Along with the chocolatiers and their amazing desserts, one highlight was celebrating this year’s Hall of Fame Honoree was Norman Love, founder of Norman Love Confections in Ft. Myers, FL, for his influential role in the establishment and development of the fine confection industry in North America.
The event was a chocolate lovers dream. All chocolatiers had samples to showcase their chocolate, proving why they deserved to be placed in the top ten. The chocolatiers selected this year and who we had the privilege to try their exquisite chocolate were:
- Michael Antonorsi – Chuao Chocolatier, San Diego, CA
- Anette Righi DeFendi – Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates, Kohler, WI
- Elaine Hsieh and Catherine Sweeney – EHChocolatier, Boston, MA
- Oliver Kita – Oliver Kita Chocolates, Rhinebeck, NY
- Slawomir Korczak – Polska European Bakery and Chocolat, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
- Daniel Sklaar – Fine & Raw, Brooklyn, NY
- Santosh Tiptur – Co Co Sala, Washington, D.C.
- Christophe Toury – Voila Chocolat, New York, NY
- Adam Turoni – Chocolat by Adam Turoni, Savannah, GA
- Susanna Yoon – Stick with Me, New York, NY
I am, what I call, a chocoholic. I love chocolate and I do not really have a limit so I was in heaven and I was blown away by the quality the ten chocolatiers presented.
I have no idea how they can ever select a winner. Chocolate is a very subjective experience and with different flavoring; it is always a matter of what you as a person love. If you are a chocolate lover like myself I would say, “Go nuts and just try them all!” Then you will find your favorite or favorites.
I was a fan of Anette Righi DeFendi’s chocolate amnd caramel pecan treat. It was a mix of three of my favorite things. And the smokiness from the caramel and the pecan just worked perfectly together.
My husband’s favorite was the Bourbon flavored chocolate from Susanna Yoon. Susanna Yoon is from New York, so there is no excuse to not stop by her store. I tried their cookies and champagne flavored chocolate and the quality of the chocolate was amazing.
Chocolate has seen new heights here in the US and we can finally say goodbye to the poor quality chocolate that has otherwise been dominating the US. Being a self-confessed chocoholic I have done my research on chocolate and how subjective the flavors can be. The first time I tasted Hershey’s was not a pleasant experience. Back in the day and some mainstream chocolate producers still use an element of vomit (yes, actual vomit!) which made me throw up the first time I tasted it. If you grew up with Hershey’s, you don’t taste it but we can now say goodbye to vomit flavored chocolate and enjoy European quality chocolate here in the US as well. I know I am biased, but hey, chocolate lovers have to be subjective!
Now go enjoy that chocolate!
Photos by Felicia Perretti