The winning sculpture at the Chocolate Fantasy contest.

Chef Charity Teague, pastry chef at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, received top honors at the 21st annual Chocolate Fantasy, a gala fundraiser event to benefit the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation.

Teague’s chocolate sculpture, “A Green Fairy Tale: An Absinthe Fantasy,” received first place in the “Hotels and Casinos” category of “Most Artistic Sculpture” as well as second place for “Best Tasting Truffle Samples.”

The sculpture was inspired by this year’s Chocolate Fantasy theme of “Once Upon a Time, an Enchanted Chocolate Fantasy.” Standing at 2 1/2 ft tall, the sculpture was made using Callebaut 53% dark chocolate and given a mahogany wood finish using painting and buffing techniques. The green fairy on the sculpture was created by hand, using modeling chocolate, sugar cubes and isomalt.

Teague was also recognized for her truffle samples. She created “The Absinthe Truffle,” made from Callebaut 53% dark chocolate, which envelops a ganache infused with Lucid Absinthe Superiore. For the finishing touch, the truffles were adorned in sheer layers of green and gold glitter.

The 21st annual Chocolate Fantasy took place on March 2 at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa.

— Rio Rancho Observer