Salon Awards
Photo provided by International Salon Awards

You’re in the middle of a 30,000-sq.-ft room filled with chocolate, wine, and confections. No, you’re not dreaming about chocolate for the umpteenth time — you’re at the sixth annual San Francisco International Chocolate Salon Awards.

More than 50 master chocolatiers, confectioners, and wineries showed up at this year’s event, held March 4, which featured chocolate tasting, demonstrations, and new product launches. More than 26 first-place Salon Awards were given out to the most deserving chocolate and confectionery companies.

The biggest winner of the night was Sixth Course Artisan Confections, hauling in eight first place gold medals in categories such as best truffle, best flavored chocolate, and favorite product. The company also took home three second place awards, and three third place awards.

William Dean Chocolates came in second with four first place awards and six second place awards. The brand won gold medals in categories such as top artisan chocolatier and favorite company.

“William Dean Chocolates have an outstanding selection of flavors and continue to amaze with wonderful colorful designs,” one the of the judges said at the event.

Meanwhile, Alter Eco Fair Trade Chocolate, Jade Chocolates, CC Made, and Amano Artisan Chocolates all took home three gold medals.

“This year we won the best organic or fair trade product with our quinoa bar,” says Antoine Ambert, marketing manager at Alter Eco. “Every year we definitely look at that category closely and we’re especially proud to be in that category.”

And, California-based Chuao Chocolatier won two gold medals for best flavored chocolate and best new product, along with two silver medals.

“We are extremely honored and grateful for the opportunity to showcase our chocolate creations with the judges and guests at the International Chocolate Salon,” says Michael Antonorsi, co-founder and master chocolatier at Chuao. “I will continue what I consider a true pursuit of pleasure: crafting a creative chocolate experience that arouses the senses through a unique combination of flavor profiles and textures.”

The annual San Francisco International Chocolate salons allow chocolate aficionados, customers, and journalists to experience the finest in artisan, gourmet, and premium chocolates.