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Calling on the jammiest jams and most mouthwatering marmalades, the Good Food Awards will be handed out to the tastiest sweet preserves made with fruits that are non-GMO, free of synthetic inputs and responsibly foraged.


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



Mei Ling Hui

Program Manager at SF Recreation & Park Dept. – San Francisco, CA

Mei Ling is the Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens Program Manager for San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Department. She also volunteers with the UC Cooperative Extension as a Master Food Preserver, providing community education in safe home food preservation practices.

Sean Timberlake

Senior Content Marketing Manager at Sun Basket – San Francisco, CA

 Sean is the founder of Punk Domestics, a community and aggregation site for food preservers and DIY enthusiasts, and Senior Content Marketing Manager for Sun Basket. He has been writing professionally for 20+ years, and has written on food preservation for Cooking Channel, Food Network, Williams-Sonoma and others.

Committee Members

Christina Gutierrez, Culinary Development Manager, Thistle
Christina Stork, SEO Lead, Sun Basket & Preservation Instructor


In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, preserves 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, including GM pectin.
  • Made with ingredients that are foraged or grown:
    • Locally.*
    • With respect for seasonality.
    • Without the use of synthetic inputs including herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.**
  • 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.

*Sugar, and ingredients that make up less than 2% of the product, such as pectin and spices, may be sourced from farther afield, and are not required to be grown organically due to barriers in cost and access in some regions. Citrus juice (up to 15%) added to increase acidity of the preserve is also allowed to be sourced from outside the region of entry but must be grown in the same spirit as the primary preserved fruit (using the above organic standards) and sourced domestically where possible.

**IPM growing practices will be accepted for some fruit (apples, stone fruit) and will be evaluated on a case by case basis.


Additionally, preserves entries must fit within one of these subcategories:

  • Conserve: Following the traditional definition, this refers to a preserve that includes a combination of fruit and nuts. Alternatively, a conserve may exclude nuts and utilize a methodology that includes a maceration period and rapid cook time.
  • Curd: Fruit curds are creamy spreads made from acidic fruit juice, butter, and eggs cooked over a double-boiler until it becomes a custard.
  • Fruit Butter: A preserve made from fruit that has been cooked initially, often in added liquid, and then pureed into a smooth texture and cooked a second time with the addition of sugar. The texture is spreadable like butter and silky smooth.
  • Fruit Cheese or Leather: A preserve made from fruit that has been cooked initially, often in added liquid, and then pureed into a smooth texture and cooked a second time with the addition of sugar to a consistency where the liquid has been removed leaving a high concentration of fruit. Once cooled, it is solid and sliceable. Fruit leathers fall into this category.
  • Jam: A cooked mixture of crushed or cut fruit and with a concentration of at least 55 percent sugar.
  • Jelly: A combination of sugar and fruit juice which has been extracted from the fruit by simple cooking and straining. Jellies are clear in appearance and should hold their shape to some degree. Savory pepper jellies would also be included in this subcategory.
  • Low Sugar Preserve: A cooked mixture of crushed or cut fruit and with a concentration of less than 55 percent sugar.
  • Marmalade: From the Portugese word marmelo, marmalades are made with citrus fruit and sugar. They may, but do not necessarily need to, contain suspended pieces of fruit or peel. Two methodologies include cutting the citrus fruit for the marmalade or juicing the fruit and suspending the peel within.
  • Syrup: Made from fruit juice extracted from fruit by maceration or cooking and then filtered and cooked with sugar and additional flavors of herbs, flowers and spices, if desired. The texture can range from light to heavy depending on the cooking time. Syrups can also be made from sugar and water infused with herbs, flowers or spices. Beginning with the 2018 Awards, syrups will be judged in the Elixirs category.

Past Judges

Shujan Bertrand

Founder, Chief Creative, àplat

Barbara Haimes

Instructor, Culinary & Hospitality, City College of San Francisco

Leslie Jonath

Founder, Connected Dots Media

Chiara Cecchini

Co-Founder, Future Food Americas

Sarah Masoni

Product and Process Development, Food Innovation Center

Mark Priestley

COO, Yummy Artisan Foods

Rusty Schwartz

CEO, Kitchentown

Liz Prueitt

Founder, Tartine Bakery

Nick Heineman

Partner, Look's Market

Viola Buitoni

Chef Instructor, Italy by Ingredient

Madison Michael

Owner, Merchant Roots

Shakirah Simley

Co-Founder, Nourish | Resist

Maria Schoettler


Anna Smith Clark

Founder, Get Gone Traveler

Elizabeth Vecchiarelli

Owner/Manager, Preserved