Chocolate festival: Cafe Soleil will present a deliciously decadent celebration on Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Billed as “Asheville’s first-ever Chocolate Festival,” the event will feature a cornucopia of chocolate confections made by local bakers and, you guessed it, include chocolate martinis. There will also be plenty of music and local crafts, and even on-site massages (to settle those sugar-spiked nerves). After the daytime festivities, revelers can stay to enjoy dinner, drinks and a 9:30 outdoor showing of the movie Chocolat. Half of the proceeds from this sweet soiree will benefit the Buncombe County Medical Society’s Project Access, a program in which physicians, hospitals and clinics donate services to low-income and uninsured people. For more information, call Paula at (828) 299-8083.
Through the grapevine: The Fresh Market of Hendersonville will host a wine-tasting gala Tuesday, May 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. Guests can sample more than 50 wines from around the world and enjoy a buffet of hors d’oeuvres. The wine stations will be staffed by Empire Wine Distributors personnel who will assist guests and answer questions. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Flat Rock Playhouse. Tickets are $30, and are available at the Playhouse (2661 Greenville Highway) and the Fresh Market (223 Greenville Highway, just south of Main Street). This event has sold out for the past three years, so advance ticket purchases are recommended. For more information, call (828) 693-0731.
Salute the senses: Warren Wilson College is launching an innovative learning opportunity for dedicated foodies. Beginning July 3, the college will host the Swannanoa School of Culinary Arts, a weeklong, hands-on course with expert chefs. Participants will “learn that the presentation of varying tastes and textures, the relaxed conviviality of the host and hostess, and the creation of a certain atmosphere go hand-in-hand with top ingredients and the mastery of techniques,” says the school. The registration deadline is June 1. For more details, visit www.schoolofculinaryarts.org or call (828) 771-3018.