Grand Jury profiles – DACH - Deutschland / Österreich / Schweiz Wettbewerb 2015

L Nitin Chordia

Guest Grand JurorCocoatrait (India)

L Nitin Chordia is a Retail Business consultant/professional and is India’s first Certified Chocolate Taster. Nitin is the Chief Tasting Officer of Cocoatrait (, the only Chocolate tasting club in India which he formed in 2014 with the aim of educating the Indian audiences about fine chocolates and promoting the making and consumption of fine chocolates in India. The club today has 13,000 followers. He works with Cocoa framers and chocolate makers to increase the availability and quality of fine chocolates in India. Nitin also assists chocolate brands in new product development. He organises multiple events to acheive his above mentioned goals and one event that has received national acclaim is the Chocolate Pairing Week.

Monica Meschini

Permanent memberChocolate/Tea Taster, Wine Sommelier (Italy)

Monica Meschini was a born a curious gourmet. This led her to study a thesis on Indian cuisine in 1987 and become a member of the ‘Association Cordon Bleu’ and train as sommelier. In 1995 she was a founding member of the Chocolate Society. This inspired the birth of the world’s first chocolate-themed venue called “Hemingway” in Florence 1996. In 1999 she became President of Italian Tea Club, and in 2000, The TeaTeam, organising courses with experts Gilles Brochard and Jane Pettigrew. She wrote articles for Italian magazines on French and English tea, chocolate and confectionery.

Collaborating for 20 years with Eurochocolate at the Chocolat Salon and the Chocolate Show in Paris, Copenhagen, London and Tokyo. Her tastings have been attended by over 150,000 people. She collaborated in the guide of the Sweets of the Italian Touring Club, on the jury of Eurochocolate Award of Perugia and President of the jury at Eurochocolate Modica Award.

In 2012 she began as Co-Founder and Partner of the Italian / Mediterranean International Chocolate Awards and Co-Founder of International Institute of Chocolate Tasting. And in 2015 Co-Founder of The Tea Tasting Institute with Gilles Brochard.

Today she continues to collaborate with major international hotel chains for quality control and organising events and training and is tutor chef for The European Bachelor Course at Cordon Bleu School.

Michaela Schupp (Partner)

Permanent GmbH (Germany)

Michaela Schupp is based in Hannover, Germany. After studying hotel management in Heidelberg, she has pursued a successful career as a Supply Chain Director, working for amongst others PepsiCo Restaurants International, Accor Hotellerie Deutschland, Compass Group Deutschland and HGK eG Hannover.

In 2005 Michaela decided to turn her passion into a business by founding, an online fine chocolate boutique that stocks products from over 50 chocolate makers from 17 countries. In 2012, the business picked up a coveted award from Der Feinschmecker magazine.

In May 2014 Michaela organized the International Chocolate Awards for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, expanding the Awards to more countries. Her chocolate indulgence brought her to initiate the first chocolate-gourmet-festival in Hannover in September 2014.

Biagio Tropeano

Guest Grand JurorRestaurant Tropeano Di-Vino (Germany)

Biagio Tropeano – Sommelier (Italy)

After completing his sommelier training in Milan in 1976, Biagio went on to become Germany’s first officially recognized sommelier. In 1985 the German magazine Feinschmecker described him as the most highly regarded sommelier and an undisputed expert in Italian wines.

In 1996, Biagio opened Ristorante Tropeano, which now ranks as one of Germany’s top five Italian restaurants. This was followed in 2003 by the opening of his equally acclaimed wine bar, the Tropeano Di-Vino. In 2006, Biagio was responsible for opening the Wine Academy in Hannover. He makes frequent television appearances on NDR and SAT1 and is a regular contributor to publications such as HAZFeinschmecker, Wein-Gourmet and Stern.