Christy International Chocolate Awards
Martin Christy, one of the event organizers for the International Chocolate Awards Americas/Asia round in New York City.

Created  “to provide an objective and professional basis for recognizing the world’s best artisan chocolate makers,” the International Chocolate Awards released the results of its Americas/Asian round of global competition, held last week in New York City.

Some of the big winners headed toward the finals in London were:

  • Theo Chocolate, Seattle
  • Forte Artisan Chocolates, Mount Vernon, Wash.,
  • Patric Chocolate in Columbia, Mo.

Meanwhile, the U.S confectioners given an award in the World Finalists category included:

  • Fruition Chocolate
  • Jade
  • Chuao
  • TCHO
  • Hudson Chocolate
  • Payard
  • The Secret Chocolatier
  • L.A. Burdick
  • Socola Chocolatier
  • Chocolate Springs
  • Chocolopolis
  • Gearharts Fine Chocolates
  • Lillie Belle Farms
  • Xocolatti
  • FIKA Choklad
  • Tumbador and
  • Luxx 

Additional U.S. chocolatiers recognized in the National Awards segment included:

  • Amano Chocolate Co.
  • Teja Chocolate
  • Dandelion Chocolate
  • Chuao
  • Jcoco (Seattle Chocolate Co.)
  • Askinosie Chocolate
  • Socola Chocolatier
  • Chocolate Springs
  • Chocolopolis
  • Little Bell
  • Xocolatti
  • Fruition

Two dozen semi-finalists will advance to the world finals, on Oct. 19 at the new London Salon du Chocolat.

The world final competition pits these semi-finalists against those from the international European round, as well as against separate national competitions held in Canada, Italy and Israel.

The competition was established by Martin Christy of the fine chocolate review site and Kate Johns, director of Chocolate Week, who in 2004 had the original idea for this competition.

The competition segregates chocolate entries into 18 product categories, roughly divided between solid bars and filled chocolates. Filled chocolates were further divided into bonbons, pralines, ganaches chocolate spreads and typical national chocolate products.

Completing its second year and receiving a swelling of global interest among artisan chocolate makers, the Americas/Asian region round received double the number of entries from last year, according to competition organizers.

“I am very proud of the effort; in terms of the venue, quality of judges, the quality of product, the breadth of styles and regions,” says Maricel Presilla, organizer and judge.

Moreover, the competition provided some unexpected discoveries.

“One of the big surprises in terms of variety and quality of entrants was in the milk-flavored bar category,” Christy says. “You would think that would be a very mundane category, but that was the most creative standout of the categories; companies are using dark milks and doing very creative things, whether as a filling or inclusion.”

Among the winning creative flavor couplings were:

  • Forte’s Lemon Pepper Butter Truffle, which contains a fresh lemon butter ganache enrobed in white chocolate and seasoned with ground black pepper and sea salt
  • Two of Theo Chocolate’s caramels, a Honey Saffron Milk Caramel and Licorice Dark Chocolate Caramel.

 “The plain origin dark bar category was fantastic,” Christy adds. “The category could have been a stand-alone competition. The U.S. is leading this market, but we did have some entries from Latin America, such as Ecuador and Venezuela. “

Among the top collective winners, were Pacari Chocolate (Quito, Ecuador) with five medals and Patric Chocolate (Columbia, Mo.) with four medals, both of whom are bean-to-bar chocolate makers.

Ecudorian chocolate maker Pacari deserves a special mention,  as it collected three gold medals for a single product, its Raw 70% dark chocolate bar (Ecuador Gold, America’s Gold and America’s Gold for Chocolate Maker, Growing Country, Organic and Directly Sourced).

For a complete listing of winners, click on