News & Blog

July Newsletter

Hello Friends!

You may be right in thinking that the AoC has been a bit quiet recently. We have kept in touch via news bulletins and – very excitingly – in June there was an excellent social event at Knoops (see below). We hope it will be the first of many. Behind the scenes, we have been extremely busy. Our top priority has been – and still is – to develop the judging process for the AoC Awards and to document, standardise and make more transparent, the way we do things. Due to the hard work of some Board members a lot has been achieved. We hope we are now in a position where we can begin to think again about other aspects of what the AoC can do.

Our mission statement is ‘The Academy showcases great taste, encourages sustainable and ethical production, and provides educational opportunities’

We would love to know how best you think our AoC can achieve these aims. In the past we have run networking dinners, hosted presentations from artisan manufacturers and run one-day conferences. Would you like us to do all, some or none of these? Or should we do something entirely different? All suggestions are welcome.

Please send them to:
[email protected]
And we will see what we can do.

Academy of Chocolate Awards

The long wait is (nearly) over…
Westminster Kingsway College has kindly agreed to host the 2023 AoC Awards this autumn.

Registration will open on 1st September 2023.

Deadline for sample submissions is based on categories:

Bars must be received at Westminster Kingsway College no later than 4pm on 29th September 2023.

Filled / enrobed chocolates, spreads, chocolate drinks and Brand Experience entries must be received at Westminster Kingsway College no later than 4pm on 20th October 2023.

Judging will take place in October and November, with the final rounds and Grand Jury decisions happening in early December.

All results will be announced on the website in mid December.

Please check the website for the entry dates and full details.

An evening with Jens Knoop

Around 30 chocolate enthusiasts attended the event, hosted by Jens Knoop and his team at the Chelsea store on 17th June.

Guests from the AoC and friends included AoC Chairman Chantal Coady, Sarah Jane Evans MW, chocolate judges, Sheena Horton from FireTree, Juan Diego and Alberto José Franceschi, and Rafael Bello from Franceschi.

Jens, German born founder of Knoops introduced his 10-year-old company and talked about ‘Knoopology’ their chocolate philosophy. Topics discussed included the chocolate market, upcoming trends, challenges and opportunities in expanding the chocolate café business in the UK, chocolate making and chocolate sourcing.

Guests enjoyed sipping their way through a flight of hot and iced chocolate drinks, made with different percentages and single origins of chocolate, and other ingredients. They also had time to meet and network with fellow chocolate enthusiasts.

The AoC is very grateful to Jens and his team, and to evening organiser Cherrie Lo for making the first of our new events such a success.

Follow Knoops on Instagram for more updates:

Meet the newest recruit of the AoC Board
Cherrie Lo and the sweet world of chocolate

Cherrie always wanted to be a chocolate expert – not as a pastry chef, chocolate maker or chocolatier, but as someone who is a real professional in the knowledge of chocolate, in tasting and pairing. So, for the past 15 years as a branding marketing and business professional, she never stepped away from her beloved chocolate and confectionery industry, what she calls ‘the sweet world of chocolate’ which included working in Hong Kong with the great Pierre Hermé.

In the summer of 2016, Cherrie took a leap of faith, left behind her career and network and bought a one-way ticket to London to pursue by herself her chocolate adventure in the UK and Europe.

Her brave move paid off. Cherrie is now Marketing & Business Development Manager at Fortnum & Mason, a respected chocolate taster, judge and expert uniquely able to act as a bridge to bring the chocolate community together across Asia, UK and European countries.

Next Event
Academy of Chocolate – Taste with Colour® Workshop & Chocolate Networking at London Chocolate
13 September / 18: 15 – 21:00
Taste with Colour® Workshop & Chocolate Networking at London Chocolate
Join Hazel Lee, the mastermind behind the Taste with Colour® Chocolate Flavour Map, for a one-of-a-kind sensory adventure experience at London Chocolate.
Indulge in a variety of 70% chocolate bars and unlock the secret flavours hidden within each piece. With Hazel’s guidance, you’ll paint a visual representation of the flavours you discover. Don’t miss out on this!
The workshop will be followed by a networking event

Award Coordinator Vacancy

We are looking for a coordinator for the awards. This is a paid 6 month part time contract position, with some seasonal variance (because of the awards timings). It will involve many aspects so if you are interested, please see the full job description here

Ideas for the Newsletter?
Please write to
[email protected]

Interested in judging in the Awards?
Please sign up on the website.

Interested in becoming a Member of the Academy?
Please contact us at
[email protected]