(Courtesy Amano Chocolate)

Amano Artisan Chocolate Receives Top Honors from the Prestigious
London Academy of Chocolate – First American Company to Win Two
Award Seasons (2009 and 2011)

OREM, UT, May 6, 2011— Chocolate connoisseurs across the United States have reason to celebrate at the news that U.S. chocolate maker Amano Artisan Chocolate has taken top honors at the 2011 Academy of Chocolate Awards in London – the second time that this American company has been selected for these prestigious awards. Amano received five awards for its chocolate, including one gold, three silvers (two in the same category) and a bronze as well as a sixth award for packaging. The awards include:

* Gold for Amano Dos Rios palet d’or in Best Filled Chocolate – plain category
* Silver for Amano Dos Rios in the Bean to Bar Best Dark Bar category
* Silver for Amano Chuao also in Bean to Bar Best Dark Bar category
* Silver for Amano Ocumare in Best Milk Bean to Bar category, and
* Bronze for Amano Cinnamon pecan in the Best filled chocolate – nuts category
* Silver for Amano bar packaging

The company will be recognized at the annual Academy of Chocolate awards ceremony on May 18, 2011, at Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly, London, England.

“We were extremely impressed with the caliber of premium chocolate companies represented in this year’s competition, which was established to build greater awareness about the significant difference between truly fine chocolate and mass-produced chocolate confectionary, “commented Kate John from the Academy of Chocolate. “Amano’s products are among the best of the best, and we’re very pleased that they were selected for this year’s honor.”

These awards are the second international competition won by Amano, which in 2009 became the first American chocolate maker to win The Academy of Chocolate’s Gold Medal for the Amano Madagascar Bar along with five other awards.

“We are honored to have been selected for this prestigious award,” said Art Pollard, Founder and Head Chocolate Maker. “Our company has always stood for quality, craftsmanship and taste, and we look forward to continuing to develop new chocolate confections that delight our customers and deliver on the true promise of gourmet super premium chocolate.”

Amano’s confections are produced in Orem Utah by Executive Pastry Chef Rebecca Millican. Before joining Amano, she was an instructor for the Institute for Culinary Education in New York City. Millican appears regularly on the Food Network’s “Challenge” show in addition to competing as team captain in the National Pastry Championship.

Amano is one of the few authentic chocolate makers in the United States, and one of only a handful that retains its small artisanal status using only superior-quality cocoa beans carefully sourced directly from Madagascar, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Ecuador and artfully transformed into finished super-premium chocolate. With Amano’s new line of chocolate truffles and confections, Amano brings hand-crafted, world class confections to consumers in the United States and around the world. In addition, Amano is the chocolate of choice by notable restaurants including Gramercy Tavern, Chez Panisse and a number of Mario Batali's restaurants.

Amano strives to return to chocolate's roots by making chocolate slowly and in very small batches while concentrating on developing the finest flavors possible. Amano currently produces eight single-origin chocolate bars. The most notable are: Madagascar Single Origin Bar (70% cocoa), Ocumare Single Origin Bar (70% cocoa) from Venezuelan cocoa benas, and Chuao Single Origin Bar (70% cocoa) from Chuao, Venezuela, which is perhaps the most highly sought after cocoa in the world. For more information, visit http://www.amanochocolate.com

About the Academy of Chocolate:

London’s Academy of Chocolate was founded in 2005 to promote fine quality chocolate. (Less than 5% of the world’s cocoa is considered to be of “fine” quality.) Since that time, London’s Academy of Chocolate Awards has become the Olympics of the chocolate world. The most noted chocolate makers and chocolatiers throughout the world submit their finest creations to the Academy with the hope of winning top honors. Besides hosting the Academy of Chocolate Awards, the Academy of Chocolate hosts a number of educational programs to educate both the public and professionals. For more information, visit: http://www.academyofchocolate.org.uk

About Amano Chocolate:

In 1996, Art Pollard decided that there had to be better chocolate than what was available in the U.S. So began his quest to create the "ultimate chocolate." After a great deal of research and experimentation, Art developed a process that incorporated both modern and ancient chocolate-making techniques. When the chocolate began getting rave reviews from local chefs, Art's business partner, Clark Goble, suggested that Art make his chocolate available commercially. Art continued to hone his skills by studying chocolate manufacturing in Europe and traveling throughout Mexico and Central America. Then, in 2006, when Art felt his chocolate was comparable to the very best European chocolate, he started Amano Artisan Chocolate.