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Mar 13, 2012 | posted in Advisory Board by seedlingprojects

William Werner

William Werner serves as Outfit Generic’s Chief Creative Officer and is responsible for the creation of the group’s strategic vision and concepts. During his year as executive pastry chef/founder of Tell Tale Preserve Company, he garnered praise both locally and nationally for his pastries and preserves in publications including Food & Wine, New York Times and Wallpaper, which awarded him “Best High Tea, Confections.” William was executive pastry chef for the renowned Quince restaurant in San Francisco. He brings more than a decade of culinary experience to the group.

Mar 06, 2012 | posted in Blog by seedlingprojects

INNA Jam No More Over Kitchen Space

The California food community is abuzz about The California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616), a proposed new state law that would legalize selling foods that are produced in home kitchens. I think that allowing small scale food producers to start legitimate businesses out of their homes and eliminate, at least temporarily, the cost of renting a commercial kitchen could have a great impact on our burgeoning food community and the local economy. Commercial kitchen space isn’t the only cost of starting a food business, but it’s a pretty significant one. Not only that, from my personal experience as a jam-maker in the Bay Area, there simply aren’t enough commercial kitchens available – finding a kitchen that suits one’s needs can be an extraordinary challenge.

When I first started INNA jam as a hobby, I was working out of my home kitchen. Before too long I outgrew the little stove and limited counter space, so when INNA became a business I moved my work into a commercial kitchen. I did this for legal reasons, but also because I needed the space and facility that a commercial kitchen provides (and cooking spicy jalapeño jam in my tiny house was nicknamed “fumigating” by my boyfriend). Some food producers might look forward to working in their state-approved home kitchens, but I personally was happy to graduate to the next level. Home was a great place to discover jam making, develop recipes, and refine my craft, but I needed to find a more professional way to produce jam in larger quantities.

The first shared commercial kitchen I worked in was a small storefront bakery with a single burner. The second commercial kitchen was a shared catering kitchen that hosted five full-time tenants. While both were big improvements from my tiny home kitchen, neither of those spaces were the right fit for my jam company: not enough hours available in the shared kitchen, inappropriate equipment, a severe lack of storage space. In order to avoid contamination I worked at night when no one else was there. It was very hard work, but not unusuall for startup food businesses – almost every other food producer I’ve talked to is faced with similar challenges and limitations. Space, the final frontier. There is a real shortage of commercial kitchens in the Bay Area, so most food producers have to work crazy hours, juggle multiple storage locations, and improvise with the facilities they can find.

After a couple of difficult years working out of shared commercial kitchens that were not very well-suited for making jam, I decided to invest the time and resources to build a specialized jam kitchen. The new INNA jam kitchen in Emeryville is currently under construction and I expect it will be ready in time for the spring harvests (There’s a kickstarter campaign going on right now to raise funds for the much needed equipment: http://kck.st/xZ2oSS). I’m building a kitchen that’s specialized for preserving fruits and vegetables, outfitted with the appropriate equipment, plenty of storage space, and no chance of contamination (the kitchen with be gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and meat-free). What excited me the most about this new kitchen is that it will be a resource for other producers like me who work with fruits, vegetables, and herbs – making jams, pickles, hot sauce, syrup, teas, etc.   Aside from sharing the space with like-minded businesses, I look forward to more closely collaborating with the farmers that I work with. The new kitchen will not only allow me to increase production of INNA jam, resulting in increased support of local organic agriculture, but it will also give me the flexibility to schedule my jam-making around their harvests, and make jam specifically for them – to preserve the fleeting season into a jar and create a value-added product that they can continue selling long after the first frost has come.

Dafna Kory is the founder of INNA jam, producing single-varietal fruit jams and spicy pepper jams from organic fruit locally sourced within 100 miles of her kitchen. Dafna served as a committee member for the 2012 Preserves category and as a judge for the 2012 Pickle category. She recently launched Provender Social Club, a monthly gathering connecting food producers. See a video and learn more about her new jam kitchen here: http://kck.st/xZ2oSS.

Mar 02, 2012 | posted in Blog by seedlingprojects

2012 Good Food Awards!

Photo By: Marc Fiorito with Gamma Nine Photography

The Good Food Awards 2012 have come and gone and what an amazing celebration it was!  We ate and drank our hearts out celebrating all those 99 craft producers creating incredible food products that are tasty, authentic, and responsibly produced. From Alice Waters to keynote speaker, Ruth Reichl, the Good Food Awards was a full house overflowing with passion and congratulatory remarks for all of the winners.  The winning producers flew into San Francisco from the likes of Utah, New York, Texas, and Alaska!  50 members of the press from Sunset magazine, 7X7, the Chronicle and more, tasty dishes created by 9 reknowned SF chefs and restaurants and incredibly unique cocktails prepared by the famed Bon Vivants were just some of the perks as over 500 guests partied the night away, and thousands more showed up the next day to meet the winners at the Good Food Awards Marketplace.

New this year, the Beer and Spirits garden, a chance for  winners to sample their products upstairs in the Ferry Building while run concurrently with the Marketplace. Over 500 people joined us for this unique opportunity to not only taste, but discuss the making and mastermind craftsmanship behind each product.   Wakida Farms’ Pisco, Lagunitas’ Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’, Clear Creek’s Eau-de-Vie were just a few of the 14 products featured. One distiller called the Beer and Spirits Garden “the best tasting of their lifetime.” The crowd was energetic, pulsating an interest that amazed all the producers. When asked if they would do it again next year, the universal response was, “If we are lucky enough to win again, absolutely, without a doubt!”

Until next year…check out all of our winners at www.goodfoodawards.org and watch the Good Food Awards video here.

| posted in Press by seedlingprojects

Gimme Coffee Wins Award

ITHACA — Gimme Coffee, Ithaca’s own locally grown coffee company, now with four locations in Tompkins County and another three in New York City, has won a 2012 Good Food Award for the second year in a row for a batch of Colombian coffee it roasted called Finca San Luis.

According to the company, this makes it one of the top ten coffees in the country, as measured against more than 100 other coffee roaster’s entries in the second annual ceremony that recognizes exceptional artisanal foods.

Read full article by Aaron Munzer of the Ithaca Journal

| posted in Press by seedlingprojects

Good Food Awards 2012 Winners Announced

On Friday night, the winners of the second annual Good Food Awards were announced. The awards highlight artisan producers from across the country. The ceremony, hosted at San Francisco’s Ferry Building, which itself boasts many storefronts selling artisan food products, featured speeches from food world luminaries Alice Waters and Ruth Reichl (read her whole speech here). Naturally, there was good food present.

Check out the winners in each category below, and to sample some of the food, head over to Gilt Taste, which is selling products from some of the winners. Congratulations to all!

| posted in Press by seedlingprojects

And the winners of the Good Food Awards are…

Winners of the second annual Good Food Awards, which recognize artisan producers in eight categories and five geographical regions, were announced Friday at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

More than 1,000 products were entered, and were evaluated by culinary professionals.

California winners in the various categories include:

Beer: Lagunitas Brewing Co. for A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’, and Drake’s Brewing Co. for Drakonic Imperial Stout.

Charcuterie: Adesso for speck, and Fatted Calf for pork, rabbit and duck terrine.

Cheese: Bellwether Farms for its Carmody and whole-milk ricotta, Garden Variety Cheese for Black Eyed Susan and Hollyhock, and Saint Benoit Yogurt for organic yogurt cheese.

Chocolate: Dandelion Chocolate for its 75 percent Costa Rica.

Coffee: Equator Coffees & Teas for Ethiopia Watadera fair-trade organic, and Klatch Coffee Inc. for Ethiopian Worka.

Pickles: Farmhouse Culture for smoked jalapeno sauerkraut, Let’s Be Frank for Devil Sauce, and Emmy’s Pickles and Jams for turmeric cauliflower.

Preserves: Wine Forest Wild Foods for wild elderberry syrup, Artisan Preserves for orange honey marmalade, and Chez Pim for blueberry and golden raspberry jam.

Spirits: Marian Farms Ltd. for California Pisco, Square One Organic Spirits for Square One Organic Vodka, Wylie Howell Spirits for Wylie Howell Spirits Whiskey, and Ballast Point Brewing Co. for Ballast Point Aged Three Sheets Rum.

For more information, go to www.goodfoodawards.org.