Dennis and I are big fans of Eclipse Chocolate's sweet and savory delights, which puts them at the top of our list for chocolate in San Diego. Recently, owner and chocolatier Will Gustwiller introduced a new way for chocolate fans to get up close and personal: Build-A-Bar Workshops. Build your own yogurt or ice cream has always been fun for us... now here was the chocolate lover's dream, other than owning Charlie's Chocolate Factory! We've always enjoyed the unique chocolate bars as well as cupcakes from Eclipse so couldn't resist the opportunity to spin up our own version! No experience was necessary in this casual chocolate-bar-making environment.

Huge ingredients bar at Eclipse Chocolate Build A Bar workshop

Check out the bar of ingredients! Over 30 different items are available to mix into your chocolate. My mind was swarming with possible combinations. They even let you sample the ingredients beforehand.

Instructions and wrappers at Eclipse Chocolate Build A Bar workshop

All instructions are written down or demonstrated, but Will and his staff also offered pairing ideas to assist in everyone's creative genius. Or... just go for the gold to create YOUR magical combo!

At the Gourmet Experience, visitors have their choice of live cooking demos, food competitions, and gourmet foods and products!  Besides the vendors, there were three different stages that showcased various chefs and their foods: the Gourmet in Action state, the Outdoor Grilling Stage, and the Kids Cook Activity Stage.  We attended on Sunday Oct. 9th 2011.

Ro Zinninger cupcake demo at The Gourmet Experience 2011

We had passes to the Gourmet Experience for Sunday Oct 9th. After looking at the schedule, our eyes were drawn toward one big thing: the Fish Taco TKO Competition!

This was the first year for the Fish Taco TKO Competition and the friendly Emcee, Josh Kopelman of Dining Out SD, introduced us to the 7 fierce competitors: