The International Chocolate Awards is now accepting applications for the second annual International Chocolate Awards Americas Round.

The judging is set to take place in New York City on June 25 – 27 at the Institute of Culinary Education, with the winner being announced on June 29 at the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA)’s summer event in NYC.

Applications from qualified U.S., Latin American and Asia Pacific candidates will be accepted until June 19. Award categories ranged from bars to bonbons, flavored or plain. It is a time where artisanal and elaborate chocolatiers are encouraged to showcase their best creations and be honored for their efforts. 

International Chocolate Awards
This year's Italian National Competition Ceremony

“This year’s competition will continue to add value and luster to the exceptional chocolates now being made in our part of the world, and shine a spotlight on many talented small chocolate makers who are quietly revolutionizing the industry,” says Maricel Presilla, International Chocolate Awards Americas partner.

The Award panel will be comprised of more than 100 chocolate experts, food journalists and pastry chefs. In addition, the Awards are presided over by a grand jury of international experts who have traveled to each international competition. The panel includes: Martin Christ, judging director and chocolate expert; Pam William, founder of Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts; Monica Meschini, Italian chocolate and teas taster; and Maricel Presilla, James Beard award-winning chef and author.

After three rigorous rounds of judging, one competitor from each category will be crowned victor with a Gold award, followed by several Silver winners in each product category as well. Special awards will also be given in the following categories: bean-to-bar chocolate makers, directly sourced cacao as well as countries with more than 10 entries in a category.

The Mott Green Memorial Award will also be announced at the FCIA. A new category of the International Chocolate Awards, this award is in memory of the legendary founder of Grenada Chocolate Company, who passed away on June 1. A steadfast sustainability activist and champion of cacao farmers, Green’s company was environmentally conscious and committed to going above and beyond the call of duty when it came to cocoa sustainability. The award will highlight excellence in developing cacao cooperatives that aim at preserving native varieties, growing sustainable cacao, protecting the environment and making an effort to make cacao liquor (or finished chocolate) in the country of origin to add value to the communities.

International Chocolate Awards
The winner's buffet

“These awards have no match in transparency, rigor and scope,” continues Presilla. “Between 2012 and the beginning of this year, Grand Jury members and I tasted more than 1,000 chocolate products during several national rounds of competition, from Tel Aviv and Florence to London and New York; an exercise that has given me unparalleled understanding of chocolate’s complexity and potential.”

Winners of the Awards will advance to the World Finals in London during October’s Chocolate Week. They will compete alongside winners of the European, Israeli, Italian and Canadian rounds.