Six hundred attendees packed the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco on Thursday evening to honor food/drink purveyors in ten categories at the fourth annual Good Food Awards ceremony. The Good Food Awards celebrates and honors the best in sustainably sourced and produced foods and drinks – like pickles, chocolates, preserves, and charcuterie – from purveyors across the United States.
With a little extra encouragement from Sprudge.com, for the first time in the program's history, all fifty states submitted coffee. Sprudge correspondent Kristen Orser-Crouse covered the panel of esteemed judges cupping and scoring the coffees in November when 26 finalists were chosen. Last night, New York Times food writer Ruth Reichl and Alice “Alice” Waters draped award medallions on the ten coffee winners:
1000 Faces Coffee, Ethiopia Suke Quto, Georgia
De La Paz Coffee, Kenya Gichathaini & Peel Sessions, California
Flying Goat Coffee, Ethiopia Wote Konga, California
Intelligentsia Coffee, Organic Shegole Ethiopia, California
Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Idido, Wisconsin
Kuma Coffee, Kenya Kiamabara AA, Washington
Metropolis Coffee Company, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Aylele, Illinois
Olympia Coffee Roasting Co., Ethiopia Konga, Washington
Panther Coffee, Ethiopia Chelba & Nicaragua Kailash, Florida
ReAnimator Coffee Roasters, Ethiopia Sota, Pennsylvania
Roast House, Batzchocola Guatemala, Washington
Sightglass Coffee Roasters, Ethiopia Guji Yetatebe, California
Square One Coffee, Guatemala Acatenango, Pennsylvania
Tandem Coffee Roasters, Aylele Yirgacheffe Ethiopia, Maine
Debra Di Bernardo, owner of Roast House in Spokane, Washington, delivered a speech on behalf of the coffee category. Watch it in its entirety here:
Meanwhile, just outside the auditorium, the lobby was buzzing with local chefs, brewers, distillers, wine producers, cheese mongers, picklers, and chocolate makers as they set out a banquet of sampleables for the six hundred attendees. Jen Apodaca of Blue Bottle Coffee managed a team of extraordinary Bay Area baristas who diligently produced a countless number of Chemex coffees using the Able Kone filter and the ten winning coffees.
American chef, restaurant entrepreneur, slow food activist, and author Alice Waters, who is by all accounts Bay Area royalty, presided on stage for the duration of the ceremony – but did not speak. With all due respect, this absolutely heightened Alice's status to Queen Diva Supernova. Alice does not speak. One of the winners told Sprudge, “She gave me the most heartfelt handshake I've ever gotten in my life.”
The coffee service was fabulous. Baristas spent hours carefully dialing in each coffee for the Kone and Chemex service, and always had coffees available through the banquet portion of the evening. The service was set up behind a wall of winning chocolates and confectionaries – which was kind of perfect.
Master of Ceremonies Dr. Zeke Emanuel was charming, but let's be real – can we get the list of coffee winners phonetically spelled out next year? You can hear the tail end of the list in the video above – each sadly mispronounced coffee and mispronounced company. It was as if he studied our pronunciation videos. To his credit, Dr. Zeke Emanuel apologized in advance. But for real. Here's a real guide.
The coffee roasters and their prize winning coffees, along with winners from all categories, will be on deck at the grand Good Food Awards Marketplace tomorrow January 18th. The Bay Area startup Blossom will be on hand to brew coffees from the Blossom One brewer. Early access tickets are available here. The Marketplace will be open to the general public from 9am-2pm at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Tickets will be sold on-site for $5.