Good Food Awards will be given to the tastiest artisan and farmstead cheeses in the categories of Fresh, Semi-Soft, Semi-Hard, Hard, and Yogurt. Cheeses and yogurts that meet the standards for entry are made using good animal husbandry, without the use of hormones, and without the use of synthetic inputs on the pastures.
The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the cheese 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 cheese standard are and who will be judging this year.
Owner at Casein Point Cheese – San Francisco, CA
Samantha Chertoff is the owner of Casein Point Cheese, providing sales management for artisan cheese producers. Samantha utilizes her industry background to help smaller dairies succeed in a rapidly changing and growing market. A judge at the Good Food Awards years ago and co-chair of the Cheese committee for 2019, she is honored to be co-chairing again in 2020.
National Sales Manager at Sweet Grass Dairy – San Francisco, CA
Liza recently took on the role of National Sales Manager for celebrated cheese producer, Sweet Grass Dairy. She previously acted as the Cheese Buyer at Canyon Market in San Francisco and was a finalist at the Winter 2014 Cheesemonger Invitational. She spent the last 5+ years working in sales management for cheese producers Laura Chenel/Marin French, and Consider Bardwell Farm. Liza acts as a member of the California Artisan Cheese Guild ‘SF Cheese Fest’ planning committee and has spoken on panels at the American Cheese Society conference. She is very excited to be co-chairing the Cheese committee with Samantha Chertoff in 2020.
In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, cheese entries must meet the following standards:
- Made in the USA or US territories.
- Made by the entrant’s own company, with milk from animals raised using good animal husbandry* with access to the outdoors.
- Made without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers on the pastures.
- Made without hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics.
- Made with rBGH-free milk.
- Made with sustainable repurposing of byproducts, such as whey, where possible.
- Made with milk from animals fed local, GM-free feed where available. Where it is not, the crafter is invested in being an agent of change towards greater availability, by working with suppliers and local granges, vocalizing their interest in this type of local feed if and when it becomes available.**
- Made with other ingredients, such as rennet, starter cultures, yogurt additions, herbs and washes that are sourced domestically or locally (where possible) and produced without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers and non-GMO.
- Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, oriented toward growing their business in harmony with a better food system.
*The Good Food Foundation will refer to GAP Level 5 guidelines to define “good animal husbandry” should there be any questions as to eligibility based on this criterion.
**Our intention is that producers make their best efforts to balance the realities of feed supplies with the ideals of responsible and sustainable production methods.
Additionally, cheese entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:
Proprietor, Chef & Cheesemaker, The Epicurean Connection
Owner/CEO, Gourmet Walks
Category Manager Specialty Cheese, Gelson's
Director of Specialty Foods & Cheese Buyer, Sigona's Farmers Market
Owner, Cheese Bar
Kathleen Shannon Finn
Founder, Cheese Diva Essentials
Cheesemonger, Oakville Grocery
Sales Director, Negranti Creamery
Specialty Food Department Manager, Good Earth Natural Foods, Fairfax
ACS CCP. Owner and Cheesemonger, Fairfield & Greenwich Cheese Companies
Professor of History, Director IU Food Institute, Indiana University
West Coast Manager, Isigny Ste-Mere
Vice President/ Marketing Director, Penguin Random House
Owner, St. Kilian's Cheese Shop
Owner, Specialty Food Sherpa
Owner, Wheyward Spirit
Northern California Regional Cheese Buyer , Whole Foods Market
Category Development Specialist, LA & SF Specialty
Senior Account Manager, Tony's Fine Foods
Co-Owner, Canyon Market
Wholesale Sales Directory, Tomales Bay Foods
Cheese Specialist, The Chefs Warehouse
Owner, Food & Farm Tours