My Life As a Chocolate Judge

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Yesterday I was at the Tucson Taste of Chocolate event at the Doubletree Hotel where I was a judge along with Karyn Zoldan, Edie Jarolim, Mary Paganelli and three other celebrity judges. It was a fund raiser for the Rincon Rotary.

You would not believe all the ways people presented chocolate. There were all the usual suspects: cakes, cupcakes, cookies, fudge and a chocolate fountain. But then there was salted chocolate nut bark, a chocolate empanada, chocolate nut praline, turtle cookies, chocolate pizza, something called chocolate Charlotte, chocolate balsamic vinegar, a chocolate enchilada, chicken mole and much, much more. Some places had just one item; others had three, four, five or more.

It was lots of fun and utter heaven.

There were four categories: Restaurant, Caterer, Bakery and Just Chocolate – I judged the last two.

I don’t have the People’s Choices winners but the Judges’ Winners are below the cut:

Restaurant:
Zona 78

Bakery – a tie:
Bird’s Nest Baking Company
Le Bon Gateau

Caterer
:
Creative Catering

Just Desserts
:
The Doubletree Hotel (my personal favorite)

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