Our focus is on celebrating confections - whether chocolate covered bon bons or gloriously simple caramels - produced using locally grown, natural, minimally processed ingredients that celebrate regional culture and tradition; highlight American terroir; and exemplify excellent in the candy making craft. View the full criteria for entry.
Susie Wyshak, Good Food Concierge, is delighted to draw upon her chocolate obsession–a childhood chocolate wrapper collection, several years at a confectionary, an MBA thesis on chocolate, and starting the Fair Trade chocolate program in the US–to help America’s bean-to-bar crafters get recognition for their better-than-good chocolate.
Brian Wood is the owner and Executive Pastry Chef of Starter Bakery in Oakland, CA. Prior to opening Starter, Brian was a consultant, product developer and baking and pastry instructor at the San Francisco Baking Institute. While at SFBI Brian designed and taught the pastry curriculum. In addition to teaching, Brian wrote the Viennoiserie and Pastry sections of Advanced Bread and Pastry: A Professional Approach and oversaw all aspects of the project from start to finish. Brian lives in Oakland, CA.
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.
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.
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.
Bernard Pacyniak has covered the global confectionery industry for Candy Industry magazine as editor-in-chief for the past eleven years. His professional experience encompasses more than 25 years of reporting, writing and editing about food processing, most of it focused on baked goods, snacks and confections. He has a passion for dark chocolate, wine and music.
Nina Wanat is the author of Sweet Confections: Beautiful Candy to Make at Home. She also founded BonBonBar Confections, which specialized in candy bars handmade with organic and local ingredients.
2013 CONFECTIONS JUDGES
Amy Machnack, Sunset Magazine
Diane Campbell, Owner of Candy Store SF
Jenny McCoy, Pastry Chef and Owner of Cisse Co
Amy Sherman, Blogger at Cooking with Amy
Nina Wanat, Author of Sweet Confections
Brian Wood, Owner and Baker at Starter Bakery
Thei Zervaki, Freelance Writer for Huffington Post, Southern Hospitality
Mindy Segal, Owner of HotChocolate
David A. Porat, Founder of Chelsea Market Baskets
Wendy Weiden, Formerly of Willams Sonoma
Mary Altman, Manager at Buyer’s Best Friend
Dorothy Williams-Neagle, Co-Founder of GoodFoodJobs.com
Emily Olson, Co-Founder of Foodzie.com
Jennifer Raven, Pastry Chef at Oliveto Restaurant
William Werner, Chef and Owner of Craftsmen & Wolves
Cindy Daniel, Founder of Shed
Erika Sipos, Industry Relations Manager at NASFT