Academy of Chocolate Awards, 2019
I had a tickle, back in January. A little tickle that I needed to apply to the Academy of Chocolate Awards that take place every year in England. It is an event open to chocolate makers (like us) and chocolatiers world-wide, and this year they had over 1,600 entries from all over.
From their website:
“The Academy of Chocolate was founded in 2005 by five of Britain’s leading chocolate professionals, united in the belief that eating fine chocolate is one of life’s great pleasures.”
I’ve been making chocolate for some time, and learning always, and never felt quite right about competing. But something changed for me this year - this has been my year of finally taking the changes I’ve been thinking about for some time, and you’ve probably noticed that in the chocolates I’ve been putting out. It has been an emotional ride, but also a strengthening one, one where I’ve learned new limits and pulled back old ones.
And so, that February day, with time truly crunching for the entry period, I headed over to Mail Plus with my carefully packed bars that would be traversing the ocean without me. I remember so much the air that day, it was just about to snow, the clouds getting heavier and grayer, some dry flakes dropping down. As their little, shaggy, happy dog waddled around us, we decided on the rushed shipment, just to make sure; and in the weeks ahead I checked the tracking, nervously, every day, to see if it would arrive in time.
It turns out, it did.
I submitted the bar I had fallen in love with and had heard such lovely things about from the wonderful folks we get to work with at Uncommon Cacao and Cacao Verapaz. I just believe in this chocolate made from the ADIOESMAC’s beautifully fruity and maturely, ever so lightly bitter and deep cocoa beans. I’ve had a personal connection to these beans for some time, as I just realized they were some of the first beans I worked with through Chocolate Alchemy from 2011, and have admired Dandelion Chocolate’s bar made from these beans that I got to try in 2015. I guess some experiences just stick with you. Some beans just stick with you. Some people and their stories too.
And so yes, I just wanted to say how much I love this chocolate, and was thrilled to be awarded a Bronze in this year’s 2019 Academy of Chocolate Awards, Dark Bean to Bar under 90% category. We get to share space with so many chocolate makers I admire, and so many more I’m excited to explore.
Thank you for supporting us since we’ve been rolling out the chocolate in 2015. Four years. I can’t believe it. And yet the love is still there, even when I’ve tried to run from it. It keeps calling me back, because such beautiful things can be done with it.