Who’s the Person Behind Chocolate Tasting & More?

Hi Fellow Chocolate Lover!

My name is Savina and I graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in General Biology. I’ve been involved with environmental and science education for over three decades. And during that time, I’ve become especially smitten by the many facets of chocolate.

It all began growing up in the Italian North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco where I have fond memories watching my Nana make her version of the chocolate-laden Toto Cookies (be on the lookout for the recipe in my blog). I would also catch the occasional waft of cocoa being processed at the Ghirardelli factory while walking along the bay front, which I considered my backyard.

Then in the early 1980’s, while working at an environmental education center in the Berkeley Hills, the staff developed a number of food programs to lure people into the park. Others chose to concentrate on sushi, beer and tea. At the time I was reading Chocolate: The Consuming Passion by Sandra Boynton. (Have you read it? Well, it’s a hoot). That wonderful little book made my decision easy: chocolate would be my topic. And thus, began a life-long passion.

When moving to the Portland Metro in 1999 with my husband, I brought my love of food, people and history along with me and began offering indoor chocolate tastings. Several years later, after attending a local food tour, I thought it would be wonderful to have one specifically devoted to everything chocolate. The “seed” was planted. I offered my first Downtown Portland Chocolate Walk in 2007 and Chocolate Tasting & More was born.

My love of eating my way through neighborhoods led me to expand my offerings to the Pearl/West End and Lake Oswego. In addition to these Portland Original Neighborhood Chocolate Walks, I also developed the Sweet & Savory Walking Tour right across the Columbia River in neighboring Vancouver, Washington.

Today, I now call North Idaho/the Inland Northwest home and visit St. Petersburg, Florida, seasonally.  I thoroughly enjoy interacting with chocolate makers, as well as crafting and providing engaging programs, whether they are indoor experiences or an experience out “in the field.”

Chocolate Tasting & More was created to foster an appreciation of fine eating chocolate and to highlight the amazing journey of cacao from tree to taste buds through fun and educational programs. Since 1983, I’ve had the opportunity to present chocolate tastings in California, Oregon, Washington, Florida and Idaho. Once you are around me, it becomes pretty apparent that I enjoy sharing information about chocolate almost as much as eating it! Impossible, but true!

Join us and see what makes our programs so unique. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or for more info.

Happy Chocolating!

Savina Fazio Darzes

We’ve Gone Chocolating with the Following Organizations:


  • Environmental Education Center, Tilden Region Park, Berkeley
  • Crab Cove Visitor Center, Alameda


  • West Linn-Wilsonville Community Education
  • Carmen Oaks, Lake Oswego
  • West Linn Parks and Recreation Department
  • APEC-Association of Computer Professionals in Education, Resort at the Mountain, Welches
  • Lake Oswego Adult Community Center
  • Intel, Hillsboro
  • Wilsonville Parks and Recreation
  • Lake Oswego Women’s Coalition
  • Chocolate & Music for Charity: A Benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, West Linn
  • Judge for the Best in Portland Dessert- ChristieCare Chocolate Unwrapped Event, Portland
  • Lake Oswego Parks & Recreation
  • Wil-Lo-Linn Girl Scouts Summer Day Camp, “Camp Is Like A Box of Chocolates.”
  • Portland Community College Community Education
  • Linfield College, Student Activities, McMinnville
  • “Dewey Talks ” Lectures, Wilsonville Public Library
  • Lake Oswego Moms’ Club
  • Rose Schnitzer Manor, Portland
  • Elsie Stuhr Center, Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation
  • 10,000 Villages, Portland
  • MemAerobics’ Brain Wellness Series, McMinnville


  • Evergreen School District, Vancouver
  • Luepke Senior Center, City of Vancouver
  • Decadence Chocolate Festival, Spokane


  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Eckerd College, St. Petersburg


  • Post Falls Parks & Recreation
  • Human Rights Education Institute, Coeur d’Alene
  • Inland Northwest Food Network, Coeur d’Alene
  • Unity Spiritual Center of North Idaho, Coeur d’Alene

Here’s What Our Program Guests Have to Say:

Indoor Tastings
“I enjoyed your class immensely: the chocolate, not withstanding, the info that you set forth of chocolate making and the chocolate tasting and history was incredibly interesting.”
Julie, West Linn Wilsonville School District

“Second time around and enjoyed it again! We may be back for a 3rd time!”
Veronica and John, West Linn, OR

“Thank you for the wonderful chocolate program. Your presentation was very warm and welcoming, full of great information, not to mention great chocolate!”
Elena, Marylhurst University

“I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the wonderful addition to our wedding shower. Everyone enjoyed the tasting and you were were wonderful! Thanks so much for being a part of my daughter’s special day!” Leslie, Vancouver WA

I can’t wait to send others your way, Savina.  Your passion for your subject is contagious. Thank you for a yummy education.” MJ, Portland Or

“The worst part of the program was leaving!”

Neighborhood Chocolate Walks
“Thank you Savina for adding new places to enjoy in our most wonderful city. I’ve gotten several emails from those on yesterday’s tour saying how much they loved it and how full they still are!”
Eleanor, Portland OR

“Thank you for doing such a great job for us! I love that you mix the intellectual with the delectable. ”
Terri, West Linn Parks & Recreation

“Thanks so much for taking us around; the feedback I am getting was glowingly positive! Everyone enjoyed themselves, loved the chocolate, loved your enthusiasm and knowledge, and even enjoyed walking in the downpour! It kind of added to the excitement and mood, don’t you think?!”
Louise, Portland OR

“Thanks for a great chocolate experience today. This was a wonderful end to our anniversary week that topped many other fun times we had over the last few days.”
Doug & Ruth, Portland OR

Newsletter (2009-12 Click HERE to see past issues)
“I don’t know how you do it through the internet – but I can smell chocolate when I read your newsletter.”
Cindy, St. Petersburg FL

“Thanks for putting me on your newsletter list. What a great idea! This is one e-newsletter I will look forward to reading.”
Marcia, Bend OR