Friday night, a crowd gathered under the twinkling lit arches of the Ferry Building to attend the inaugural Good Food Awards. Hundreds of commercially available products from around the country were submitted, tasted, and judged in a smattering of categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, pickles, and preserves. In the end, 71 products made the cut and were recognized at the event.
La Cocina's Caleb Zigas emceed, introducing the keynote speaker, none other than Alice Waters. Waters spoke eloquently on the evolution of the food movement, from simply searching to find good, flavorful food to striving to make that food from clean, sustainable products. Invariably, the latter would lead to the former. (Fun fact: Alice Waters is vehemently opposed to jaywalking. You read it here first.)
Each subsequent category was introduced by a luminary in the field, many of whom were Bay Area figures: Bruce Aidells spoke of the power of salumi, and jam maker extraordinaire June Taylor discussed preserves in her chipper British accent. The winners of each category were then read off by local foodlebrities: Eileen Hassi of Ritual Coffee, Tia Harrison of Avedano's, Jen Dalton of Kitchen Table Consulting, Dave McLean of Magnolia Pub and Brewery, David Salowich of Bittersweet Café, and Karen Solomon, author of Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It, who whipped the crowd into a frenzy with her spirited reading of the winners' names in the pickles category.