International Chocolate Awards 2022 Americas - Victories and Reflections

Dany Marquis

The results of the long-awaited International Chocolate Awards Americas 2021-2022 were released a few days ago. This competition which pits the best chocolate manufacturers from the three Americas against each other is one of the most prestigious chocolate tasting competitions in the world and determines the winners who will go to the world final to compete with the champions of Europe and Asia.

The version of the three Americas is fierce and the expertise of the competitors increases from year to year. And given the increasing level and the stakes for participants to win or lose, the organizers had no other choice but to increase the seriousness of their analysis and notification process. On this subject, they have completely revised the tasting standards in collaboration with the IICCT (International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting) to standardize tasting with the implementation of a protocol very inspired by coffee tasting and the system scorecard that we use a lot.

So we are within my ropes and not nearly so, and I can see that they have done an exceptional job, that the tasting analyzes are solid, and that the publication of a score makes it possible to better identify the winners.

The IICCT evaluation system model is based on the functioning of the brain when tasting chocolate, with an initial emotion such as "I like/I don't like" which is then dissected through different elements to arrive at a final grade.

Tasting chocolate remains above all a sensory and subjective experience, but the new method allows group scores to be combined by applying statistical analysis. They can produce a relatively objective score for each entry.

However, it remains an approach based on subjectivity and the big challenge remains the calibration of the tasters' palate, in the same way as the cupping protocol for coffee with the Q-Grader.

I must say that I am extremely satisfied with the results and our performance this year. I'll explain this to you below, but like any competition with judges, just like in sports, we sometimes don't really understand the results. However, the injustice of human subjectivity is unfair for everyone, so I tell myself that it becomes fair when it is the same system for everyone with enough judges to come up with an average if there were a judge in the potatoes.

Also, the feedback system with the analysis results sheets for each chocolate and each judge are very complete and worth their weight in gold so that we can continue to improve our chocolates. And even if sometimes, some judges seem to have tasted a completely different chocolate from the others, overall, it became very sporting and satisfying to participate.

Here are our best chocolates, now awarded medals!


Silver : Chaleur B Chocolate – Ucayali 72% (88.1 points)

Silver : Chaleur B Chocolate – Honduras 72% organic (87.7 points)

Silver : Chaleur B Chocolate – Maya Mountain 70% organic (87.2 points)

Silver : Chaleur B Chocolate – Tanzania 79% organic (86.8 points)

Silver : Chaleur B Chocolate – Ténébris 70% organic (86.0 points)


Silver + Special Innovation: Chaleur B Chocolat – Vegan white chocolate (86.2 points)

We are very excited about the news!

And this year the competition for us was risky, because we had decided to no longer participate in the "micro-batch" category which contains too many companies that we could call " hobbyists ", who work in their kitchen at home. house, or who only have one or two employees and whose speech resembles Mast Brothers caricatures, or corporate parodies.

This is because it is easy for a mini maker to spend weeks on a batch of 400g of chocolate, working it so that it is absolutely perfect, and sending it to the competition. Subsequently, reproduction on a more profitable scale will be impossible and the chocolate that consumers buy will be completely different from the one that the judges tasted. 2 weeks' salary on 10 40g bars of chocolate, that bar is expensive! So it's a strange model that isn't really controlled because it would be too complicated.

To be absolutely objective, the chocolates should be taken from the participants' current inventories, and/or be molded in similar molds because a certain recognition of the moldings brings a certain bias in the evaluation. Some manufacturers have unique and easily recognizable molds.

Note that I have always refused to give special treatment to the chocolates we send to competitions. The chocolates we send are the same as those our customers buy.

In addition, the allocation of scores and the evaluation criteria seem different in the micro-batch category, let's say more generous. We can see it in the awarding of medals, the number has exploded and is hotly criticized in the industry. In my opinion, too many medals are awarded in the micro-batch category. It looks like a sports competition for children, where everyone receives a participation medal at the end. So I wanted to get on board with the big guys and jostle with the best of the best, the cream of the crop.

I find that we often confuse authentic artisans with those who complicate the work to glorify useless steps whose sole purpose is to folklorize the profession. Registering for what we call in competition vocabulary the "large scale" category was for me a natural choice in the Chaleur B journey. And it was important to have recognition at another level, and not having the feeling of a participation prize.

Ended the minor league for us.

This is now done, and we have 6 chocolates which will find themselves in the big leagues for the grand world final! It's very exciting!

And I guarantee that the chocolates you will buy are absolutely the same as those sent to the competition.

Another fact to highlight, Chaleur B Chocolat is one of only 4 certified organic chocolate manufacturers in the competition, and we are the one who has obtained the most medals for organic chocolates across the 3 Americas!

See the full list of winners here

Moreover, today, we had the annual visit of the inspector from Ecocert Canada for our annual audit. This is serious . And even if several manufacturers list in their ingredients that they use organic cocoa, organic sugar, if they do not comply with the certification requirements, it is not credible, and it is not organic if you don't enter the dance with official certification , audits and all the framework that comes with it.

In short, I am very proud that Chaleur B Chocolat is the most decorated certified organic chocolate manufacturer in all of the Americas!

I continue on my path of pride.

Our star couverture chocolate, Ténébris 70% organic , won a silver medal in the Plain/origin dark chocolate bars category!

This chocolate is one of our most popular products and is intended for chocolatiers and pastry chefs . By working with our chocolates, chefs can make bean-to-bar their own and create to the extent of their imagination with authentic chocolates.

As I often tell chefs, our creations are for your imagination.

We simply molded the Tenebris into a tablet, and submitted it to the competition. We use this chocolate in our collection of creative chocolate bars , those that Diego Salvador aka Chico Salvador illustrated. It's also the chocolate used for our delicious brownie !

Many of our commercial clients have been using it in their designs for years and it has become a massive weapon of happiness !

I add another point.


For several years, I have been putting my creativity to the test using different frameworks, including the vegan framework. Or make creations, without dairy products. Creating milk chocolates (without milk) and white chocolate (without milk) was a great challenge to guide my creativity. What's better than imposing constraints on yourself to push innovation up a notch.

I have tried several recipes in the past, only to stop for a while with the use of soy. If the framework was respected, and given that I am not a true vegan and that my greedy side was not really satisfied with the particular taste of soy, I was still in a position of dissatisfaction.

It was by following the innovations in plant-based milk type drinks multiplying in coffeeshops that I opened myself up to new products. A latte made with almond milk, hemp milk, oat milk, cashew milk, etc. And in my search, I discovered the yellow nutsedge, aka the tiger nut . And I fell in love! In fact, it is not a nut, but rather a tuber . I learned that yellow nutsedge was among the oldest plants cultivated in Egypt. It was used as flour to make cakes. They can be seen elsewhere in Africa, including Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Mali. And we have even been growing it in Quebec for a long time without really knowing what to do with it.

My main inspiration was a very popular drink in Spain, horchata de chufa! Google it , it’s delicious!

Plus, it’s super nutritious. And it's less polluting than growing almonds or cashews, and above all it grows in Quebec. We also try to find local sources to obtain supplies.

Anyway, I made a white chocolate and also a milk chocolate version. It's very good.

We got a silver medal with the white chocolate , but the version with more cocoa pleased the judge less. I don't understand, but I respect the decision. It is the implacable justice of the injustice of subjectivity.

We also obtained a special “Innovation” mention for vegan white chocolate!

I end by telling you that these medals are timely, because we are in the process of building our new workshop. This new workshop will be finalized in the coming months and will allow us to install new equipment.

This new equipment will allow us to further improve the quality of our products. And I can't wait to rub shoulders with the best chocolate makers on the planet during the grand finale of the International Chocolate Awards.

Make good chocolate, without compromise, with the best equipment on the planet and share the happiness that this extraordinary food can provide!

As Bernard Voyer would say:
“Dream, get up, act .”

Now, we will celebrate as a team and put all the necessary efforts into implementing version 2.0 of Chaleur B Chocolat .



  • Sylvie Tremblay

    Félicitations, j’ai découvert votre chocolat dernièrement et vraiment wow
    Aimerais beaucoup pouvoir me le procurer chez moi à Matane comme à la boulangerie toujours dimanche encore mes félicitations 😍

  • Robert Vincent

    Tu nous rends tous fiers par procuration. En même temps tu nous rends humbles, car ta connaissance encyclopédique de tous les aspects du monde du café et du chocolat nous est pratiquement inaccessible. Félicitations à toi et à toute l’équipe qui t’entoure dans cette délicieuse aventure qui grandit à Carleton sur Mer !

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