In partnership with Hershey, the Food Network will launch a primetime, four-episode television series, “Chocolate Meltdown: Hershey’s After Dark,” in time for Halloween.
Hosted by Sunny Anderson, the series locks skilled pastry chefs inside the Hersheypark after hours, and they compete to create chocolate showpieces. The series premieres Monday, Sept. 27 at 10 p.m. ET as part of the network’s 36 hours of Halloween-themed programming.
Three pastry chefs are locked inside the amusement park in each hour-long episode. They must solve clues and brave the thrilling rides to use Hershey sweets for their creations before the night is over. Working quickly with the help of just an assistant within Hershey’s largest candy store, Chocolate World, the competitors race against the clock as judges Ralph Attanasia (Food Network’s Buddy vs. Duff) and Maneet Chauhan (Winner, Tournament of Champions) determine who was the most successful at molding chocolate and spinning sugar into works of art. The winner of each episode earns a year's supply of Hershey candy, a Hersheypark vacation and a cash prize.
“'Chocolate Meltdown: Hershey’s After Dark' combines two of my all-time passions, going to amusement parks and creating art with food,” Anderson said. “I cannot wait to share these amazing chocolate displays with viewers, featuring some of the most talented pastry chefs on the planet.”
Created by Milton S. Hershey more than 115 years ago, Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa., is a 121-acre amusement park featuring more than 70 rides, a full water park and zoo.
“This brand-new series, the first ever to film overnight inside Hersheypark and Hershey’s Chocolate World, is a viewer’s ultimate Halloween fantasy brought to life,” said Courtney White, president, Food Network and streaming food content, Discovery Inc. “Our partnership with the iconic candy brand and the show’s no-holds-barred access to rides, sweets, and everything Hershey, Pa. offers, makes ‘Chocolate Meltdown: Hershey’s After Dark’ an addictive new highlight to our supersized Halloween lineup.”
In the first episode, competitors prove themselves with takes on a Creepy Crawly Carnival. After running through the park on a chilly and rainy night, the pastry artists take a spin on one of the park’s most dizzying rides. Back in Chocolate World, a cake artist quickly runs into problems, forcing them to adjust the design on the fly. Meanwhile, a sugar artist almost loses a battle against a 33-pound slab of dark chocolate, and a sculpting enthusiast uses enough Hershey’s candy to empty the whole store. Other episodes include the pastry chefs using Reese’s Pieces and Almond Joy candies to create a Scary Sci-Fi chocolate showpiece. And the competitors have their work cut out for them as they create Frightful Forest-themed chocolate displays incorporating Twizzlers Twists and York Peppermint Patties.
The Hershey Company offers more than 90 iconic brands around the world, including Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, and more, driving billions in annual revenue while also building connections within the community. In celebration of “Chocolate Meltdown: Hershey's After Dark,” Food Network has partnered with Hershey to give away custom branded s’mores and cups of Hershey’s Melted Hot Chocolate, as featured on the show, to consumers at Hershey’s Chocolate World timed to the series launch.
Fans can check out all the incredible creations and see Sunny, Maneet and Ralph compete in their own chocolate-themed challenges at FoodNetwork.com/HersheysAfterDark. Follow along with the competition on social media using #HersheysAfterDark.