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San Francisco Chocolate Salon Awards Announced

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Over 4,000 attendees savored the delectable offerings at the Third Annual San Francisco Chocolate Salon in March as part of the national Chocolate Stimulus Plan. Now, the Awards for this year's Salon have been announced. Finalists were selected by a team of expert panelists and can be seen on the Salon website.

The panel consisted of local food critics, culinary writers, critics, reviewers, and chocolate experts, and included Carol Bloom, author of Truffles, Candies, and Confections. The Salon's Chocolate Tasting Awards Panel included San Francisco Bay Area food and city journalists Leslie Harlib, Mary Ladd (SFist, Jalapeno girl), Alexandria Christakos (Draegers Gourmet Food & Wine Markets), Lily Ko (SFStation), Jack Epstein (Chocolate Covered Artisan Chocolate Shop), Yosh Han (Chocolate Perfumer), Karletta Moniz (CulinaryMuse.com), Jeannine Sano (Northside San Francisco), Amy Sherman (Cooking with Amy), Andrea Nadel (Gourmet Walks), Sara Moser Feinberg (The Pasta Shop), and Stephanie Ichinose (Yelp).

The panel also included Henry Tenenbaum (KRON 4 TV), Pam Elder (CulinaryForum.com), Edie & David Ichioka (Bunrab.com), Janine Kahn (SF Weekly), Tiffany Martini (SF Examiner), David A. Lytle (Frommers.com), Anita Chu (author of A Field Guide to Cookies), Teresa Rodriguez Williamson (TangoDiva.com), Katie Sweeney (YumSugar.com), and James Mellgren (Gourmet Retailer Magazine).

As if that weren't enough, the panel also featured Lindsey Shook (7×7 Magazine), Marcy Smothers (The Food Guy and Marcy Radio), Carolyn Jung (Foodgal.com), Sabrina Yeung (Stylehive.com),
Jessica Yadegaran (Bay Area Newsgroup), Janet Rudolph (Dying for Chocolate Blog), Janet & Richard Tarlov (Canyon Market), Diane Campbell (The Candy Store), A.K. Crump (TasteTV and Chocolate Television), and Iris Eisenlohr (Piacere Restaurant).

The chocolate tasting panelists had the luxurious responsibility of tasting all the chocolates and confections and rating them for consideration for the Chocolate Salon Awards. 

Top Awards included:

# Best Dark Chocolate: Amano Artisan Chocolate
# Most Luxurious Chocolate Experience: Dolce Bella Chocolates
# Best Truffle: Neo Cocoa
# Most Artistic Designs: William Dean Chocolates
# Best Flavored Chocolate: Marti Chocolatt
# Most Delicious Ingredient Combinations: Jade Chocolates

Other Awards:

# Best Toffee in Salon: Poco Dolce
# Best Organic or Fair Trade Products: Divine Chocolate
# Best Comfort Chocolate Product: Kikas Treats
# Best Wine or Beverage: Van Gogh Chocolate Vodka
# Best Flavored Chocolate Bar: Christopher Michael Chocolates
# Best Traditional Chocolates: Guittard Chocolate Company

# Top Artisan Chocolatier: Amano Artisan Chocolate

# Best Gift Set
– Poco Dolce
– Socola Chocolatier
– William Dean Chocolates
– Christopher Michael Chocolates

# New Product Award (Judges were split among the following):
– XOX Truffles
– Chopita
– Sterling Confections
– CJ's Bitz
– Christopher Michael Chocolates
– Choffy
– Marti Chocolatt
– Brix Chocolate
– Neo Cocoa

UPCOMING CHOCOLATE SALONS

July 12, 2009: Seattle Luxury Chocolate Salon
September 19 2009: Las Vegas Luxury Chocolate Salon
October 11 2009: Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon

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TasteTV is a leading multi-platform culinary, wine, fashion and lifestyle food network. Poplular TasteTV programs include Chocolate Television, wineFLIGHT, styleLIFE, and Tasteable: California. TasteTV events include Dark Dining (SFDark.com), the Luxury and International Chocolate Salons, and the TASTE AWARDS. TasteTV was the first multi-platform digital lifestyle network in existence, launched in 2004, and produces programs, events, and publications on food, travel and design.