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After months of anticipation, the winners of the Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards 2014 in South Africa were announced in a special ceremony at the Stellenbosch Slowmarket.
Nominations were received from the public earlier in the year and now 23 winners in various categories have been selected for the prestigious award which was founded in 2007 and honors outstanding, independent South African food producers, markets, business and food bloggers.
Highlights from the competition include a tie between Chrissie's Country Cheeses and Fynboshoekfor in the category of the Best Small Producer of Hard Cheese. Life is a Zoo Biscuit, a blog by Anél Potgieter, won in the Best Blog category while the South African Heritage Award went to Oranjezicht City Farm.
Judges from left to right: Vanessa Marx, Abigail Donnelly, Deena Naidoo, Jackie Cameron and Anelde Greeff
Nominees were judged on the criteria in each category, as well as taste, presentation, innovation and care for the environment. The stellar panel of judges consisted of Anelde Greeff (editor-in-chief of Eat Out), Abigail Donnelly (editor of Eat Out and group food editor of Woolworths TASTE), Jackie Cameron (award-winning chef at Top 10 restaurant Hartford House), Deena Naidoo (winner of MasterChef SA 2012) and Vanessa Marx (award-winning chef at Dear Me).
“The judges were blown away by the quality of produce nominated this year, and it was not easy to choose the overall winners. As a result, what we have is a group of outstanding small food producers that represent everything the awards stand for – and their wares are incredibly delicious too!” Greeff said.
Without further ado here are the winners of the Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards 2014:
Best New Product: Sorbetiere sorbet
Best Small Producer: Baked Goods Babylonstoren
Best Small Producer: Confectionery Ooh La La
Best Small Producer Dairy (Other): Jenny's Clotted Cream
Best Small Producer Dairy (Hard Cheese): Chrissie's Country Cheeses AND Fynboshoek (tied)
Best Small Producer Dairy (Fresh Cheese): Buffalo Ridge
Best Small Producer: EarthHarvest of Hope
Best Small Producer Grocery/Condiments: Quality Pickles
Best Small Producer Paddock (Cured): Woodview Wagyu
Beef Best Small Producer Paddock (Fresh): Greenfields Free Range Beef
Best Small Producer Paddock (Poultry): Dargle Ducks
Best Small Producer Seafood: Wayfarer Trout
Innovation Award: Melfort
Best Free-Range/Organic Producer: Farmer Angus
Best Outlet North: Cheese Gourmet (Johannesburg)
Best Outlet South: Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants (Cape Town)
Best Outlet East: Sprigs (Durban)
Best Market North: Neighbourgoods Market (Johannesburg)
Best Market South: Neighbourgoods Market (Cape Town)
Best Market East: I Heart Market (Durban)
South African Heritage Award: Oranjezicht City Farm
Best Local Food Blog: lifeisazoobiscuit.com by Anél Potgieter