Rootstock 2012: The Food Winners

Judges rule on best food

The judges have spoken, and here are the results of the Rootstock Best Bites Competition are as follows:

Best Fried: Nellie’s Oysters. Okay, so barbecued oysters and fresh ahi tuna poke are their bread and butter, but the fried calamari and fish? Yeah, crispy, crunchy and just about perfect. Five out of five judges agree.

Most Creative:Bay Laurel Culinary with an Issan Style Dog (Thai shredded pork with spicy chili, mayo and green papaya relish) and the Korean Sloppy Joe with sesame mayo and kimchee.

Best use of Meat: La Texanita. Carne asada. ‘Nuf said.

Best Use of Local Products: We wanted to give John Franchetti (of Rosso) the Meat award for the lush roasted pig (plus crunchy skin) he served up as sliders with slaw at the event. But even closer to our heart is John’s unwavering commitment to local farmers and local products. So, our hats are off to you, Rosso.

Best Presentation: Street Eatz is another perennial favorite who we wish could have won multiple categories. But what really took us was her bento box approach to traditional Japanese isayaki. The plate included soba noodles, her unmatched agadashi, teriyaki chicken, rice and steamed broccoli. Mmmm.

Grand Poobah and Best Overall:
Gabe is the upstart who just killed it at Rootstock. First off, you kind of can’t go wrong by bringing the judges a PLATTER of food that included local lamb (from Victorian Farmstead), baba ganoush, chickpeas, rice, dolmas, hummus and a separate plate of magic goodness I can’t even remember (other than it was incredible). Then there was the Tahini Ice Cream. Then there was the Affagado Ice Cream. We die.

Thanks to everyone who participated, including The Judges: Teresa Smith (our BiteClub winner), Chef Christopher Hansen, Brian Howlett, Heather Irwin, Hans Dippel. As well as organizers Joel Quigley and Cailyn McCauley and all the folks at Vintner’s Square.

Missed it? Rootstock is a food, wine, art and music festival held right here in Santa Rosa at Santa Rosa’s Vintner’s Square. There’s a wine and craft brew tasting, gourmet street foods, and live music from the main stage including indie singer-songwriters Jim Bianco, Holly Conlan, Jesse Thomas and Javier Dunn.