George Mason University

News at Mason

Sweet! Nutrition and Food Studies Sponsors Chocolate Challenge

February 14, 2012

By Beth Pullias

Mason is pursuing a “sweet” new partnership. The Department of Nutrition and Food Studies is sponsoring the Chocolate Challenge during the City of Fairfax’s annual Chocolate Lovers Festival. The event will be held on March 3 and 4 in the department’s Nutrition Kitchen in downtown Fairfax.

The Chocolate Challenge showcases donated chocolate creations by both amateur and professional chefs and chocolatiers. This is all part of the festival, which has been hosted by the City of Fairfax since 1993 and attracts chocolate lovers from around the region. The purpose of the festival is to draw in visitors and encourage collaboration among the city government, the business community and area residents.

“We are really excited to be working with the City of Fairfax and hope to be involved with more activities in the future,” says Lisa Pawloski, associate professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies. “We are thrilled to have our Nutrition Kitchen in the City of Fairfax and want to show the community we’re proud to be here.”

Members of the community can stop by the Nutrition Kitchen to learn more about the new department as they check out the fantastical chocolate concoctions.

Currently, Nutrition throughout the Life Cycle, Global Health Perspectives on Alcohol, Nutrition/Chronic Illness, and four academic classes are using the kitchen this semester. Classes have been held in the kitchen — located in the old Metro Diner at 3950 University Drive — since fall semester 2011, when the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies was launched.

Visitors can view and even bid on these creative chocolate concoctions during the festival. The $1 admission fee also includes a raffle ticket to vote for the People’s Choice Awards. Proceeds will go to department’s nutrition- and public-health-related field work, as well as its student scholarship fund.

Want to be part of the challenge? Applications are due Feb. 17. The application and more information on rules and regulations can be found at