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Locals in running for honors at event weekend of Jan. 18 at San Francisco Ferry Building

  • With some of his cheese in his cheese aging room, Joel Weirauch of Weirauch Farm & Creamery of Petaluma, which practices sustainable farming -- rotational pasture management, green building, water re-use from the creamery for irrigation, and a small amount of solar. Weirauch Farm HO 2013

The Good Food Awards roll back into San Francisco for their third year this weekend, a celebration of American food and drink purveyors who aim for authenticity, sustainability and craftsmanship in all they produce.

A collaboration among food producers, farmers, food journalists and independent grocers, the 183 finalists are chosen on the basis of three questions: Is the food tasty? Is it authentic (no artificial ingredients)? Is it responsibly produced?

"With 40 percent more entries this year, being a Good Food Awards Finalist means more than ever before," noted Seedling Projects director Sarah Weiner, host of the event. "This year's finalists are a diverse and talented group of innovators."

Nine categories are being recognized this year, from beer to pickles. Here's a look at all the finalists from the Bay Area. Winners will be announced at a gala reception on Friday.

Beer: Bear Republic Brewery's Racer 5 IPA and Tartare (bearrepublic.com), a barrel-aged Berliner-style Weisse from the Healdsburg brewery, are being singled out as standout beers at this year's Good Food Awards, as is Four Brothers, a Belgian strong dark ale from Mill Valley Beerworks's (millvalleybeerworks.com).

San Francisco's Speakeasy Ales & Lagers (goodbeer.com) is another Bay Area brewer named, for its Payback Porter. Look for a new Speakeasy taproom to open later this year.

Charcuterie: Napa-based Fatted Calf Charcuterie (fattedcalf.com) is a finalist for its Duck Pat?with Pistachio and Stone Fruit.

Based at the buzzing Oxbow Public Market, with another store on Hayes Street in San Francisco, Fatted Calf works with organic and hormone-free meats supplied by local farms.

In nearby Berkeley, Fra'Mani Handcrafted Foods (framani.com), renowned chef and curemaster Paul Bertolli's salumi business, is being recognized for its Salame Toscano.

Cheese: Sonoma is again well represented, starting with Marshall's Barinaga Ranch (barinagaranch.com), given kudos for its Txiki cheese, a sheep's milk cheese made to honor the family's Basque roots.


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