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Good Food Awards will be given to farmers, millers and producers working with grains grown from open source seeds planted with soil health in mind. Cereal grains, legumes, pasta and tortillas that meet the standards for entry are grown in the USA under fair labor practices and do not incorporate synthetic inputs.


The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the grains 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 grains standards are and who will be judging this year.



Viola Buitoni

Independent Chef Instructor

A native Umbrian, US based professional with 30 years of experience in the field of food, Viola transitioned to teaching 10 years ago, to get home cooks to gather daily around the stove and table. She believes that from our kitchens, we can make the world a better place. By cooking at the intersection of Italian table culture and local agriculture, she teaches the use and value of good food, and its critical role to the well being of our communities. She is the Italian resident instructor for 18 Reasons Community Cooking School and The Civic Kitchen. She has guest taught at schools around the country including the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, and Eataly in Chicago and New York. She serves as the Food Advisor for San Francisco’s Italian Consulate and Cultural Institute. She leads cooking retreats in the Bay Area and culinary trips to Italy. In the summer she teaches at the Puglia Culinary Center.
She is grateful for her new role as the chair of this category and the chance to support responsible growers and producers. You can find more on her work on violabuitoni.com.

Jen Nurse

Co-Founder of The Civic Kitchen

Jen is the co-founder of The Civic Kitchen cooking school in San Francisco, where she enthusiastically fosters self-sufficiency and joy in the kitchen, and civil discourse and connection around the table. She is a lifelong avid home cook, a pastry chef and former bakery owner, and an evangelist for the life-changing power of education. Jen is honored to serve as co-chair for the Grains category.

Committee Members

Meghna Agarwal, Chef/Instructor, Crimson Kitchen
Michael Washburn, Garden Manager, Blackberry Farm
Frances Wilson, Chef/Instructor, Frances Cooks


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

  • Grown in the USA or US territories.
  • Grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.
  • Grown from seeds that are:
    • Free of genetic modification
    • Open Source/Non-Patented Seed
  • Grown and milled using fair labor practices.
  • Grown with soil health in mind, including:*
    • Conservation tillage.
    • Cover crops.
    • Crop rotations.
    • Promotes biodiversity.
    • Rotational grazing.

Additional criteria for pasta and tortillas:

  • 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.**
  • Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, committed to equity, inclusion, and justice in all levels of their business.

* The Good Food Foundation will refer to Regenerative Agriculture guidelines to define “Soil Health” 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, grains entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:

  • Flatbreads (Lavash, Naan, Pita)
  • Cereal Grains- Uncooked and dry (e.g., rice, barley, oats, wild rice, grits, cracked wheat, quinoa)
  • Legumes – Uncooked and dry (e.g., beans, lentils)
  • Pasta  (Fresh, Dry and Filled)
  • Tortillas

Cooking and Preparation Specs

Entrants will be able to specify cooking instructions including sorting, rinsing, soaking, water content and cooking time.

  • Grains, Legumes, and Pasta will be cooked in water with 1 tbsp. of sea salt per quart.
  • Legumes will be introduced in salted boiling water (105 to 110˚C) then the flame will be reduced to medium low to achieve a bubbly simmer for the time indicated by producer/packager (75 and 85˚C)
  • Pasta will be introduced in salted boiling water and stirred. Subsequently the pot will be covered until the water comes back to boiling then the temperature will be reduced to medium high to just below boil (90 to 95˚C)
  • Grains will be cooked based on the instructions indicated by the entrant.
  • Grains, Legumes, and Pasta will be cooked with San Francisco tap water in All-Clad cookware, on a gas stovetop.
  • Grains and Legumes will be cooked the day before selection and served to judges at room temperature.
  • Pasta will be cooked right before the tasting.
  • Tortillas will be heated on a dry, high heat cast iron skillet.


Dario Barbone

Pizzicarolo, Alimentari Aurora

Claudia Carter

Executive Director, California Wheat Commission

Blaire Cardigan Smith

, Sister

David Kaisel

Miller/Grower, Capay Mills

Linda Esposito

Director, Municipal Marketplace, La Cocina

Hollie Greene Rottman

National Program Director, Wellness in the Schools

Michael Kalanty

Author, Baker & Teacher, Bread Bakers Guild of America

Jovida Ross

Executive Director, Real Food Real Stories

Susan Patton Fox


Karen Wang Diggs

Chief Fermentation Officer, Kraut Source/Cultured Gourmet

Brian Hogan Stewart

Host, Salt + Spine

Marlee Belmonte

Executive Chef, Thumbtack

Shahla Rashid

Founder, My Berkeley Kitchen

Stephonie Nash

Service Manager, Bi-Rite Family of Businesses

Leslie Santarina

Freelance Photographer, Author, Self

Amaryll Schwertner

Chef/ Partner, Boulette's Larder

Anthony Strong

Chef/Owner, PRAIRIE

Summer Thompson

Buyer, Market Hall Foods