The Serious Chocolate Contest

The Serious Chocolate Contest Rules 2018

We take our chocolate seriously, but we seriously want to have fun with it!

Official Rules

Entry Form

Calling all arm-chair pastry chefs and chocolate bakers! Chocolopolis is accepting entries for the Serious Chocolate Contest to be held at Chocolopolis on Saturday, March 24th. Create a delicious chocolate dessert or confection in one of two categories using Taza Chocolate. On Saturday, March 24th a panel of judges will convene at Chocolopolis in Interbay to judge your creations and award prizes.

The Basics
Each entry must include Taza Chocolate as its primary chocolate ingredient, with the exception of cacao nibs and cocoa powder. Any cocoa powder used must be natural (not Dutch-processed or “cocoa processed with alkali”) and must meet our ingredient requirements*. Cacao nibs must not contain other ingredients.
* Please see our “Chocolate Criteria” section for more information about our ingredient requirements.

Entries may be submitted in two categories:
1.    Chocolate Dessert
2.    Chocolate Truffle or Confection
The contest is limited to one entry per person per category.


Why is Taza Chocolate the Theme?
Consider this a throw down challenge from our Chief Chocophile, Lauren Adler. We thought it would be fun to have a theme that makes participants think outside the box, and inspires them to create innovative and tasty treats.

Many customers do not think of Taza Chocolate as a confectionery chocolate because it is an unrefined chocolate with a grainy and sandy texture. Lauren has used Taza Chocolate successfully in many delicious chocolate creations, and it has become one of her favorite chocolates for mousse and ganache. The sugar melts once heated, removing some of the grainy texture, and the underlying cacao shines through with incredibly delicious flavor notes that speak of well-fermented cacao that is roasted to perfection.

Taza Chocolate has been a pioneer and a leader in the craft chocolate movement. Taza’s Founder, Alex Whitmore, created Maya Mountain Cacao, planting the seed for other craft chocolate makers to more easily purchase quality cacao directly from farms at country of origin. The launch of Maya Mountain Cacao, and Taza’s continued work in countries of origin, have resulted in improved harvest and post-harvest practices. This means higher quality cacao, a better price for farmers and a more direct relationship with craft chocolate makers.

We hope you’ll help us celebrate Taza Chocolate’s significant contributions to the craft chocolate community, and their delicious chocolate, by entering a chocolate dessert or confection of your creation. We look forward to tasting the fruits of your innovations!

The Prizes

  • Best in Show – There will be one overall winner of the contest who will be awarded “Best in Show”. The winning entry will be chosen based on the judges’ evaluations of entries across both categories, and they will be awarded based on the chocolate excellence and appearance of the dessert. The winner will receive a gift basket filled with chocolate, confectionery tools and other goodies as well as a copy of Megan Giller's book, "Bean to Bar Chocolate: America's Craft Chocolate Revolution" and delicious chocolates from Taza Chocolate.
  • First place – Awarded in each category, first place winners will receive a gift basket filled with chocolate and other goodies as well as a copy of Megan Giller's book, "Bean to Bar Chocolate: America's Craft Chocolate Revolution" and delicious chocolates from Taza Chocolate.
  • Second place – Awarded in each category, second place winners will receive a gift bag filled with Taza Chocolate and a copy of Megan Giller’s book, “Bean to Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution.”
  • Third place – Awarded in each category, third place winners will receive a gift bag filled with Taza Chocolate.

Chocolate Criteria:
On the day of the event, contestants will be required to disclose which Taza chocolate they’ve used in their creations. Contestants are encouraged to ask Chocolopolis if they have questions in advance. All chocolate must meet the criteria listed below.

  • We selected Taza Chocolate because of the excellent quality of the cacao beans and the depth of flavor in its chocolate, as well as its adaptability to many pastry applications. The ingredients are minimal and well-sourced, and they meet our strict criteria for what is acceptable in artisan chocolate. Following are what we at Chocolopolis consider the only acceptable ingredients in a dark chocolate’s ingredient list:
    • Chocolate liquor, cocoa mass, or cocoa beans
    • Sugar
    • Cocoa butter
    • Real vanilla
    • Lecithin
  • Taza Chocolate does not offer cacao nibs or cocoa powder. You may use nibs or cocoa powder from other sources. The ingredients must abide by our Quality Chocolate Criteria, particularly related to cocoa powder:
    • Natural Cocoa Powder Only – We will NOT ACCEPT recipes using Dutch Process Cocoa Powder (also referred to as Cocoa processed with alkali).  Only recipes using natural Cocoa Powder are acceptable. If you submit an entry that uses Dutch Process Cocoa Powder it will be disqualified.

Entry Categories & Prizes

Contestants may submit one entry to either or both categories listed below. First, second and third-place prizes will be awarded in each category. A Best in Show winner will be selected across the categories for its chocolate excellence.

  1. Best chocolate dessert - Any chocolate dessert that is not a confection is eligible for this category. Examples include chocolate mousse, ganache tarts, brownies, cookies, cakes, ice cream, etc.
  2. Best Truffle or Confection - Best truffle/confection includes any bonbon covered in tempered chocolate.

How to Enter

To enter, fill out The Serious Chocolate Contest entry form at and bring it to Chocolopolis along with the entry fee or pay the entry fee online. The cost to enter is $15 per item. If you enter both categories, your total entry fee will be $30. You may also email us the entry form online.  Please DO NOT email us credit card information. Email is not a secure form of communication, and we cannot be responsible for credit card information that is emailed to us. The entry form and entry fee are due no later than 10:30am on March 24. If you wish to enter in person you may bring the entry form and fee to us at 1631 15th Ave. W, Ste. 111, Seattle, WA 98119. Deadline for submitting entries and paying the entry fee is 10:30 am, Saturday, March 24th. Judging begins at 11:00am on Saturday, March 24. Entries submitted after 10:30am on the day of the event will not be considered. Limit ONE entry per person per category. Please call us at (206) 282-0776 if you have questions.

Key Dates & Times
Saturday, March 24 at 10:30am, Entry deadline
All entry forms completed and turned in, all entry fees paid and all entries turned in for judging no later than 10:30am. We will be here beginning at 10:00am to accept entries for judging. You may submit your entry form and entry fee in advance, or on the day of the judging.
Saturday, March 24 at 11:00am, Judging begins
Judges will retire to the judging rooms to taste and evaluate the entries. Entrants will enjoy a pizza party in the community lounge during judging.
Saturday, March 24 at 12:00pm (approximately), Winners announced
Judges announce winners and award prizes.

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate the entries based on how well they showcase the chocolate. All entries must use Taza Chocolate exclusively, with an exception for natural cocoa powder and cacao nibs. Entrants will be required to disclose the type of Taza Chocolate used in the dessert or confection. Any entry using cocoa powder or nibs must include the ingredient panel from the packaging of these products. Entries must meet the quality artisan chocolate criteria outlined in the contest rules. Any entry deemed to not meet these criteria will be disqualified from consideration. Judges will evaluate entries based on the following criteria:

  1. Taste and texture – This is a chocolate contest, so the dessert should highlight the quality and the flavor of the chocolate chosen. Entries will be judged based on how well they showcase the flavor characteristics of the chocolate. The texture should be appropriate to the type of dessert being evaluated. (5 points)
  2. Appearance – Dessert should look professional and appetizing. In the case of tempered chocolate, the chocolate should be shiny, free of blemishes, streaks and air bubbles. (5 points)
  3. Advanced Techniques – Extra points will be given to entries that show use of advanced techniques. (2 points)

Product Submission and Judging

Judging will take place beginning at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 24th at Chocolopolis in the Lounge of the Interbay Work Lofts, located at 1631 15th Ave. W, Seattle, WA 98119, (206) 282-0776. Entries must be received by 10:30 am on Saturday, March 24th or they will not be considered. Contestants may drop off entries beginning at 10:00 am on Saturday, March 24th. No entries may be submitted before the day of the contest, but you are welcome to submit entry forms and entry fees in advance.

You must provide enough for five judges’ portions. We encourage you to provide extra so that you may share your dessert or confection with the other entrants once judging is completed.

Winners in each category and a Best in Show prize will be announced after judging has finished.

Other Important Information:

Promotional Release

Contestants agree to have their name, photograph and/or likenesses used by Chocolopolis for promotional purposes, including on social media, before, during and after the contest.


Employees of Chocolopolis and employees of the judges are not eligible to enter or win.

Limitations of Liability

Chocolopolis is not responsible for any inaccuracies in information which may be used in the Contest, or for any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of entries.

Winner’s List

A list of the prize winners will be available on March 25th, 2018 on our website.

For More Information Please Contact:


1631 15th Ave. W, Ste. 111

Seattle, WA 98119