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Chocolate-Covered Weekend

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September 10, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on September 11, 2022 at 10:00 am

Chocolate-Covered Weekend


September 10, 2022
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30309 United States

On Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., indulge in a delicious weekend of chocolate and fun family activities.

Discovery Stations – Visit the tree where chocolate begins and learn about the chocolate-making process. Explore the taste and uses of cacao at fun interactive stations for all ages. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Storytime – Enjoy an engaging 20-minute story time inspired by chocolate. 10:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

Chocolate Creations – Use your imagination to create chocolate treats that will delight your sweet tooth in this drop-in family program for children with caregivers, while supplies last. $5 per member child/$6 per non-member child. 10 a.m. – noon.

Chef Demos – Stop by the Outdoor Kitchen where Atlanta chefs conduct cooking demonstrations and share culinary tips for chocolaty treats. 11 a.m., noon & 1 p.m.

Saturday, September 10
11 a.m., Jessica McKinney – Executive Pastry Chef, Canoe
12 p.m., Ilene Rouamvongsor – Edible Garden Chef, Atlanta Botanical Garden
1 p.m., James Gallo – Pastry Chef, Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Sunday, September 11
11 a.m., Tiina D’Souza – Owner/Baker, EstoEtno Fine Bakery
12 p.m., Eric Wolitzky – Executive Pastry Chef, Fifth Group
1 p.m., Megan McCarthy – Edible Garden Chef and Owner/Chef, Healthy Eating 101

Members Save!

Garden members enjoy unlimited complimentary admission during daytime hours, discounts on Garden classes and in the Gift Shop, plus invitations to exclusive events and exhibition premieres.

Join today

More for the kids

The Garden is always blooming with opportunities for family fun, including weekly Garden Grooves, Garden Playtime and Shows for Seedlings. 

See Kids Programming

Chef Bios

Jessica McKinney
Executive Pastry Chef, Canoe

Chef Jessica McKinney’s passion for the culinary arts began at an early age, having been raised by chef parents and spending much of her time with her siblings in and out of restaurant kitchens. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA Jessica graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2012. She took her talents to the Four Seasons Atlanta, rising to become the Pastry Chef de Partie, and then went on to serve as the Executive Pastry Chef at Druid Hills Golf Club. As Executive Pastry Chef at Canoe, Jessica incorporates her passion for chocolate confections and affinity for decadent desserts with creations like a reimaged smoky s’mores and the bruleed brie, pretzel crumble, strawberry mousse, brie cream and strawberry/basil gel treat.


Ilene Rouamvongsor
Edible Garden Chef, Atlanta Botanical Garden

Ilene Rouamvongsor is a seasoned cook of 15 years. She is first generation born Laotian American, which means she grew up in a world of multiculturalism with Lao and Southern roots strongly celebrated through food. Ilene believes that through sharing food, barriers are broken and not only does food nourish your body, but it also brings together community. She invests time in tying together, feeding and educating people in culinary knowledge and experiences, and is always welcoming any hungry person for a bowl of goodness!


James Gallo
Pastry Chef (and Beekeeper), Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Chef James Gallo grew up in a large family in rural New Jersey. He first started cooking in the kitchen with his mother Patricia. A neighbor nearby kept bees, and invited Gallo and his brother to help out with the hives. His first jobs in high school were in local restaurants, which gave him the idea of going to culinary school. Chef Gallo attended the Academy of Culinary Arts in Atlantic City, and found his love and passion for Pastry Arts. When he arrived in Atlanta, the hotel had recently taken in some bees rescued from a truck accident. His childhood experience with honey bees came in handy. Today, Chef Gallo tends 1 million honey bees in eight hives in the hotel’s Rooftop Bee Garden, 25 stories above Peachtree Street. The bees produce some 750 pounds of honey each year, which the hotel serves in its restaurant dishes and offers to guests in its Lobby Market.


Tiina D’Souza
Owner/Baker, EstoEtno Fine Bakery

Estonian cuisine is combination of Scandinavian, German, and Russian cuisines, and EstoEtno’s pastry/cake/tart selection represents them all. The main characteristic of their pastries is mild sweetness; favorite ingredients such as fruits, berries, nuts, and chocolate are complimented by small amounts of organic, minimally processed sugar so the stars of the recipes can shine. In addition to classic treats, they also make gluten free products and “fun bites” that offer a twist to the tradition. You’ll find cookies made with rye flour, spicy meringues, nontraditional oatmeal cookies, homemade European style gingerbread cookies and other unexpectedly delicious baked goods. Along with these pastries, EstoEtno offers Tiina’s signature authentic Estonian rye bread that is handmade, wheat free and naturally fermented (sourdough).


Eric Wolitzky
Executive Pastry Chef, Fifth Group

Eric creates the desserts at all of Fifth Group’s restaurants, developing dishes that ensure every meal ends on a sweet note. Prior to FGR, he worked at Baked in Brooklyn and Cakes and Ale in Decatur, and even appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef Just Desserts. He’s received praise from Bon Appétit for his desserts, earned a spot on Food & Wine’s “The People’s Best New Pastry Chef” list and was named a “Rising-Star Pastry Chef to Watch” by Atlanta Magazine.


Megan McCarthy
Edible Garden Chef, Atlanta Botanical Garden Owner/Chef, Healthy Eating 101

Megan McCarthy is a healthy lifestyle consultant, influencer and chef teaching you how to prepare healthy, delicious foods and incorporate them into your everyday eating lifestyle. Her creative culinary experience and enthusiasm bring healthy foods to life while putting you at ease in the kitchen. As an Edible Garden Chef, she creates recipes focusing on simple, fast and fresh ways to enjoy the local and seasonal edible abundance. She is the Founder and Chef of Healthy Eating 101, showing the easiest ways to incorporate nutritious foods into a healthy eating habit. She is also a “Have A Plant” Ambassador for the Produce for Better Health Foundation, promoting fruit and vegetable consumption for everyone.