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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.



Ellen Rawley

Founder at Ellen Rawley Creative & Strategy

Ellen Rawley helps producers launch and scale purposeful & profitable products by taking the guesswork out of product development and compliance. Before starting Ellen Rawley Creative & Strategy, she developed a jam line & olive oil beauty products for McEvoy Ranch. Her work has been applauded in leading magazines (Food & Wine, Oprah, Martha Stewart), distinguished by industry awards (sofi, Good Food), and snatched up by buyers in major grocery, spa, and e-commerce outlets.

Sharon Litzky

Jack of All Trades at Che Fico Alimentari

Sharon’s interest in the sustainable food movement started with a bite of pie. It wasn’t Sharon’s first bite of pie, by any means, but it was an enlightening slice. Her first job in SF found Sharon landing at Mission Pie, where the fire fueling her journey into the sustainable food industry was lit. Originally from Marietta, Georgia, Sharon has worked with restaurants in San Francisco for ten years. During that time, her passions expanded, leading her to spend time at farms and farmers markets working to bridge the gap between consumer and farmer and become more meaningfully involved with where our produce originates. Sharon looks forward to the day when we can all share a slice off pie together and is delighted to join the GFA team.

Former Committee Members

Bonnie Burgess, Nutrition Student and Consultant, Bauman College
Maddie DeWitt, Assistant Culinary Director, Good Eggs
Geronimo C. Ramos, Founder, Rooted Table


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, inclusion, and justice in all levels of their business.

*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.


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

Former Judges

Erin Scott

Food Photographer, Erin Scott Photography

Candice Jordan

Director of Marketing, Greenleaf Bay Area

Kai Hinson

Product and Sourcing Manager, Patagonia Provisions

Greg Dunmore

Co-Founder, The Japanese Pantry

Sam Mogannam

Founding Partner, Bi-Rite Market

Ron Tanner

VP, Philanthropy, Government & Industry Relations, Specialty Food Association

Ori Zohar

Co-Founder, Burlap & Barrel

Chris Bailey

Culinary Microenterprise Developer, Portland Mercado

Mary Richter

Culinary Director, Surdyk's Inc

Nitika Dhamankar

Director of Product Innovation, Kitchentown

Shireen Santosham

Chief Innovation Officer, San Jose Mayor's Office

Susie Wyshak

Food Business Strategist, Food Starter

Maya Wong

Associate Editor, Sunset Magazine

Annie Svigals

Portfolio Lead, Design for Food, IDEO

Dava Guthmiller

Head of Vision, Noise 13

Maya Wong

Assistant Editor, Sunset Magazine

Anna Castellani

Owner, Foragers Market

Asha Loupy

E-Commerce Manager, Market Hall Foods

Debbie Conti

Consultant/Buyer, D.Conti

Anthony Strong

Chef/Owner, PRAIRIE

Amani Ali

Director, Programs and Policy, Mandela Partners

Alison Acerra

Founder, Chief Strategist, Strategic Nutrition Design

Pat Flatley

Sales, Teranga Baobab

Karen Leibowitz

Executive Director, The Perennial Farming Initiative

Sana Javeri Kadri

CEO, Diaspora Co.

Thuy Tran

Co-Founder, Rooted Recipes Project

Phyllis Grant

Writer, Recipe Developer, Dash & Bella Blog

Allyson Holt

Vice President, Merchandising, Cost Plus World Market

Pei-Ru Ko

Founder, Real Food Real Stories