Craft Chocolat Challenge

Chocolate Contest for Craft Chocolate Makers by a Craft Chocolate Maker

In 2022 the Craft Chocolat Challenge was born.  We call it a challenge because it is more than just a regular contest.  It is a challenge against yourself (a chocolate maker) as much as a contest against other chocolate makers.  We provide feedback for all bars entered as well as prizes for winners.  More details and past winners can be found on this page.

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How It Works

This challenge is for Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Makers ONLY. It is geared to be more beneficial for small companies but any size maker worldwide may enter.

 

Entrants must meet the craft chocolate criteria we have put in place for this challenge. That simply put is, you need to know where your cacao is from and state that. (White Chocolate excluded) If you aren't big enough to do your own roasting/cracking/winnowing then Nib to Bar is fine, we all had to start somewhere as long as the cacao is ethically sourced and stated.  (Blends are accepted, state every origin) You may NOT start with a liquor or any other form that has already been made by another maker.

 

We allow up to 5 entries per maker with a maximum of 2 entries per category.  There is no fee to enter or register.  We require 11 bars for each entry to give to the panel of judges. They need to be full size, meaning the size you sell them at. If you have packaging for your bar then please send them in that as we will provide feedback for that as well. (Packaging will not count towards scoring for the contest) If you don't have packaging then you must provide an ingredients label on each bar for food safety.

 

We will provide you with all of the feedback we require judges to provide us with and these individuals will be from various backgrounds. We do not reveal the individual but you will know information about them so you can best understand their critique.  

 

There are four categories, Dark Chocolate - Milk Chocolate - White Chocolate - Inclusions.  This challenge is free of charge and made sustainable by sponsorships and/or the host (us) paying the expenses.

Our goal is to help the growth of Craft Chocolate by helping the maker.  We are not trying to label the "World's Best Chocolate", but rather help you make your best chocolate.  The judges will experience your bar as if they have purchased it.  They will study the packaging, the mold, and of course the actual bar from taste, texture, temper, mouthfeel, innovation, and presentation.  The judges will relay their preferences to you and you may do as you please with that information.  In our first contest we were able to correct some major packaging errors for a company and assist another with better mold ideas as well as recipe suggestions to name a few examples.  If there is something specific you are wanting feedback about we will note that and make sure the judges are aware of those desires.

Aside from the feedback, the actual competition is very exciting.  Each category has a 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winner with no ties.  There is also a Top Overall 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winner with all the categories combined.  This is a head to head contest against your peers.  The feedback will show you where you are overall as a chocolate maker, but the contest will show how strong a certain bar is against another.

For further information please check the FAQ on this page or send us a message through e-mail, Facebook or Instagram.  If you would like to become a sponsor of this event please contact us, we are actively seeking sponsorship for the 2023 program.

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Kentucky Living Magazine

Craving craft chocolate in Beattyville

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Edible Kentucky &

Southern Indiana

2022 Craft Chocolat Challenge Recap

2022 Judging Panel

Judge 1 Profile

Chocolate Maker/Chocolatier

Preferred Cuisine: Italian

Preferred Chocolate: Milk

Preferred Beverages: Red Wine, Vodka w/ Red Bull, Not a beer drinker

Judge 2 Profile

Chocolate Maker/Pastry Chef

Preferred Cuisine: 

Preferred Chocolate: Dark Milk

Preferred Beverages:

Judge 3 Profile *

Experienced Chocolate Maker

Preferred Cuisine: Italian

Preferred Chocolate: Milk

Preferred Beverages: Red Wine, Vodka w/ Red Bull, Not a beer drinker

Judge 4 Profile *

Chocolate Revewier

Preferred Cuisine:

Preferred Chocolate:

Preferred Beverages:

Judge 5 Profile

Chocolate Journalist

Preferred Cuisine:

Preferred Chocolate:

Preferred Beverages: 

Judge 6 Profile

Chocolate Reviewer

Preferred Cuisine:

Preferred Chocolate:

Preferred Beverages:

Judge 7 Profile

Food Magazine Editor

Preferred Cuisine:

Preferred Chocolate:

Preferred Beverages: 

Judge 8 Profile

Culinary Writer

Preferred Cuisine:

Preferred Chocolate:

Preferred Beverages:

Judge 9 Profile

Regional/National Writer

Preferred Cuisine:

Preferred Chocolate:

Preferred Beverages:

Judge 10 Profile

National Food Writer/Influencer

Preferred Cuisine:

Preferred Chocolate:

Preferred Beverages:

Judge 11 Profile

Graphic Designer

Preferred Cuisine:

Preferred Chocolate:

Preferred Beverages:

Judge 12 Profile

Chocolate Lover/Customer

Preferred Cuisine:

Preferred Chocolate:

Preferred Beverages:

Judge 13 Profile

Health Conscious Rock Climber

Preferred Cuisine:

Preferred Chocolate:

Preferred Beverages:

Judge 14 Profile

Health Conscious Rock Climber

Preferred Cuisine:

Preferred Chocolate:

Preferred Beverages:

* Certified Chocolate Taster

2022 Winners

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2022 Sponsors

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2022

Notes
 

• Cacao beans from 18 regional cacao farms spanning 11 different countries of origin.

• 33 Chocolate Bars accepted from 4 continents, 5 countries,  7 States.

• 14 judges from various backgrounds to create a unique and powerful panel for The Craft Chocolat Challenge hosted by the Chocolat Inn & Café located in Beattyville, Kentucky .

Dark Chocolate Category

15 entries

Milk Chocolate Category

6 entries

White Chocolate Category

4 entries

 

Inclusions Category

8 entries

Additional Press

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FAQ

When is the contest?

The contest takes place in the middle of January and winners are announced shortly after. (Will announce 2023 dates when confirmed)

 

How do we enter?

There is an online form that must be filled out for each entry. (Link posted at time of accepting chocolate bars)

 

When do we send our bars?

We start accepting entries in October and stop accepting in early January. 

 

Where do we send our bars?

Chocolat Inn & Café 

1165 Highway 11 S

Beattyville, Kentucky 41311

USA

(For international entries we will send additional details)

 

Who can enter the contest?

Any chocolate maker worldwide that ethically sources their beans (or nibs) and creates their own chocolate from beans or nibs.  Chocolate makers must state the origin of the beans. (White Chocolate Excluded)

 

Do the bars have to be single origin?

No, blends are accepted but each origin needs to be stated. 

 

How much does it cost to enter?

There are no fees. 

 

How many bars can we enter?

Each chocolate maker may enter up to 5 bars, but only 2 bars per category are accepted. 

For example, you can enter 2 Dark Chocolate, 2 Milk Chocolate and 1 White Chocolate or any combination that doesn’t exceed 2 per category and/or 5 overall. 

 

How much chocolate do we send?

You need to send 11 full sized bars per entry. Full sized means the size you sell your bars.  Typically that’s 1-3oz bars. Mini bars are harder for us to provide adequate feedback. 

 

How do we prepare the samples to send?

If you have packaging for your product send yours bars complete in that. If you don’t have packaging then send them in a plastic sleeve individually wrapped with an ingredients label on each. 

 

What are the prizes?

The top 3 winners of each category will receive a physical medal mailed to you.  You will also receive a digital seal to use and a emailed certificate. There is zero charge for these but if your country is difficult to send the physical medal to and shipping is in the hundreds of dollars we might need to discuss our options.  In 2022 we shipped 3 awards internationally totally around $600. Sponsors covered these cost but if it would’ve been 12 awards at that same rate it would have been difficult. We encourage international participation and will do everything we can to cover all the costs. Just making that disclaimer. 

 

What are the categories?

Top Overall (all categories combined)

Best Dark Chocolate

Best Milk Chocolate

Best White Chocolate

Best Inclusion

 

What is considered an inclusion?

We consider inclusions to be any physical ingredient on the bar or pieces inside the chocolate bar. For example, if you put coffee beans on the back of your milk chocolate bar it’s an inclusion. If you grind the coffee with the nibs and it’s smooth like the rest of the milk chocolate then it’s not an inclusion, that would be considered milk chocolate. (Please try to submit to the correct category but we will adjust if not submitted correctly)

 

How do we get the feedback?

We will email you the feedback. Hopefully not long after the contest concludes. In 2023 we will be going digital with our judging sheets to help speed this process up.