Update, 01.21.13: All four East Bay finalists went on to be winners in the 2013 Good Food Awards which were announced on the evening of Jan. 19 at a reception at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. See the full list of winners.
Original story: Four East Bay companies are finalists in the national 2013 Good Food Awards, three of whom were founded in Berkeley.
West Berkeley salumi company, Fra’ Mani, run by former Oliveto chef Paul Bertolli, is a finalist in the Charcuterie category for its Salame Toscano. The Cultured Pickle Shop, owned by Alex Hozven and Kevin Farley and also in west Berkeley, made it to the finals in the Pickles category for its Japanese Cucumber and Arame Kimchee and its Kasu-Zuke Jalapeños. INNA Jam, which owner Dafna Kory recently moved from Berkeley to Emeryville, is a finalist in the Preserves category for its Pretty Spicy Fresno Chili Jam. And Alameda-based St. George Spirits, reached the final stretch in the Spirits category for its Agua Libre California Agricole Rum and its Aqua Perfecta Poire Eau de Vie.
A total of 114 winners, representing 132 products, are set to be announced tonight at a ceremony held at San Francisco’s Ferry Building presided over by Berkeley restaurateur and sustainable food champion Alice Waters.
The other categories, other than Charcuterie, Pickles, Preserves and Spirits, are Beer, Cheese, Chocolat, Coffee and Confections, and there are a good number of Bay Area names on the 185-long finalists list.
The national competition — which is in its third year and aims to honor people who make food that is delicious, respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions – has seen East Bay winners before. Cultured, Café Rouge and Bison Brewery were all victorious in the awards’ first year in 2011. And Café Rouge made a repeat appearance as a winner last year.
As well as the gala awards ceremony tonight, the Good Food Awards organizers, Seedling Projects, host a marketplace at the Ferry Building on Saturday Jan. 19 showcasing the foods of the entrants from around the country. Tickets for both are available via Event Brite.
Food awards tap Berkeley taste makers for national contest [01.13.12]
Beer, tongue, and pickles: three Berkeley food makers win awards [01.17.11]
Jam maker turns hobby into thriving local business [02.18.11]
Alex Hozven and Kevin Farley, Cultured Pickle Shop [09.07.11]