Good Food Awards will be given to the tastiest artisan and farmstead cheeses in the categories of Fresh, Semi-Soft, Semi-Hard and Hard. Cheeses that meet the criteria for entry are made using good animal husbandry, without the use of hormones, and without the use of herbicides and pesticides on the pastures. View the full criteria for entry.

Committee Chair

Liz Rubin is a cheese and wine specialist at Bi-Rite Market and also works at the Fig & Whistle Wine Bar. Her love for food and wine was fostered through her experience working at the prestigious James Beard Foundation and through her freelance work with the Oregon Truffle Festival. In her spare time she enjoys writing about food and the experiences great eating has elicited.


Donna McLoughlin is the Co-founder of Slow Food Urban San Diego and currently serves on the non profit’s advisory board.  She co-created Best Wishes, a card and gift store, and the Crest Cafe in San Diego, and was a manufacturer’s representative for Crabtree and Evelyn. Donna works as a real estate state property manager and is a passionate advocate for sustainably-produced craft foods. In 2009, Donna attended a course in Artisan Farmstead Cheesemaking held by the Dairy Tech Center at Cal Poly State University.

Heather Porter Engwall directs National Product Communications for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, a dairy farmer funded organization that promotes the state’s outstanding dairy products.  The department creates national and local public relations programming to reach consumer, foodservice and retail audiences.   Heather’s 10-year-plus tenure has also included management positions in WMMB’s trade show and foodservice program management.

Elizabeth Chubbuck, the Associate Director of Wholesale at Murray’s Cheese, is in love with all things dairy. Elizabeth spends her days consulting with top-notch chefs at restaurants across the country, including Jean-Georges, Le Bernardin, and The Modern, training restaurant staff on the intricacies of cheese service, and educating our customers in the Murray’s classroom.

Lance Lynn is Manager and lead monger at Scardello Artisan Cheese. Having been with the business since day one, his love of cheese was built from the ground up. When not slinging cheese, he serves as an instructor for tastings and consort for local cheese related events, and all-around champion for American cheese, beer, and all things fermented.

Jen Dalton is a co-editor of Civil Eats, co-founder of Kitchen Table Talks and director of Kitchen Table Consulting. Based in San Francisco, she works to empower sustainable businesses, develop local economies and promote good food. She was recently the Programs Director for Slow Food Nation.

Laura Martinez is the owner of The Artisan Palate and a founding board member of the California Artisan Cheese Guild. She produces and teaches workshops on how to taste, pair, and enjoy handmade specialty foods and beverages such as cheese, olive oil, wine and beer.

Emily Morgan is the co-founder of Eat Retreat, and a former Seedling Projects intern. She is a cheese-maker at Cowgirl Creamery and says of her hobby-turned-career that “the work is difficult and very strict, but the product is a thing of delicious beauty.

Emily Shartin worked as a newspaper reporter before a love of food lured her to cooking school. After working as a cheesemonger, buyer and education coordinator at Formaggio Kitchen in Massachusetts, she moved to northern California, where she now works in the wholesale office at Tomales Bay Foods. In addition to cheese, she is passionate about beer, wine, bread, and essentially all things involving fermentation.

Cortney Burns has been cooking in San Francisco since 2001.  She currently works as the production manager Bar Tartine where they have an active dairy culturing program.  She is very passionate about how old world cooking and preserving techniques can enhance layered flavors in food.

Cheese Judges

Angela Davis
Anthea Stoltz
, Cheese Buyer at Bi-Rite Market
Andrew Spurgin, Bestoke Event Styling & Menu Design at Andrew Spurgin™
Caitlyn Perlman
Carleen Weirauch, Owner at Weirauch Farm & Creamery
Cortney Burns, Co-Chef at Bar Tartine
Darren Ryan, Owner of Cream and the Crop Cheese
Doralice Handel, Owner of the Cheese Shop of Healdsburg
Elizabeth Grivas, San Francisco Wine Sales Specialist at Burke Wine Brokerage
Emiliano Lee, Artisan Market Manager at Farm Shop LA
Evelyn Evers, Co-Owner of Sour Puss Pickles
Jana Werner, Assistant Buyer at The Pasta Shop
JB Rumberg, Proprietor of Velo Fromage and Cheesemonger/Owner of Other Avenues Food Store
Jennifer Sussman, Cheese and Specialty Buyer at Greenleaf
Joel Weirauch, Owner at Weirauch Farm & Creamery
Juliana Uruburu, Head Cheesemonger at The Pasta Shop
Kirstin Jackson, Author & Blogger, It’s Not You, It’s Brie
Lassa Skinner, Co-owner & Founder at Cultured Magazine
Laura Werlin, Author of the All American Cheese and Wine Book
Lena Tabori, Publisher at Welcome Books
Lindsay Hertz, Former Cheesemonger at Mission Cheese
Lisa Gallinger, Chocolate Maker at Dandelion Chocolate
Marshka Kiera, Cheesemonger at Mission Cheese
Maura Sell, Sales & Marketing Manager at bambu
Michael Kalish, Consultant at Third Wheel Cheese
Ray Bair, Owner at Cheese Plus
Sam Mogannam, Owner at Bi-Rite Market
Samantha Lund
Seana Doughty, Owner/Cheesemaker of Bleating Heart Cheese and President at the California Cheese Guild
Sheana Davis, Owner of the Epicurean Connection
Steve Jones, Cheesemonger at Cheese Bar
Tracey Brandt, Owner of Donkey and Goat