We selected five community members with culinary experience to judge participating Chocolatiers in the following categories:
- Most Decadent
- Creative Ingredient
- Original Taste
Guests will have a chance to vote for their favorite chocolate and award a Chocolatier with the coveted People’s Choice award!
Meet our Judges:
Andrea Azarra Gitchell, Owner of Azarra’s, Incline Villlage
Andrea Azarra Gitchell was born and raised here in Incline Village, NV. Under the guidance of her father and restaurateur, Sam Azarra, Andrea developed her passion for food at an early age. After graduating with a BA in Culinary Arts Management from UNLV, Andrea started her career with Hyatt. Upon completing Hyatt’s esteemed Corporate Management Training Program, she worked at lone eagle Grille as a kitchen supervisor. She left Hyatt in 2006 to start a family. Andrea returned to her roots in 2007 when she and her husband Cord took over Azarra’s Italian Restaurant. Business is thriving at Azarra’s and Andrea looks forward to future endeavors and continued success.
Doug Brimm, Brimm Catering, North Lake Tahoe
Born in Modesto, CA, Doug served with the 82nd Airborne in Viet Nam and, upon returning home, completed his degree at Chico State University. He created the Stage Coach restaurant in Oakdale, CA, which he operated until becoming a sales representative with Allied Food Products. Doug continued in the food business and joined Southland Corporation, parent of 7-11 Stores. He worked in San Francisco, and North and South Carolina. Subsequently, he became the Division Operations Manager of 375 stores and $300 million in revenue based in Austin, TX.
The lure of entrepreneurship returned and Doug created two food store concepts in the Food Court of the leading regional shopping center in Austin. In 1991, Doug created and opened Austin’s restaurant in Incline Village, NV, and followed with Brimm’s, A Catering Co, which opened Shakespeare’s Kitchen at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor.
Presently, Doug serves as CEO of Kids & Horses Therapeutic Center.
Evan Carsman, Lobster House at Crystal Bay Club
Always having a love for the mountains and skiing, Evan moved to Lake Tahoe in 2007 and accepted a room chef position for Restaurant 20/4 in the Montbleu Casino in Stateline, NV. In 2008, Evan received the opportunity to join the team at the James Beard nominated Farallon in San Francisco under the leadership of Mark Franz and Ryan Simas. After leaving Farallon he returned to the Lake Tahoe community he loved. He became the Executive Chef at Crystal Bay Casino in 2009. In September 2013, Evan was promoted to Executive Chef, bringing a fresh perspective on the restaurant. With sustainability in mind, Evan has revamped Crystal Bay Casino’s Steak and Lobster House menu, featuring all natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free beef selections and using seafood that has been sourced following strict sustainable farming practices. Evan also seeks to turn the top of Crystal Bay Casino’s parking garage into Lake Tahoe’s first casino rooftop garden.
Evan currently lives in Incline Village, NV with his wife Courtney and their two aspiring skiers, Caleb and Parker.
Julia Whitney Wainscoat, Owner of Brockway Bakery, Kings Beach
Julie has lived in Tahoe for 55 years. She attended the University of Nevada and earned a B.A. in 1982 in Fine Arts. She also received her paralegal certificate in 2001. Whitney and her husband John met while attending college. In 1971, they joined John’s family in business at Brockway Bakery where she had the pleasure of learning cake decorating from Troy, John’s mother. Julie has continued her art business with a gallery adjacent to the bakery while continuing to produce cakes and pastries, and supporting the business that her and John purchased when their children, Sarah and Brian, were toddlers. Julie enjoys creating custom cakes, painting art and furniture.