Taste the Nation’s Best Pickles, Jams, Coffee, Etc. at the Good Food Awards

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Ms. Waters introducing last year's awards. Photo: Grub Street

At last year's inaugural Good Food Awards, we were amazed to see how many makers of artisanal preserves, pickled okra, and fine charcuterie from all corners of the country had heeded the call of Alice Waters and made the trip to San Francisco to accept their medals. It was a heart-warming evening for the food movement, and afterwards we were invited to taste from the bevy of eclectic, small-batch products, from an excellent pine-needle-rubbed cheese from Montana to some delicious Brussels sprout relish from Ohio. This year, the public can buy tickets for the gala tasting on Friday, January 13, and also swing by the Ferry Building the next day for a special beer and spirits garden, and a marketplace where many of the goods will be for sale.

This marks a change from last year, when the gala reception was private. Granted, tickets are $100 for Friday night (8 to 10 p.m.), but there will be a ton of stuff to try imagine a tasting plate from each region of the country, each filled with cheeses, meats, condiments, preserves, and chocolate, plus tasting stations for coffee, spirits, and beer too. Also, judges Alice Waters and Ruth Reichl will be on hand for photo ops, if you ask nicely.

The finalists for the 2012 awards are all here, including a bunch of local names like Sightglass Coffee, Emmy's Pickles and Jams, and Adesso in Oakland. The winners will be announced Friday, at the Ferry Building event prior to the reception. (Obviously it's not quite as hush-hush as the Oscars, since winners have already been informed and are making their way, crates of product in hand, to S.F. this week. See the 2011 winners here.)

Also, at the Gilt City site, you can buy $15 early-access tickets to the Saturday morning marketplace at the Ferry Building, avoiding the more ridiculous lines and giving you a better shot at buying some of the in-demand items between 8 and 9 a.m. Also, Gilt Taste will be an exclusive seller of a number of the winning products, so if you're lazy like us when it comes to Saturday mornings, there's always that as a fall-back.

The Good Food Awards
[Official Site]
Earlier: Ruth Reichl Brunches With Alice Waters at Zuni; Nancy Silverton Fêted at Camino
What You Missed at the Good Food Awards ('11)