Kimchi, cortado, bread and butter pickles: all vinegared and lacto-fermented savories made around the country from real ingredients that are responsibly foraged or grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides are eligible for the Good Food Pickles Award. View the full criteria for entry.

Committee Chairs

Chris Forbes is co-owner of Sour Puss Pickles, a small batch, sustainably-minded pickle company located in Brooklyn. He previously cut his chops at Boston, New York and Chicago restaurants, and writes about food every now and then. When not in a hot kitchen pickling, or stuck in New York traffic, he might be gardening, biking or listening to way too much radio.

Todd Champagne settled on California’s Central Coast  after years spent traveling as a farm apprentice. He then founded Happy Girl Kitchen, Monterey County’s only community kitchen, cannery + cafe, with Jordan Champagne. Traveling to teach the skills of food preservation throughout the Bay Area keeps Todd in touch with the people, the markets, and the foodshed that inspires their diverse business model.  Scooping out dill pickles from a nicely soured barrel, bombing around farms in his old VW bus, or saying yes to the next crazy idea are some of Todd’s happiest moments.


Nicole Mason currently manages the Marketing Communication efforts at Veritable Vegetable, the nation’s oldest distributor of certified organic fruits and vegetables. Previously, Nicole spent five years at Roots of Change and prior to moving to California, Nicole served as the Farm to Table Initiative Director at Earth Pledge.

Melissa Gordon‘s love affair with food is in many ways a natural result of growing up in San Francisco. Through visiting local farms and studying agricultural land use at San Francsico State and City Colleges, she became a knowledgeable advocate of sustainable and local food practices. A seasoned ‘picante’ pro in SF’s passionate and tasty restaurant scene, her many years of service have only strengthened her connection to the food community and to the city she loves. When she’s not introducing her out-of-town friends to lemon cucumbers and watermelon radishes, she’s busy pickling, preserving, and photographing the luscious life around her.

Michelle Fuerst is an alumna of both Zuni Cafe and Chez Panisse in the San Francisco bay area and started her culinary career at the age of 15 as one of California’s last soda jerks. Beyond the restaurant kitchen, she has produced food events, taught cooking classes, developed and tested recipes for nationally recognized publications and styled for many cookbook authors. For her, cooking and sharing nourishing food is necessary to live a good and pleasurable life. She can be found at homemadecook.com.

Pickles Judges

Addie Rose Holland, Co-founder at Real Pickles
Brandon Jew, Chef
Brenda Crow, Founder at Foodshed
Cindy Mojico, Sous Chef at Comstock Saloon
Dan Rosenberg, Co-Founder at Real Pickles
Dennis Lee, Chef/Owner at Namu Gaji
Dennis Murphy, Marketing and PR Administrator at Green Leaf
Emily Dellas, Founding Chef and Instructor at First Class Cooking
Henry Wolfe, Musician and Songwriter
Jennifer Harris, Fermentation Festival Coordinator at Farm to Fermentation
Jodi Liano, Founder of San Francisco Cooking School
Jordan Kushins, Freelance Writer
Julia Crookston, Owner of Goodland Market & Kitchen
Kathryn Lukas, CEO and Founder of Farmhouse Culture
Kayoko Akabori, Owner of UmamiMart
Kristyn Leach, Farmer at Namu Farm
Linda Ziedrich, Author of The Joy of Pickling
Luke Chappell, CEO & Founder at Luke’s Local
Mara King, Co-founder of Esoteric Food Company
Mark Kurian, Reality TV Host at Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine
Mathewe Elias, Farmer at True Grass Farms
Nick Balla, Chef at Bar Tartine
Nicole Mason, Partnerships Coordinator&Marketing Manager at Veritable Vegetable
Ron Pardini, Executive Director of Urban Village Farmers’ Market Association
Russ Moore, Chef&Owner of Camino Restaurant
Sandy Peterson
Tim Mueller, Pack Leader of the Riverdogs at Riverdog Farms
Yoko Kumano, Owner of UmamiMart