Ceres, girl & the fig take top honors at Good Food Awards

Good Food Awards celebrate American craft producers

Cheese judging at the Good Food Awards

After months of wind-up, judging and publicity, the Good Food Awards — a newly-minted food awards hoopla celebrating American craft producers — has announced its selection of 71 best of show winners from nearly 800 entries in the beer, coffee, chocolate, charcuterie, cheese, pickle and preserves.

Taking top honors: Sebastopol’s Ceres Community Project’s Arame & Ginger Sauerkraut Salad. More than just a tasty side dish, fermented cabbage is said to have restorative and health benefits for the digestive system — something especially important for Ceres’ clientele. Using ingredients from organic local producers like Tierra Vegetables and First Light Farms, Ceres brings together teen cooks and local volunteers to prepare healthy, organic meals for individuals and families struggling with cancer.

“Ceres has been making traditionally cultured sauerkraut for our clients since 2008 because it is so helpful in supporting and replenishing healthy bacteria that is crucial for our digestive system. Marketing these products locally and now regionally gives us another way to reach people with our message about the vital link between what we eat and our long term health, and to get delicious, healthy and locally prepared foods into people’s hands,” said Outreach Director Kristie Amezcua. The sauerkraut is available at G & G Markets, Oliver’s, Community Markets and will be coming to Whole Foods Markets in the coming months.

Bruce Aidells at the judging

Also getting a nod at the awards ceremony on January 14 in San Francisco were John Toulze & Sondra Bernstein’s (The Girl and the Fig/Estate) for their coppa, an Italian pork charcuterie. Toulze has been quietly building an impressive cured meat program at the restaurants for several years and the restaurant will be serving the winning coppa from January 31 to February 6. Other North Bay winners included North Coast Brewing Company’s Pranqster (Ft. Bragg); Marin Brewing Company’s ESChi (Larkspur); Cowgirl Creamery’s Red Hawk cheese (Petaluma); Nicasio Valley Cheese Company’s Nicasio Square cheese (Nicasio) and Middleton Farms’ raspberry preserves.

Judges included dozens of food journalists, authors, restaurateurs and experts in the food industry including local sausage guru Bruce Aidells, restaurant consultant Clark Wolf, cheese author Laura Werlin more than 70 others from the Bay Area and beyond.

For food insiders, the run down of nominees and winners reads like a “who’s who” of the uber-hip, slower-than-thou food culture along the Pacific corridor, with the Bay Area and Portland dominating entries and awards in every category. With all the back-patting falderal in the food world, it’s not hard to be cynical about ever-more precious foods (at ever more precious prices) being lauded in the food mainstream. But at the same time, many of these small American artisans belong to a tiny club of dedicated purists pursuing old school food traditions — pickling, preserving, cheese and salami-making — that seemed on the verge of being forgotten less than ten years ago.

And there’s something more than just Good about celebrating that.

Preserves Judging

The awards ceremony kicks off “Good Food Month“, during which participants and food organizers will feature classes, events and specials related to craft food producers. Get more details online at GoodFoodAwards.org.

Full list of Winners:


Bison Brewing – Organic Gingerbread Ale (Berkeley, CA)
Drake’s Brewing – Denoggenizer (San Leandro, CA)
Grand Teton Brewing Co. – Sweetgrass American APA (Victor, ID)
Marin Brewing Company – ESChi (Larkspur, CA)
North Coast Brewing Company – Pranqster (Ft. Bragg, CA)
Pike Brewing Company – Dry Wit (Seattle, WA)
Smuttynose Brewing Company – Robust Porter (Portsmouth, NH)
The Bruery – Trade Winds Tripel (Placentia, CA)
Victory Brewing – Hop Devil IPA (Downingtown, PA)

Charcuterie Winners

Alexian Pate – Duck Mousse With Cognac (Neptune, NJ)
Café Rouge – Smoked Beef Tongue (Berkeley, CA)
Col. Bill Newsoms Aged Hams – Free Range Aged Ham (Princeton, KY)
Creminelli Fine Meats – Barolo Handcrafted Italian Salami (Salt Lake City, UT)
Cypress – Cypressata (Charleston, SC)
La Quercia – Green Label Organic Prosciutto (Norwalk, IA)
Olympic Provisions – Loukanika (Portland, OR)
Olympic Provisions – Saucisson d’Arles (Portland, OR)
Olympic Provisions Restaurant – Pork Liver Mousse (Portland, OR)
Pine Street Market – Dry Cured Coppa (Atlanta, GA)
S Wallace Edwards & Sons – Surryano Ham (Surry, VA)
The Chameleon Café – Free Range Chicken Liver Pate (Baltimore, MD)
The Girl and the Fig – Coppa (Sonoma, CA)
Vande Rose Farms – Applewood Smoked Artisan Cured Ham (Oskaloosa, IA)
Weeping Radish Farm Brewery – Sweet Potato Liverwurst (Grandy, NC)

Cheese Winners

Ancient Heritage Dairy – Hannah Bridge (Scio, OR)
Cellars at Jasper Hill – Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (Greensboro, VT)
Cowgirl Creamery – Red Hawk (Petaluma, CA)
Nicasio Valley Cheese Company – Nicasio Square (Nicasio, CA)
Rivers Edge Chevre – Siltcoos (Logsden, OR)
Rivers Edge Chevre – Mayor of Nye Beach (Logsden, OR)
Uplands Cheese – Extra Aged Pleasant Ridge Reserve (Dodgeville, WI)
Uplands Cheese – Pleasant Ridge Reserve (Dodgeville, WI)

Chocolate Winners

Charles Chocolates – Salty Sweet Cashew Bar (San Francisco, CA)
Chuao Chocolatier – Ltd. Ed. Origins 77% Cacao de Chuao (Carlsbad, CA)
Madécasse – Milk Chocolate (Brooklyn, NY)
Patric Chocolate – In-NIB-itable Bar (Columbia, MO)
Rogue Chocolatier – Sambirano (Minneapolis, MN)
Theo Chocolate – Theo & Jane Goodall 70% Dark Chocolate Bar (Seattle, WA)
Xocolatl de David – Salted Caramel (Portland, OR)

Coffee Winners

Barrington Coffee Roasting Company – Ethiopia Nekisse (Lee, MA)
Blue Bottle Coffee – Kemgin (Oakland, CA)
Carrboro Coffee Company – El Aguacate (Carrboro, NC)
Counter Culture Coffee – Finca Kilimanjaro (Durham, NC)
George Howell Coffee Company – Konga Ethiopia (Acton, MA)
Gimme! Coffee – Finca San Luis (Ithaca, NY)
Madcap Coffee – Los Lobos Costa Rica (Grand Rapids, MI)
Montana Coffee Traders – Etiopian Peaberry (Whitefish, MT)
Noble Coffee Roasting – Kenyan Kiaora (Ashland, OR)
Public Domain – Kona Cloud Forest (Portland, OR)

Pickles Winners

Ann’s Raspberry Farm – Savory Brussels Sprout Relish (Fredericktown, OH)
Artisanal Soy – Edamame Kimchee(Washington DC)
Ceres Community Project – Arame & Ginger Sauerkraut Salad (Sebastopol, CA)
Cultured – Spicy Oregano Purple Carrots (Berkeley, CA)
Farmer’s Daughter – Spicy Green Tomato (Carrboro, NC)
Firefly Kitchens – Yin Yang Carrots (Seattle, WA)
McClure’s Pickles – McClure’s Brine (Detroit, MI)
Olympic Provisions – Pickled Corno di Toro Peppers (Portland, OR)
Real Pickles – Organic Garlic Dill Pickles (Greenfield, MA)
Sour Puss Pickles – Peppered Okra (Brooklyn, NY)
Spirit Creek Farm – Purple Sauerkraut (Bayfield, WI)
Tender Greens – Spiced Baby Carrots (San Diego, CA)

Preserves Winners

Ann’s Raspberry Farm – Jalapeno Raspberry Jam (Fredericktown, OH)
Confituras – Texas Fig Preserves (Austin, TX)
Deluxe Foods – Gingered Rhubarb Jam (Seattle, WA)
Ellelle Kitchen – Central Coast Raspberry (Pasadena, CA)
Farmer’s Daughter Brand – Bourbon’d Figs (Carrboro, NC)
Happy Girl Kitchen – Apricot Chili Jam (Monterey, CA)
Middleton Farm – Raspberry (Healdsburg, CA)
Plumline – Dansom Plum (Santa Cruz, CA)
Queener Fruit Farm – Blackcurrant Jam (Scio, OR)
Sweet Deliverance NYC – Ground Cherry Jam (New York, NY)


4 thoughts on “Ceres, girl & the fig take top honors at Good Food Awards

  1. The fact that we live in wine country makes artisan type foods a natural fit. Anyone who truely enjoys wine will natural use the same palate to recognize good food. But like any real wine lover, I also know how to find the wines that meet the sweet spot of quality and price. There is a long road between $20 jalapeno jam and “glob of cheap jam”, especially here in Sonoma County. It may not be the case in Ohio, but there are a lot of food “artists” here so luckily for us consumers, supply and demand controls pricing.

  2. Thank you for your support of the winners of the Good Food Awards!

    I am Ann Trudel of Ann’s Raspberry Farm & Specialty Crops in Fredericktown, Ohio. We won for our Savory Brussels Sprout Relish and our Jalapeno Raspberry Jam. We are back in Ohio now and thankful for this exciting experience. San Francisco knows how to celebrate Good Foods! Sharing the market place with all of the winners was an honor. Artisans! Everyone of us to be sure, but. the true heros are the people that appreciate and seek out the finest in foods. What is art without those that appreciate it? A sincere thank you to all who took part in these fine events! One more thought: Food is to savor…sure you can chug down a beer for a buck, glob cheap jelly on your toast and wolf it down, or devour plastic wrapped cheese sticks, but the palate craves more and more. It is empty of the satisfaction that comes from the tastes that define good food.

  3. Hey Dan…
    I LOVE Happy Girl Kitchen (I actually almost cried when i was in Pacific Grove recently and your new cafe/store was closed). But I have to say that $10 or $15 or $20 (which I’ve paid) for artisan jams qualify them as a luxury purchase for some consumers.

    Many of the products on the Good Food Awards list are small batch, artisan products and command steep prices (warranted or not) and food insiders are well versed in the names and people behind most of the winners. Whether that makes a producer “hip” or not is probably a matter of debate.

    Pickle parties are great, and I’m glad you’re doing what you’re doing and am glad to support the food revolution happening all around us. Keep on jamming, Dan.

  4. All the winners are not of the” uber-hip,” or over priced. I make jam for Happy Girl Kitchen, and we are family run and tons of fun, throwing pickle packing parties at the drop of a hat,
    and $10 a jar for apricot chili jam, deals are still to be found!

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