Proceeds from Love & War Best Chocolate Dessert Contest Will Support Fire Evacuees 

Isaac Sandoval serves dessert at "Love and War" event.

Isaac Sandoval, left, co-owner of The Skillet restaurant in Las Vegas, serves a chocolate dessert to Highlands alumna and physical therapist Roberta Lucero at the Highlands Foundation Office’s “Love and War” chocolate competition Feb. 6., 2020. Photo: Margaret McKinney

April 26, 2022

The annual Highlands University Love & War Best Chocolate Dessert Contest will take place on Thurs., April 28, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Highlands Student Center. Proceeds from the event will benefit Highlands community members affected by the Hermit’s Peak and Calf Canyon fires.  

Participating businesses competing for the best chocolate dessert are Charlie’s Café, The Cowboy Café, Dick’s Restaurant, Prairie Hill Café, The Purple Grill, Pino’s Restaurant, Rachel’s Sweets & Treats, and The Skillet. 

Juli Salman, director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving, says competing businesses get very creative with the range of chocolate desserts they offer—many of their creations are on par with the showstopper desserts featured on the Great British Baking Show.  

“This is the first time since the pandemic that we’ve held the event,” said Salman. “We got local restaurants involved, and they will pull out all the stops and bring their best chocolate dessert.”  

Salman said participating local restaurants vary from year to year and they will often make desserts that they later add to their regular menus. Past chocolate creations have included things like deconstructed s’mores, homemade ice cream, chocolate dipped strawberries, and sculptures made of chocolate, among many other desserts.   

Tickets are $10 per person and include samples of all desserts, a signature cocktail, savory snack buffet, live music by Los Tropicales, and a silent auction. Items available at the silent auction include gift certificates to local restaurants—including the ones participating in the competition, artwork, jewelry, coffee baskets, and a beer gift basket that contains tickets to the Highlands Beer Fest that will be held in May.   

To vote for the best dessert, attendees will receive a token at the door that they can place in the canister of their choice once they have sampled all the desserts.  

“We really encourage everyone to sample all of them,” said Salman. “Usually what happens is you get pretty full after the first three, but I’m telling everyone to take a little bite of each one.”  

According to Salman, proceeds from the event usually support student success, but this year the priority has shifted.  

“All the proceeds we raise from ticket sales and the silent auction will be to help our staff, faculty, and students that have been impacted by the fires. It’s in support of our Highlands community,” said Salman.  

Tickets are available in advance at, or in person from 147 Communications Building, across from Ilfeld Auditorium. Tickets will be sold at the door too depending upon availability. Space is limited.