Pearls of the Mediterranean

This year's winners are setting the bar high for craft chocolatiers

We are thrilled to unveil the outstanding chocolatiers who have triumphed in the Italian/Mediterranean Craft Chocolatier Competition 2023. Held in the picturesque city of Florence, Italy, between March and April 2023, this highly anticipated event celebrated the rich flavors and influences of the Mediterranean region.

The competition brought together an array of talented chocolate companies from Italy and countries around the Mediterranean. It served as a platform to showcase their passion, creativity, and dedication to the craft of chocolate-making.

With its unique combination of cultures and ingredients inspired by the bountiful Mediterranean sea, this competition exemplifies the harmonious fusion of flavors that captivate chocolate enthusiasts worldwide.

The winners of this Italian/Mediterranean Craft Chocolatier Competition will advance to the highly anticipated World Final, in November 2023. This extraordinary achievement propels them onto the global stage, where they will compete with the finest chocolatiers from around the world.


Judging was organized by our co-founder and local partner in Italy, Monica Meschini in Florence early March as a traditional sit-down judging.

The judges were drawn from local experts, food journalists and pastry chefs and members of our permanent international Grand Jury and guest judges.

Obsessed with quality

Spanning over 20 categories, the competition recognized exceptional craftsmanship in various craft chocolatier products, including delectable filled chocolates/bonbons, mouthwatering pralines, tantalizing enrobed fruits and nuts, and irresistibly rich chocolate spreads. In addition, the competition showcased flavored bars made with both couverture and bean-to-bar chocolate, revealing the depth of talent and innovation within the industry.

What truly sets the Italian/Mediterranean Craft Chocolatier Competition apart is the remarkable obsession demonstrated by chocolatiers in the region to seeking the highest quality ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible, and their products infused with wisdom and harmony. 

Each creation is a testament to their sense of aesthetics, embodying the richness of history while embracing a contemporary touch.

Highest scores

We are delighted to acknowledge the achievements of the winners, who captivated the judges with their exceptional creations. The level of expertise displayed is truly remarkable, with an impressive 19 products scoring over 90 points.

Among the highest-scoring entries, we congratulate Guido Castagna from Italy, whose exquisite “Giuinott” achieved an outstanding score of 94.2 points. Additionally, congratulations to Bellantoni Cioccolato for their unique white chocolate covered pine nut dragée flavored with chamomile, scoring an impressive 93.2 points. Such exceptional scores highlight the dedication and artistry of these talented chocolatiers.

The International Chocolate Awards is continuing its drive for transparency and standardisation in chocolate sensory evaluation, using the flavor profiling system from our parent body, the IICCT. As part of this initiative, we are now listing the scores for all winners and finalists, giving consumers a better guide for chocolate quality and entrants something extra to celebrate along with their medals. The scores given are similar to those used in specialty coffee, where 80 and above indicates fine chocolate quality and scores above 90 suggest extraordinary quality and craft. The prize break points are set by the Grand Jury for each category, according to the product type.

CLICK HERE to view the full list of winners including their product scores.