A growing number of American chocolate makers are working closely with cacao farmers around the world and creating a transcontinental food community that is raising the bar on quality while stimulating farming economies around the globe. Eligible entrants craft Good Chocolate from beans or liquor using no artificial ingredients or genetically modified soy lecithin, and make efforts to know their cacao farmers, understand their supply chains and source sustainably grown cacao beans. View the full criteria for entry.

Committee Chair

David Salowich directs the chocolate and retail program at Bittersweet Café.  He also works as a chocolate evangelist, giving lectures, guided tastings and chocolate-themed events at Double Monkey Chocolate.  Previously, David worked for Scharffen Berger company, where he opened their store at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza and worked as manager and home-baking advocate.


Perri Kramer is an Associate Store Team Leader at Whole Foods Market and most recently was the Marketing Team Leader at the Oakland Whole Foods, and has a rich background in sustainable food systems.  Before her time at Whole Foods, Perri served as the Sustainability Manager for Greg Christian Catering, worked at Danaco Solutions improving working standards for avocado farmers, and worked with the Fresh Ideas Group managing the Boulder County Farmers Markets and leading Farm Tours.  She currently runs her own banana bread company, The Banana Bread Lady.

Alice Medrich is one of the country’s foremost experts on chocolate. She opened her renowned dessert company, Cocolat in Berkeley, California in 1976 and she won the James Beard Cookbook of the Year award in 1990 and 1994. Medrich continues to influence chefs, chocolate makers, and home cooks, by writing, teaching and consulting.

Clay Gordon began his chocolate journey in 1994 after discovering Bonnat chocolate. He quickly realized that there was no one talking about chocolate in the same way as wine, so he decided to become a chocolate critic. He started publishing The Chocolate Life in May 2001.

Adam Smith’s San Francisco chocolate store Fog City News has one of the largest collections of imported premium chocolate bars in the United States. Adam is a trailblazer in the chocolate world and a hard-working supportive member of the chocolate community.

Gary Guittard is the president and CEO of Guittard Chocolate Company, one of the last family-owned American chocolate companies. He was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Fine Chocolate Industry Association. He has received numerous awards and published articles on chocolate and the industry.

Jessica Ferraro was smitten by craft chocolate when she discovered a Bonnat Chuao bar on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Paris on April Fool’s Day 2007.  Since then, she’s traveled from Africa to Venezuela in search of beautiful cacao and the chocolate painstakingly crafted from it.  Closer to home, she advises, educates and advocates for craft chocolate via Bar Cacao, which connects select craft chocolate makers with top specialty shops and curious consumers.

Grace Petersen‘s interest in chocolate is deep and dark, about 80% cacao dark, to be specific. She has enjoyed working with New York City’s Greenmarket in Union Square in the past. In her new home, San Francisco, she has been experiencing food sustainability’s strong culture through work with 18 Reasons and as a volunteer with the Good Food Awards during last year’s events.

Chocolate Judges

Alice Medrich, Author & Confectioner at Confectionary
Aubrey Lindley, Owner at Cacao
Adam Smith, Owner of Fog City News
Anastasia Terentyeva, Sales Assistant at Fog City News
Ann Daw, President at Specialty Food Association
Brian Wood, Owner and Baker at Starter Bakery
Darya Pino Rose, Creator and Moderator of Summer Tomato
Jessica Ferraro, Advisor at Bar Cacao
Kelly Geary, Owner of Sweet Deliverance, NYC
Merrill Stubbs, Co-Founder of Food52
Michael Dimock, President of Roots of Change
Michael Recchiuti, Founder and Confectioner at Recchiuti’s Confections
Sarah Gordon, Owner and Operator at Gordy’s Pickles
Stefanie Tocco Pilkington, Chief Operating Officer at Glen’s Garden Market
Sunita de Tourreil, Founder at The Chocolate Garage
Tamara Johnston
Tara Duggan, Freelance Writer at the New York Times