Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs resident Holly Rogers has attended the Decadent Desserts benefit for Advocates Against Battering and Abuse for the past three years, and she said this year's event at Catamount Ranch and Club was the best one yet.
"It's such a good cause," Rogers said in between bites of a chocolate-swirled dessert. "It's fun too. And when you have fun for a good cause, it's a good combination," she said.
Tami and Scott Havener have attended almost all of the Decadent Desserts benefits. They said they keep coming back because of the cause, and of course, to sample the large array of sweets.
"It's like desserts for dinner," Tami said. "Who can pass that up? Also, it's fun to see the presentations. When I make instant chocolate pudding at home, it's just not the same."
Twenty one Steamboat restaurants participated in the event, and were judged on presentation by Chef David Beckwith, an instructor at the Institute for the Culinary Arts in Denver.
"It would be great if I could judge for taste," Beckwith said. "But you eat with your eyes first. It has to scream, 'eat me!' I'm looking for the desserts that give you a gut reaction."
Beckwith named three winners:
In first place, The Home Ranch with "The Reinvention of the Espresso Cup;" second place, Seasons at the Pond with "Dueling Chocolates;" and third place, Cottonwood Grill with "Chocolate Pyramids."
Diane Moore, executive director of Advocates Against Battering and Abuse, said the event has drastically grown in popularity since its inception.
"Through the years, this has been one of the favorite fund-raisers for the community," Moore said. "People get to eat, drink and enjoy a wonderful evening."
But the event also was aimed at raising awareness for battered and abused women.
To explain the seriousness of domestic violence against women, Moore read a list of things that can shroud a woman's vision when she is being abused.
She answered a question many battered women are asked, "Why don't you leave?"
Moore said it is more difficult to leave an abusive home than most people think but with support from friends, family and Advocates, there is hope.