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Friday, January 17, 2014

Good Food Awards 2014 Winners Announced, Everyone Partied

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 3:30 PM

click to enlarge Last night's reception had tasting plates with winners from around the country. - ANNA ROTH
  • Anna Roth
  • Last night's reception had tasting plates with winners from around the country.

The Good Food Awards took place last night, a celebration of everything artisanal. Farmers and small food producers from around the country gathered in the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre to see prizes awarded in categories like best pickles, best jam, best charcuterie, and best cheese. Now in its fourth year, the Good Food Awards is emerging as the pre-eminent awards ceremony for small-batch artisans.

"Oh, you mean the twee awards," said a colleague last evening when I told them where I was headed.

See also: Celebrate All Things Small-Batch and Artisan at the Good Food Awards and Marketplace

Yeah, pretty much -- the absurdity of an awards ceremony in San Francisco centered around the best pickles and jams in the country is not lost on me. But I also see an example of how far the artisan food community has come. There are so many small-batch pickles, cheeses, chocolates, beers, jams, coffees, and everything else in the world now that it's become necessary for a judging body to separate the great from the bad. More than that, it's a nice opportunity to reward the owners of these small businesses -- some second- or third-generation farmers, some who risked everything on a new career -- for turning out truly exceptional products.

Even if in moments the ceremony felt like a parody of itself. Culinary grand dames Ruth Reichl and Alice Waters sat stage left, clad in black, and bestowed medallions on the winners like they were anointing them. Every category had multiple winners, and the number of winners per category fluctuated, so it came across more as a polite, everyone-gets-a-trophy awards show, even though the 130 winners were culled from more than a thousand entries through blind-tasting by 75 judges. Groups tended to play into stereotypes: the beer winners were all men, the jam-makers were all women; the coffee roasters were sleek and stylish, the distillers and the confection-makers were more eclectic. Some of the winners were in tuxes, some in jeans and work boots.

At the orange-crate podium, there were many speeches given by a randomly chosen representative from each of the ten categories. Some used their three minutes for a glorified sales pitch, others spoke movingly about their lives and chosen vocations, like Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese, who gave a beautiful speech about the changing seasons and generations on his Wisconsin farm.

The last speech of the night was from Sarah Weiner, co-founder and director of Seedlings.org, the organization that throws the Good Food Awards. She compared the artisans gathered in the room to folk singers of the '60s, people who are eschewing the expected values of society to forge their own way in it. "More people than ever are incorporating good food into their daily lives, realizing it is worth every penny to have something tasty, authentic and responsible," she told the group. "Everyone wants to be close to you and what you do, because it is real, tangible, joyful, connected."

Then we were released into the reception to try the food and drinks of the winners, the Beatles' "Revolution" and Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" playing as the auditorium emptied. Were the artisan food makers in the room really responsible for a brewing revolution? Or were we just a self-selecting group exclaiming over pickled blueberries and onion jam? After a few Mason jars of award-winning IPA, it no longer seemed to matter.

Here's the full list of 2014 winners (Northern California companies are parked with an asterisk). You can still sample their wares tomorrow at the Good Food Awards Marketplace at the Ferry Building (9 a.m.-2 p.m.; $5 at the door).

BEER

16 Mile Brewery, Tiller Brown Ale, Delaware

**Almanac Beer Company, Farmer's Reserve No. 3 & Dogpatch Sour, California

**Bear Republic Brewing Company, Café Racer 15, California

Brooklyn Brewery, Greenmarket Wheat, New York

Deschutes Brewery, Black Butte Porter, Oregon

Founders Brewing Company, All Day IPA, Michigan

Grand Teton Brewing Company, Sweetgrass APA, Idaho

Independence Brewing Company, Independence Ale, Texas

Jester King Brewery, Atrial Rubicite & RU-55 Barrel-Aged Sour Red, Texas

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, iO, Michigan

Lakefront Brewery, Inc., Wisconsinite Summer Weiss, Wisconsin

Ninkasi Brewing Company, Believer Double Red, Oregon

Port City Brewing Company, Optimal Wit, Virginia

Victory Brewing Company, Helios Ale, Pennsylvania

CHARCUTERIE

Charlito's Cocina, Cerveza Seca - Dry Cured Beer Salami, New York

Continental Sausage, Buffalo Pastrami, Colorado

Cypress, Culatello, South Carolina

Daniele, Inc., Mortadella with Pistachios & Del Duca Vlado's Riserva Prosciutto, Rhode Island

**El Salchichero, Coppa, California

Formaggio Kitchen, Pickled Beef Tongue & Pate de Campagne, Massachusetts

**Fra' Mani Handcrafted Foods, Salame Calabrese, California

Gary West Artisan Smoked Meats, Silver Fork Natural - Traditional, Oregon

Guglhupf Bakery, Restaurant and Cafe, Smoked Hog Head Cheese, North Carolina

Mountain Roots, Sea Salt Beef Jerky, Wyoming

Olympic Provisions, Salami Cotto, Oregon

P. Balistreri Salumi, Salami Point Loma "Rosemary and Garlic", California

Tails & Trotters, LLC, Applewood Smoked Ham, Oregon

The French Bulldog, Hungarian Salami, Nebraska

Underground Meats, Soppressata, Wisconsin

Wheat and Sons, Pickled Beef Tongue, California

CHEESE

Ancient Heritage Dairy, Hannah, Oregon

**Bellwether Farms, Whole Milk Ricotta & Carmody, California

Blackberry Farm, Downer Brown, Tennessee

Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese, Charloe, Ohio

Caves of Faribault, Jeff's Select & St. Pete's Select Blue Cheese, Minnesota

Farms for City Kids Foundation, Tarentaise, Vermont

Glendale Shepherd, Island Brebis, Washington

Jacobs and Brichford Farmstead Cheese, Everton, Indiana

Nature's Harmony Farm, Georgia Gold Clothbound Cheddar, Georgia

**Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, Toma, California

Sequatchie Cove Creamery, Dancing Fern, Tennessee

Sprout Creek Farm, Madeleine, New York

Uplands Cheese, Pleasant Ridge, Wisconsin

von Trapp Farmstead, Mt. Alice, Vermont

CHOCOLATE

Askinosie Chocolate, 62% Dark Milk Chocolate, Fleur de Sel, Missouri

Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker, Madagascar Wild Pepper 70% Dark & Madagascar 70% Dark, Vermont

**Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate, 72% Belize, Toledo, California

Fruition Chocolate, Dominican 70%, New York

**Guittard Chocolate Company, Collection Etienne Eureka Works Meritage Blend #27 | 100%, California

Madre Chocolate, Triple Cacao, Hawaii

Patric Chocolate, Signature 70% Blend & Mocha OMG, Missouri

Rogue Chocolatier, Silvestre, Hispaniola, Balao, Massachusetts

Videri Chocolate Factory, 90% Dark Chocolate Ecuador Camino Verde, North Carolina

COFFEE

1000 Faces Coffee, Suke Quto, Georgia

**De La Paz Coffee, Kenya Gichathaini & Peel Sessions, California

**Flying Goat Coffee, Ethiopia Wote Konga, California

Intelligentsia Coffee, Organic Shegole Ethiopia, California

Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Idido, Wisconsin

Kuma Coffee, Kenya Kiamabara AA, Washington

Metropolis Coffee Company, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Aylele, Illinois

Olympia Coffee Roasting Co., Ethiopia Konga, Washington

Panther Coffee, Ethiopia Chelba & Nicaragua Kailash, Florida

ReAnimator Coffee Roasters, Ethiopia Sota, Pennsylvania

Roast House, Batzchocola Guatemalan, Washington

**Sightglass Coffee Roasters, Ethiopia Guji Yetatebe, California

Square One Coffee, Guatemala Acatenango, Pennsylvania

Tandem Coffee Roasters, Aylele Yirgacheffe Ethiopia, Maine

CONFECTIONS

Alma Chocolate, Sea Salt Hazelnut Crunch Bar, Oregon

Cacao Art Chocolates, Tupelo Honey and Cardamom, Florida

Chocolats Latour LLC, Rosemary Almond Brittle, Ohio

**Coco Delice, Beer Bon Bon, California

**Feve Artisan Chocolatier, Hazelnut Crunch Bar, California

Fruition Chocolate, Brown Butter Bourbon Caramels, New York

Kakao Chocolate, Lavender Truffle, Missouri

**Nosh This, Almond Toffee, California

Nutty Steph's, Inc., Salted Caramel Bar, Vermont

Patric Chocolate, Mint CRUNCH Chocolate Bar, Missouri

Sapore della Vita, Caramel Sauce, Florida

Serendipity Confections, Chocolate Covered Butter Caramels with Fleur de Sel, Colorado

Trini Treats, LLC, Coconut Fudge, New York

WR Chocolatier, Mocha, North Carolina

Xocolatl de David, Raleigh Bar & Brown Butter Bar, Oregon

OILS

**Berkeley Olive Grove, California Mission Blood Orange Olive Oil, California

**Fattoria Muia, Fattoria Muia Extra Virgin Olive Oil, California

**Frantoio Grove, Frantoio Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil, California

**Glashoff Farms, Roasted Walnut Oil, California

Hammons Black Walnuts, Black Walnut Oil, Missouri

**Jovia Groves Olive Oil, Arbequina, California

**MoonShadow Grove, Ascolano, California

Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods, Delicata Squash Seed Oil & Butternut Squash Seed Oil, New York

Tallgrass Ranch, Tallgrass Ranch Estate Blend, California

Tiber Canyon Ranch, Tiber Canyon Ranch California Extra Virgin Olive Oil, California

PICKLES

Baba's Cooking School, Lala Sauce, Washington DC

Confituras, Pickled Blueberries, Texas

Firefly Kitchens, Firefly Kimchi, Washington

Gordy's Pickle Jar, Sweet Pepper Relish, Washington DC

Happy Pantry, Power Krautage, California

**Jarred SF Brine, Sweet Spiced Pickled Cherries, California

Marcia's Munchies, Bread & Butter, Michigan

Oly Kraut, Sea Vegetable & Curry Kraut, Washington

Pogue Mahone Pickles, Dill & Garlic Pickles, Texas

Rick's Picks, Smokra, New York

SouthPort Grocery, Onion Marmalade, Illinois

The Brinery, Sea Stag, Michigan

Two Chicks Farm, Dill Kraut + Pickles, North Carolina

**Wine Forest, Pickled Sea Beans, California

PRESERVES

Bathtub Gin, Limoncello Strawberry, Tennessee

Black Radish Creamery, Billionaire & Mr. Atwood's Jelly, Ohio

Blake Hill Preserves, Plum & Fennel Chutney, Vermont

Central Bottle Wine + Provisions, Juliet Tomato Jam with Hand Harvested Fennel Pollen, Massachusetts

Crosstown Sweets, Plum & Star Anise Jam, New York

Garden Dreams Houston, Peaches and Dream, Texas

Kelly's Jelly, Kelly's Habañero Pepper Jelly, Oregon

Kuaiwi Farm, Papaya, Apple Banana, Rangpur Lime Fruit Leather, Hawaii

Lilli-Pilli Patisserie, Mirabelle Plum, Washington

**Mimi's Confitures, Onion Jam, California

**Plumline, Santa Rosa Plum Jam, California

Quince & Apple, Tart Cherry Grenadine, Wisconsin

Republic of Jam, Marionberry Espresso, Oregon

Swallowtail Farm, Rhubarb Syrup, Michigan

The Jelly Queens, Blood Orange Marmalade, Texas

SPIRITS

Clear Creek Distillery, Pear Eau de Vie, Mirabelle Plum Eau de Vie & Cranberry Liqueur, Oregon

Delaware Phoenix Distillery, Delaware Phoenix Rye, New York

**Essential Spirits, Sgt. Classick Gold Hawaiian Rum, California

**Falcon Spirits LLC, Botanica Spirits, California

Organic Nation, Organic Nation Gin & Old Field Rye Whiskey, Oregon

**Osocalis, Inc., Apple Brandy & Rare Alambic Brandy, California

Rogue Ales & Spirits, Oregon Single Malt Vodka, Oregon


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About The Author

Anna Roth

Anna Roth

Bio:
Anna Roth is SF Weekly's Food & Drink Editor and author of West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food From San Diego to the Canadian Border.

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