Five Reasons to Indulge at CAF’s Chocolate

For some, Valentine’s Day means roses, chocolates, and decadent dinners, for others, it’s all about hunkering down on the couch with a bottle of wine and a cheesy chick flick. But no matter who you are-or whom you’re dating-

V-Day is synonymous with indulging. This year, Santa Barbara’s own Contemporary Arts Forum (653 Paseo Nuevo) will be hosting its annual exhibit and benefit auction in celebration of all things deliciously lavish, Chocolate, on Saturday, February 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. The 11th event of its kind, Chocolate promises an evening of luxury, with cocoa-themed entertainment, food, and cocktails, as well as silent and live auctions of high-end wine, art, and furniture. And with all proceeds benefiting CAF’s one-of-a-kind exhibitions and educational programs, we see no better reason to indulge. But just in case you’re not sold, below is a list of scrumptious incentives that will surely seal this sweet deal. Visit or call 966-5373 for tickets.

1) That’s Entertainment: World-renowned visual artist, Franco Mondini-Ruiz plays emcee throughout the night. And while his cheeky sense of humor is certain to provide the laughs and move the art, it’s his clever and over-the-top style that promises to transform the CAF studio into a veritable chocolate wonderland.

2) Message in a Bottle: This year’s Chocolate event proudly boasts the largest wine auction on the Central Coast, with offerings from more than 20 different and well-respected California wineries. And for the true vino lover, CAF will also put a select number of collectable and commemorative magnums, bottles, and jeroboams up for grabs.

3) Truffle Shuffle: Santa Barbara-based confection maven Jessica Foster is providing a healthy selection of her signature-and delicious-gourmet truffles in a wide variety of out-of-this-world flavors, ranging from the mouthwatering (dark chocolate chai) to the bizarre (milk chocolate with star anise and thyme).

4) Going, Going, Gone: Chocolate brings new meaning to the term “high-end” with a sprawling collection of purchasable bags, baubles, hotel stays, and housewares from the likes of Luxury Lab Linens, Pierre Lafond, Design Within Reach, and the Four Seasons Biltmore. Likewise, art auctions will take place throughout the night and are said to include a number of big-name artists and priceless pieces.

5) And After the Party: CAF will open up the festivities to the public after 9:30 p.m., providing a cash bar, live entertainment, and Latin beats, spun by mix-master extraordinaire DJ Magneto.

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