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Good charcuterie is made by hand with meat from animals that were raised without hormones and provided with feed that is free of animal by-products.


The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the charcuterie community to create the tasting, determine judges and set standards for the category. Read on to learn who has been integral to building the category, as well as what the charcuterie standard are and who will be judging this year.



Susannah Schnick

Co-Owner/Executive Chef, Picnic Rotisserie

Susannah has worked for 20 years in the food industry and as a butcher in the Bay Area. Her title as butcher started at Cafe Rouge in Berkeley, then she worked at Ver Brugge Meat-Fish Poultry in Oakland, and Clove & Hoof in Oakland. She started Picnic with her Business partner and co-chair Leslie in 2017 selling sausage and charcuterie at local farmer’s markets. Picnic Rotisserie won a Good Food Award for their chicken liver mousse with bacon and bourbon in 2018, and opened up their brick and mortar in Albany December 2020 and have been going strong ever since!

Leslie Nishiyama

Co-Owner, Picnic Rotisserie

Leslie is co-owner at Picnic, a woman-owned rotisserie & deli in Albany, CA. She and Susannah started Picnic in 2017 at the local farmers markets and opened our brick and mortar in December 2020. We are 2019 Good Food Award winners for our Chicken Liver Mousse with Bacon that we continue to make at our shop. Before joining Picnic, Leslie worked in budgets/operation/administration for various engineering labs and start ups in the Bay Area, but was always a passionate home cook. When the opportunity arose to start Picnic with Susannah, she couldn’t resist. She is looking forward to working with the Good Food crew and meeting all the amazing food producers!

2024 Judges

Lea Stafford

Founder + Director of Events, Lea Stafford Events (LSE)

Eric Miller

General Manager, Mission Bay Wine & Cheese

Joyce Klassen

Carrie Sullivan

Retail & Catering Manager, La Cocina

Paul Tripp

Buying and Merchandising Manager, Luke's Local

John Fink

Founder, The Whole Beast

Dario Barbone

Head Cheesemonger, Alimentari Aurora

Sterling James

Oakland Venue Management/The Bridge Yard, Sales and Events Manager

John Boyle

Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer, Market of Choice

Julian Quisquater

Editor, Independent Journalist

Michael Lazo

Butcher Department Manager, Bi-Rite Market

Elizabeth Shaw

Founder, Elizabeth Shaw Consulting


In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, charcuterie entries must meet the following standards:

  • Made in the USA or US territories*
  • Handcrafted.
  • Free of artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives.**
  • Made with ingredients that are sourced with a balanced objective of local, organic and highest quality.
  • If made with additional animal products (dairy, eggs), they adhere to the same animal husbandry standards as meat ingredients.
  • If made with non-animal ingredients, they are traceable, non-GMO and grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.***
  • Made with respect and fair compensation for everyone working at the ranch, in the slaughterhouse and in the kitchen.
  • Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, committed to equity and inclusion in all levels of their business,**** as exemplified through integrating these practices:
    • Creating a safe and healthy work environment where employees receive a fair wage, are safe and respected at work and have access to the resources they need to keep themselves healthy.
    • Offering a diversity, equity, and inclusion training to staff members and/or leadership annually.
    • Thoughtfully acknowledging the heritage of culturally-specific food on websites, packaging and/or marketing materials.
    • For the small percentage of Good Food community that operates on a significantly larger scale, meeting additional criteria related to board diversity, maternity leave and employment practices.****

Made with meat from animals raised:

  • Using good animal husbandry.*****
  • Out of confinement that restricts natural species-specific behaviors.
  • With an understanding of the animal’s genetics and care taken to create an environment suitable for the specific breed.
  • With plenty of access to the outdoors, including access to pasture and natural vegetation.
  • Without gestation crates.
  • Without hormones.
  • Without sub-therapeutic antibiotics.
  • Without feed containing animal by-products.******
  • With concern and mindfulness for slaughterhouse practices.
  • Butchered in a state, county or USDA-approved facility.

*For producers working close to the borders of Mexico or Canada, the Good Food Foundation will evaluate based on a case by case basis.
**Nitrates and nitrites are allowed.
***If less than 2% of ingredients in the product do not meet this stipulation, the entry will not be disqualified.
****Check if you are in the 2% of companies meeting the Good Food Foundation definition of large scale, and review the addition criteria on the Rules & Regulations page.
*****The Good Food Foundation evaluates “good animal husbandry” on a case by case basis and looks for standards equivalent to GAP level 4 or higher. Producers sourcing responsibly from colder climates where year round outdoor grazing is not feasible can submit information about the farm or ranch’s processes to be considered by the Good Food Foundation.
******We encourage all producers to seek out GM-free feed wherever possible, and to discuss its desirability with their suppliers where it is not yet available. We realize that access to GM-free feed varies across the country and therefore do not yet require it for entry in the Awards. Additionally, feed including bone meal may be considered on a case by case basis for poultry farming.


Additionally, charcuterie entries must fit within one of the following subcategories (vegetarian and/or vegan substitutes are permitted):

  • Bacon
  • Dry Cured
  • Smoked
  • Paté/Terrine