retailers.

Over the next 18 years at Schreiber Foods, Sean and his wife Jenni moved around the country as Sean took on new roles, with additional responsibilities. Ultimately, becoming responsible for Schreiber Foods sales to Walmart and Sam’s Club globally.  This brought the family from Arkansas, back to Green Bay, where they became neighbors with some of the Auricchio family.  Through this new connection, in 2015, Sean was given to the opportunity to lead the Sales and Marketing for BelGioioso Cheese, Inc. A family owned, premium artisanal cheese company.

At various times throughout his career Sean taught or mentored with the following organization: Single Parent Scholarship Fund Benton County, University of Arkansas, Sam Walton School of Business, Center For Retailing Excellence, Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter - Circle of Hope, University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, Phoenix Fund, MBA Project Support, Owen Graduate School of Management, University of Vanderbilt, Board of Director’s, Prophit Marketing.

Sean and his wife Jenni have three children, Sam (17), Ellen (15), and Kate (10).