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The Good Food Awards celebrates cultural authenticity, regional flavors and traditions with our pantry category! Umami-packed miso paste, pungent sambal, spicy hot sauce, colorful salsa and a plethora of savory condiments, made from responsibly sourced, GMO-free ingredients, will be considered for Awards this year.


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



Kyle Hughes

Brand Partnerships at Faire

Kyle helps lead the Food & Beverage brand partnerships team at Faire. He grew up in Northern California and has spent the majority of his career working in food. He graduated from New York University and shortly thereafter moved back to San Francisco and immersed himself in the local food movement. He’s previously led wholesale programs at 4505 Meats, Black Oak Coffee Roasters and Bellwether Coffee, and co-founded a Food & Beverage consulting company to advise emerging brands on growing their businesses. He’s also worked at numerous restaurants throughout the region including the Delfina Restaurant Group.

Committee Members

Anna Silberstein, Faire Wholesale

2023 Judges

Tamara Hicks

Owner, Tomales Farmstead Creamery

Carrie Sullivan

Retail & Catering Manager, La Cocina

Katie Ettman

Food and Agriculture Policy Manager, SPUR

Deven Okry

Market Manager, Foodwise

Leah Hammerman

Category Merchandiser, Local & Specialty, Cheetah

Dava Guthmiller

Chief Creative Officer, Noise 13

Aaronette King

Executive Chef/Owner, Eat Play Events & Catering

Willow Blish

Chapter Co-Chair, Slow Food East Bay

Janelle Bitker

Senior Editor, Food & Wine, San Francisco Chronicle

Steph Rodriguez

Food Editor, SFGATE

Valerie Ng

Account Control & Administration, La Cocina

Olga Katsnelson

Founder/CEO, Postcard Communications

Summer Thompson

Senior Buyer, Market Hall Foods

Jonathan Alexander

Wine Buyer, Little Vine

Deborah Kwan

Principal, DKPR, Inc.

Alex Tejada

General Manager, Korner Kitchen & Bar

Caetie Ofiesh

Director of Design & Consulting, Just Fare

Susie Wyshak

Foodie Realtor, FoodStarter

Ray Bair

Owner, Cheese Plus

Tenaya Willette-Green

Grocery Department Head, Bi Rite Market

Angie Lin

COO, Good To Eat Dumplings


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

  • Made in the USA or US territories.
  • Made with a balanced objective of local, organic and highest-quality.*
  • Made with transparency in supply chain.**
  • Free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives.
  • Made with rBGH-free milk, where milk is used.
  • Made with domestic, non-petroleum based vinegar where vinegar is used.
  • Free of genetically modified ingredients.
  • Made with spices that are certified organic, Fair Trade or traceable to the farm level.*
  • 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.***

*Ingredients that make up less than 2% of the product, such as spices, sugar or lemon juice, may be sourced from farther afield, or from a larger distributor.
**That is, an earnest attempt is made to verify the origin and production methods of the ingredient. If made with ingredients that are not grown domestically on a commercial scale, a farm-direct or certified organic source is sought out and documentation of this search, including notes on calling distributors, is provided.
***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.


Additionally, pantry entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:

  • Pasta/Pizza Sauce
  • Hot Sauce
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Dressing & Marinades
  • Salt Cured & Oil Packed
  • Pantry Sauces & Pastes (e.g., miso, sambal, curry paste)
  • Salsas, Relishes & Chutneys (e.g., onion chutney, tomatillo salsa)
  • Condiments (e.g., mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard)
  • Flavor Bases (e.g., fish sauce, soy sauce)
  • Maple Syrups
  • Nut Butters
  • Vinegars