The Good Food Awards, Now Open for Entries

If you make wonderful preserves or swell coppa, maybe it's time somebody other than your next-door neighbor knew about it. The Good Food Awards, now in their second year, recognize artisanal food producers anywhere in the United States each January. Enter if you dare. Or just refer to this year's winners list to figure out delicious things to order online.

Winners will be announced next January in each of the previous year's categories (preserves, pickles, coffee, chocolate, beer, charcuterie, and cheese), plus a new one: spirits. Finally, a reason to get my grandpappy's moonshine still working again! A blind tasting panel that includes Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, and Amanda Hesser will taste each entry and pick a total of 70 winners to be feted on January 13, 2012, at San Francisco's Ferry Building, and showcased the next day at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Like last year, winners will be awarded a Good Food seal that they're welcome to display on their products. This year there's also a Gold Seal to recognize producers who have attained organic certification. All food producers (whether organic or not) are held to high standards, with specific rules for the production of each category. Charcuterie, for instance, must be made from animals not given hormones or herbicides/pesticides in their feed. Brewers must recycle water and have other resource conservation programs.

So long as the stipulations for each category are met, a producer of any size can enter. Whether your jam's made in a commercial kitchen or a big pasta pot, bring it on.

The entry fee is $35; enter until September 1 at goodfoodawards.org.

Image: CHOW.com