Solomons, MD –
 What started out as a unique way to celebrate Valentine’s Day has now become something the entire community may love. The important thing is—it still involves chocolate. The Calvert County Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Chocolover’s Affair is set for Saturday evening, April 1 from 6 to 10:30 p.m.

“It’s a chamber signature event,” said Bill Chambers, the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce’s current president. “While it was first tied to Valentine’s Day it morphed into something bigger.” When it started last decade the Chocolover’s Affair was held at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro. For the last few years and again in 2017 the event will be held at Asbury Solomons Riverview Restaurant. “They put on a wonderful cocktail reception,” Chambers said.

The other partnership that makes Chocolover’s Affair such a unique event is the one with Calvert County Public Schools, specifically the Career and Technology Academy. According to Chambers, food production teacher Alessia O’Dell coordinates the culinary students from the Career Technology Academy who are competing for recognition by preparing chocolate dessert creations. “Anonymous judges” will decide the winner of the People’s Choice Award. There will be an award ceremony toward the end of the event. The winner receives a professional chef’s set of knives courtesy of Asbury Solomons.

“It means so much to the kids,” O’Dell told “They’ve put in a lot of energy and effort.” This is the third year the academy students have been involved in Chocolover’s Affair. O’Dell, who has been an instructor at the academy for over 10 years revealed the names of the five student finalists who have prepared desserts for the event. They are: Joseph Reeves of Patuxent High School (PHS), whose entry is an inside-out truffle cheesecake; Naomi Wilson of Huntingtown High School, who has created a coffee Italian buttercream cupcake; Devin Jones of Calvert High School (CHS), whose creation is a lemon and raspberry truffle; Tamara Jones of PHS, whose entry is a frozen peanut butter squares; and the team of Kyle Smith of CHS and Dijonna Short of PHS, who have created a chocolate crème brulee. Jones said she and the academy students will be working 12 hours on the day of the event.

As for musical entertainment, the Chocolover’s Affair will feature Groove Spin and a quartet of string musicians from Calvert High School (CHS) will perform during dinner hour. The CHS Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Honor Guard will also participate.

The Chocolover’s Affair is a major fundraiser for the local chamber, which dedicates the receipts to its College of Southern Maryland Scholarship Fund. The event also has 14 corporate sponsors in three levels—Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate.

Additionally, the Chocolover’s Affair has what Chambers calls “some pretty cool stuff” that will be up for grabs. The “live raffle auction” items include a five-night Carnival Cruise for Two, VIP tickets to a John Mellencamp concert at Wolf Trap, a private wine tour package, a sunset cruise on the Patuxent River for 20 people, a golf package with foursome and carts at Old South Country Club, and an overnight stay for two with spa treatments at Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa.

Chambers stated the organization has a committee of “really great people” who have coordinated the event. Registration for the Chocolover’s Affair is continuing. Reservations are $85 per person and can be made at No walk-ins will be accommodated. The live raffle auction tickets will be on sale at the event for $20 for one, $50 for three and $100 for eight. 

Chambers acknowledged this year’s annual event will be a bite of bittersweet chocolate for him as he is leaving Calvert to assume leadership of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce later in April. This will be one of the last events he attends as the Calvert Chamber president.

Contact Marty Madden at