Judging was held at The Fresh Factory, Auckland on Wednesday 12 September. The panel comprised of 15 of this country’s top food experts led by Head Judge, Elle Coco (Crocker) who assessed 135 New Zealand made chocolates.Today the top chocolates have been named – many sharing the theme of being unique to New Zealand – using local ingredients such as Manuka honey or incorporating Kiwi favourites such as hokey pokey or Central Otago Pinot Noir.The 48 medal winners consist of 15 Gold Medals, 17 Silver Medals and 16 Bronze Medals.Gold Medal winners in the bean to bar section, chocolate makers who import cacao and make their own chocolate are:
- Hogarth Craft Chocolate, Buttered Toast & Sea Salt
- Hogarth Craft Chocolate, Manuka Honey & Cocoa Nib
- Hogarth Craft Chocolate, Sarsaparilla & Candied Orang
- OCHO Limited, 100% Cacao Solomons, Bean-to-bar Chocolate Bars, Dark Chocolate Bar
- OCHO Limited, 75% Cacao Fiji, Bean-to-bar Chocolate Bars, Dark Chocolate Bar
Other Gold Medal winners across all categories are:
- Honest Chocolat, Manuka Honey Chocolate Tablet
- House of Chocolate, Banana & Hokey Pokey organic Dark Chocolate Bar
- Choco Loco, A Currant Affair
- Devonport Chocolates, Hauraki Salted Caramel Chocolate
- House of Chocolate, Caramelised Hazelnut Gianduja Bonbon
- Schoc Chocolates, Blackberry and Vanilla
- Sublime Chocolates, Akarua Pinot Noir Bonbon
- The Chocolate Workshop, Passionfruit Bonbon
- She Universe, Decadent Date
- Hogarth, Hazelnut Spread
Head judge Elle Coco says “I’m thrilled to see the talent and craftsmanship of this year’s’ entrants, some of whom already have international recognition - and some who will no doubt gain such recognition in the future.
“With such a great array of entries it’s been a real challenge determining this year’s winners. But with a panel of expert judges across the food industry, we’ve achieved the mammoth task of determining the most inspiring and worthy winners for 2018!
The judging panel members were; Luke Owen-Smith (owner of The Chocolate Bar, Wellington), Ganesh Khedekar (Pastry Chef and member of NZ Culinary Olympic Team 2016) , Shaun Tyagi (Head Chef, Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill), Trudi Nelson (Food writer and media personality), Sam Mannering (Head Chef and owner of the Homestead), Sarah Harrap (Pastry Chef, Criollo Chocolates and Desserts), Kathy Paterson (Food editor Bite magazine), Vicky Ravlich-Horan (chef and editor Nourish magazine) , Manesh Manthena (Pastry Chef, Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill) , Jasbir Kaur (President, NZ Chefs Auckland Branch), Ginny Grant (Senior food writer, Cuisine), Emma Rawson (Editor This NZ Life and passionate foodie), Anna King Shahab (food writer and judge), Lorna Subritzky (food enthusiast and media personality) and Kimberley Dixon (Editor, Hospitality Business). Winners of the Best Packaging Awards and Best in Class Awards including the 2018 Supreme Champion will be announced on Thursday 4 October, ahead of the NZ Chocolate and Coffee Show at The Cloud in Auckland’s CBD on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October. The NZ Chocolate Awards would not be possible without the support of Fresh.co.nz, Intermedia NZ, Marvellous Marketing, Label & Litho, NZ Life & Leisure and Antipodes.