Glamorous Celebration of the best chocolate in 2023

2023 World Final Winners in Florence

The enchanting Tuscan countryside provided a breathtaking backdrop to the International Chocolate Awards World Final, hosted at the glamorous Villa Castelletti near Florence, Italy. Chocolate makers and chocolatiers from across the globe gathered in person and online, transcending borders to celebrate the pinnacle of chocolate excellence.

Joyful celebration

“The 3 M’s” – Monica Meschini, Martin Christy and Maricel Presilla opening the 2023 World Final Ceremony
“The 3 M’s” – Monica Meschini, Martin Christy and Maricel Presilla opening the 2023 World Final Ceremony

The live event drew participants from diverse corners, including Taiwan, Japan, the USA, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, and Italy. Notable online attendees included our co-founder Maricel Presilla from New Jersey and passionate entrants representing the best of the global craft chocolate industry.

Despite some minor technical challenges, the ceremony unfolded seamlessly, creating an atmosphere of excitement and emotion. Tears of joy flowed as some winners were awarded the prestigious World Final Gold prize, a testament to their remarkable achievements in the world of craft chocolate.

The ceremony room at Villa Castelletti was adorned with vibrant backgrounds, each representing the national and regional competitions. Attendees joyfully captured the moment, taking selfies with their well-deserved certificates.

The winners were announced by our co-founders Monica Meschini, Maricel Presilla and our Grand Jury members Michaela Schupp and George Gensler.

The event was broadcasted live on our Facebook page where you can access the recording. 


The judging panel included our regular judges from all over the world, along with many of our IICCT alumni and other specialists and members of our international Grand Jury panel.

The World Final was judged in a hybrid mode, partly in-person in Florence and at the same time remotely by our international judging panel in October 2023.

All judging was anonymised, included at the Grand Jury final session, where Golds, Silver and Bronze prizes were awarded by private voting according to the Grand Jury rules.

Our in-person judging panel for the World Final 2023

Competition Highlights

Martin Christy with Warren (Fu Wan Chocolate, Taiwan) and Mikkel (Friis-Holm Chocolate, Denmark)
Martin Christy with Warren Hsu (Fu Wan Chocolate, Taiwan) and Mikkel Friis-Holm (Friis-Holm Chocolate, Denmark)

The ceremony witnessed winners taking home an impressive array of prizes, with some individuals and brands receiving 10-15 awards for their exceptional creations and commitment to quality craftsmanship.

Standout achievers of the evening, garnering multiple prizes included Fu Wan (Taiwan) 18 prizes, Mikkel Friis-Holm (Denmark) 14 prizes plus 9 specials, and Goodnow Farms (USA) 12 prizes. In the nut-based categories, Italian makers, including Guido Castagna, Depetris Riccardo, and the Gardini brothers, showcased their dominance. Women chocolatiers also shone, with Monia Achille, Francesca Caon, and Stefania Massera securing numerous prizes for their innovative creations.


Queenie from Q Sweet (Taiwan) expressed her gratitude, emphasizing her mission to champion women in the chocolate industry and inspire more women to engage in chocolate-making.

The competition saw the quality of entries elevate to the point that all the overall winners each scored over 90 points. The highest score across the whole World Final competition was given to Guido Castagna (Italy) for his legendary ‘Giuinott‘ (94.4), a traditional Italian gianduiotto made with the best hazelnuts from Piedmont and craft dark chocolate. 

Monica Meschini with Guido Castagna, one of our overall winners
Monica Meschini with Guido Castagna, one of our overall winners

Looking ahead to 2024

Co-founders Monica Meschini and Martin Christy seized the occasion to announce the next season’s first competition.


The 2024 World Drinking Chocolate Competition is set to take place at the SIGEP Expo in Rimini from January 20-24, 2024, featuring an on-stage live drinking chocolate barista championship.


The goal is to bring drinking chocolate closer to specialty coffee and inspire chocolate makers to develop their own drinking chocolate recipes. 


More details to be announced soon!

Find the detailed list of our 2023 World Final Winners including their scores HERE.