Some 40 judges have tested their way through the Harvest Fair Professional Food Competition, granting the prestigious Best of Show Appetizer award to Grapevine Catering Company of Guerneville for its Rosemary Scented Lamb Loin.
The Sweepstake Appetizer award, given to the contestant who chalked up the most points overall, went to Oliver's Markets, which also nabbed the Sweepstakes Award for desserts.
In addition, Oliver's won Best of Show Decorated Cake for its "Off the Vine" Wedding Cake and Best of Show cake for its Honey Caramel Nut Tart.
2010 Harvest Fair Professional Food Competition
"Oliver's really made a statement and did well in every classification that they entered," said Harvest FAir Food Judging Coordinator Anne Vercelli.
In the Delicatessen category, Bear Republic Brewing Co. of Healdsburg won Best of Show for its Wild Game Chili. Newcomer Yanni's Sausage Grill of Penngrove won best charcuterie for its Loukaniko Pork Rustic Country Sausage.
In the Bread category, Costeaux French Bakery of Healdsburg went home with both big awards: Best of Show French Bread for its Ciabatta and Best of Show Specialty Bread for its Multigrain Batard.
"There were a lot of excellent competitors - more than usual," Vercelli said of the bread competition. "That was wonderful to see the entries have increased."
A new category added to this year's competition was Professional Dairy, which includes cheese, butter and yogurt. Best of Show Dairy went to Spring Hill Jersey Cheese of Petaluma for its Peppercorn Goat Farmstead Cheese.
In the Desserts category, Best of Show went to the Brasserie at the Hyatt Hotel in Santa Rosa for its Swedish Cream Cannolis. That dessert also won the award for Best Use of Local Products in a Dessert.
Vercelli noted that the comfort food trend is still holding strong in the dessert and cookie categories, along with the classics.