Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Good Food Awards

The entry period for the Good Food Awards participation opened on August 5th. Craft food producers from the 50 states are invited to enter until August 31th in the following nine categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves and spirits. The Good Food Awards, now in its third year, is one of the few food awards that recognize and reward American craft food producers who excel both in taste and sustainability. Finalists will be chosen during a blind tasting in October and judges this year include Alice Waters, Nell Newman and over 130 other food movement leaders. The 100 winners will be showcased in San Francisco at a special one-day Good Food Awards Marketplace within the iconic CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Why participate? Significant business opportunities and visibility around the US market are two good reasons. Two of last year’s winners believe that sharing the same values and doing something different and unique are good motives as well. Chip Tate,  Founder and Head Distiller of Balcones Distilling, last year’s winner in the spirits category says: "The Good Food Awards are a wonderful affirmation of what we're about—responsibly made, hand-crafted products that are authentic artistic expressions. I have always been a proponent of the Slow Food Movement and am glad to see craft spirits included in the fold.  Why did we win? That's a good question. I hope it is because the committee was able to see and taste the care and love that went in to the bottle. Rumble Cask Reserve is in its own category, which can make it hard to understand.  Figs, honey and raw sugar fermented together and distilled? A strange concept, but delicious product. I'm very thankful the judges could appreciate its unique virtues."

Cristiano Creminelli, the Founder & Artisan of Creminelli Fine Meats and winner in the charcuterie category gives his own explanation:  “We share the same ideas, Good Food Awards and me. We have the same principles. I feel like the rules they use to evaluate the awards themselves are what I try to use every day when I create my salumi. And so to enter and then to win is a great reward. It means I’m doing something good.”

To make things sweeter, some of last year winners saw their products displayed in major supermarkets like Whole Foods and upscale chains of Williams-Sonoma. The Ohio House of Representatives honored its hometown winners with a resolution and ceremony.

Are you a craft food producer who practices and honors sustainability with a yummy product? If yes, submit your information at It only takes about 10 minutes. A $50 processing fee for each entry covers sorting, transporting and storage. All products must be self certified by the producer as meeting the category-specific criteria of social and environmental responsibility outlined on the entry form. Confirmed entrants. will be invited to mail samples for the blind tasting in October, and finalists will participate in interviews to further elaborate on how they meet the criteria.

Good luck!