SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 16, 2014) – Nearly 700 people assembled to fete the 2014 Good Food Awards winners at the fourth annual Good Food Awards Ceremony at San Francisco’s historic Palace of Fine Arts. The evening honored this year’s 130 winning food and drink producers from 32 states with a shared a passion for delicious, mindfully produced food. Culinary luminaries Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl and Nell Newman honored the 2014 winners onstage. The Ceremony commenced with opening remarks from M.C. Dr. Zeke Emanuel, co-founder of the Farmers Market at the White House and advisor to President Obama on health care, who noted the integral link between health and the growth of sustainable food communities across the country.
Sarah Weiner, Director of Seedling Projects in her closing remarks, summed up the potential impact for small producers as she congratulated winners for their integrity and likened them to the cultural revolutionaries of the 60’s:
“We are living in a time of great shifts and uncertainty. People are tiring of the accumulation of things, faster, more information, more productivity, and seeking a different way to live. But they need someone to show them the way. A way to cut through the surface and reach human generosity, a thoughtful way, a connected way, a joyful way to live. Food is the way, and you are the poet-revolutionaries to lead us there.”
Houston artisans, Elaine Lupovitch and Kirk O’Neal, Peaches N’ Dream Jam was selected as a 2014 Good Food Award. Elaine Lupovitch and Kirk O’Neal – two long-time teachers at The Emery Weiner School, run a part time business, Garden Dreams Houston, making and selling preserves at the Urban Harvest Farmers Markets. Their jam was selected from 1,450 entries. The Good Food Awards is hosted by the California based Seedlings Projects, the contest recognizes “the best from America’s growing movement of talented and socially conscious food entrepreneurs.”
“Garden Dreams Houston is honored to be nationally recognized for our continuing commitment and expertise to the growing local food movement. We are grateful to the support our Houston customers have given us and to the local growers, who provide us with an amazing array of fruits and vegetables. We really appreciate the nonprofit organization, Urban Harvest, which promotes and educates our community about the advantages of growing our own food.” Garden Dreams focuses on creating small-batched, handmade jams, jellies, marmalades, and salsas that are made from top quality local ingredients. “Preserving foods is a great way to capture the goodness of season and enjoy it all year long,” Lupovitch said, “ Peaches N’ Dream is a great example of this goodness. Texas Peaches are very special and our recipe captures this.”
This year’s winners were selected from 1,450 entries from all 50 states in a Blind Tasting held in September. The 225 judges, experts in their various industries, flew to San Francisco for a full day of blind tasting. Those that rose to the top were subject to a rigorous vetting process to verify they met the sustainability and social responsibility criteria to win a Good Food Award. This year’s Good Food Award winners exemplify excellence in both taste and responsible production.