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.
Also named for the second year in a row is Bellwether Farms (bellwetherfarms.com) for its Whole Milk Ricotta made near Tomales Bay.
The Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. (pointreyescheese.com) is on the list for creamy Bay Blue, while Petaluma-based Weirauch Farm & Creamery (weirauchfarm.com) is being deservedly singled out for Saint Rose, a farmstead sheep cheese aged several months and named for Santa Rosa, where owners Joe and Carleen Weirauch both grew up.
Chocolate: Chocolate is a super hot category right now, so it's exciting to see Dandelion Chocolate (dandelionchocolate.com), which has just opened a chocolate factory and tasting spot in San Francisco's Mission District, get a shout out for its Dominican Republic 70 percent, Madagascar 70 percent and Venezuela 70 percent chocolate bars.
Coffee: Like last year, Healdsburg's Flying Goat Coffee (flyinggoatcoffee.com) is on the finalist list for one of its Ethiopian coffees, the Wottuna Boltuma, sourced from an organic cooperative.
Two San Francisco coffee roasters are also listed: Four Barrel Coffee (fourbarrelcoffee.com) for its Ethiopian Wollega Wato and Sightglass Coffee (sightglasscoffee.com) for another Ethiopian, Yukro Gera.
Confections: The Good Food Awards finalists include two San Francisco candy makers of note: Barbary Brix (barbarybrix.com), which makes The Salty Dog, a savory and sweet culinary caramel made with Balinese sea salt; and Feve Artisan Chocolatier (fevechocolates.com), previously known as Au Coeur des Chocolat, for its Pistachio Rosemary, a molded, rosemary-infused caramel layered with pistachio praline.