Our focus is on celebrating confections – whether chocolate covered bon bons or gloriously simple caramels – produced using locally grown, natural, minimally processed ingredients that celebrate regional culture and tradition, highlight American terroir and exemplify excellence in the candy making craft.
The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the confections 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 confections standard are and who will be judging this year.
Culinary Liaison at Dandelion Chocolate – San Francisco, CA
Leah Hammerman is the Culinary Liaison at Dandelion Chocolate, where she shares her enthusiasm about single-origin chocolate with all types of food & beverage professionals. Prior to discovering the dynamic world of chocolate, Leah lived in New York, where she was on the marketing team at StarChefs and was a restaurant manager with AvroKO Hospitality Group. Leah’s deep love for all things food began at a young age, when she cooked weekly Shabbat dinners alongside her mom. She now pines for a non-SF or NY kitchen to keep up the tradition.
Snr Sustainability Analyst at Annie’s Organic – Berkeley, CA
Christina is a Senior Sustainability Analyst at General Mills, where she leads the sustainable ingredient sourcing strategy for the Annie’s brand. Focusing on metrics related to soil health, biodiversity, and farmer economic resilience, Christina leverages quantitative analysis and research to drive continuous improvement in agricultural outcomes. Prior to joining General Mills, Christina worked with the Good Food Foundation and SCS Global Services, where she coordinated the Starbucks responsible coffee sourcing verification program in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, confections entries must meet the following standards:
- Made in the USA or US territories.
- Free of artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives.
- Free of genetically modified ingredients.
- Free of high fructose corn syrup.
- If made with chocolate, it must be premium couverture and may not be made with substitute fats as alternatives to cocoa butter. Additionally this chocolate cannot be made with GM sugar, GM lecithin or alternatives to real vanilla (ie flavoring).
- If made with dairy and other animal-derived ingredients, these are locally sourced and/or certified organic; free range; hormone-free; and from animals raised using good animal husbandry.*
- If made with inclusions and flavorings that are grown domestically, they are locally sourced wherever possible; traceable; and grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.**
- If made with inclusions and flavorings that are not grown domestically on a commercial scale, they are farm-direct, certified organic or Fair Trade certified.**
*The Good Food Foundation will refer to GAP and Animal Welfare Approved guidelines to define “good animal husbandry” should there be any questions as to eligibility based on this criterion.
** If less than 2% of ingredients in the product do not meet this stipulation, the entry will not be disqualified.
Additionally, confections entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:
- Marshmallows, Nougats, Torrones
- Caramels, wrapped
- Caramels, chocolate covered
- Brittles & Toffees
- Chocolates: Truffles, Creams, Bon-bons, Pralines
- Fruit: Pate De Fruit, Candied Fruit and Peel, Fruit Gelee
- Sweet Snacks: Dragees
- Candy Bars
- Flavored & Inclusion Bars*
- Sauces & Spreads
*Bean-to-bar makers may enter flavored or inclusion bars in their choice of the Chocolate or Confections category.
Note that we encourage but do not require that Confections entrants use domestically produced craft chocolate that is made with beans from a traceable source, purchased at a price above Fair Trade standard pricing, with focus on sustainable farming.
Pastry Chef, Zuni Cafe
Owner, Food Hall
Flavor Manager, Dandelion Chocolate
Senior Food Program Manager , Airbnb
Executive Pastry Chef, Michael Mina Restaurant
Owner and Chocolatier, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates
CIO, Salt & Straw
Founder/Chief Taster, Coletta Gelato
Cookbook Author and Pastry Chef
Writer/ Pastry Chef, Toothache Magazine
Chef and Co-Owner, Moustache Baked Goods
Chef & Partner, Theorita
Owner, The Epicurean Trader
Proprietor, Palace Market & Rocca Family Vineyards
Owner/Chocolatier, Cadence Chocolates
Sourcing Manager - Food Development, Williams-Sonoma
Pastry Chef, Jane the Bakery
Sales, Heath Ceramics