`'Good Food Awards' Honors California Olive Oils - Olive Oil Times

'Good Food Awards' Honors California Olive Oils

Jan. 20, 2014
Marcel E. Moran

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This past Thursday night at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, over 700 peo­ple gath­ered to honor the best in American sus­tain­able food and drink at the fourth annual Good Food Awards. Oils were included for the first time in the con­test, and olive oil pro­duc­ers earned 7 of the 10 awards in this inau­gural cat­e­gory. There were 1,450 entries across ten dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories, rep­re­sent­ing all 50 states, and win­ners were cho­sen based on a blind taste test.

Rich Matthews, of Moonshadow Grove in Oroville, California was excited about being hon­ored in such a diverse com­pe­ti­tion. We’ve won a lot of olive oil com­pe­ti­tions, but this is more than that, it’s good prac­tices and healthy food,” he said. His ascolano blend oil, like all final­ists, was vet­ted to ensure that it met sus­tain­abil­ity and social respon­si­bil­ity stan­dards, includ­ing being pressed or bot­tled with­out heat, arti­fi­cial addi­tives, or genet­i­cally mod­i­fied ingre­di­ents. Entrants also must also have shown that their prod­ucts were grown with­out syn­thetic fer­til­iz­ers or pes­ti­cides, and with fair labor prac­tices in place.

It seemed for many atten­dees, the award cer­e­mony was the most mean­ing­ful part of the entire expe­ri­ence. Last night was amaz­ing,” said Olivia Newsome-Grieco of the Berkeley Olive Grove 1913. It meant more than we thought, and the mes­sage really touched our heart.” A few high­lights of the fes­tiv­i­ties were speeches deliv­ered by dis­tin­guished guests from the food world, includ­ing Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, and Nell Newman. The mas­ter of cer­e­monies for the event was Dr. Zeke Emanuel, a noted med­ical expert and advi­sor to President Obama on health­care.

Jane Lee, one of the two com­mit­tee chairs for the oil cat­e­gory was happy to see this year’s pro­gram include an inte­gral part of cook­ing. It’s a no-brainer,” she said. You can’t have cook­ing with­out oil, and every­one should know about these pro­duc­ers, why oil is impor­tant, and what goes into their pro­duc­tion.” The pro­gram is orga­nized by Seedling Projects, an orga­ni­za­tion that bills itself as a A do-tank’ for the food move­ment, trans­form­ing ideas into action,” and the awards show is fol­lowed by a com­mu­nity mar­ket­place over the week­end, dur­ing which win­ners can sam­ple and sell their prod­ucts along­side the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco.

The other olive oil pro­duc­ers awarded were Tallgrass Ranch Estate, Fattoria Muia, Frantoio Grove, Jovia Groves Olive Oil and Tiber Canyon Ranch, all from California.


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