Company co-founder Sarah Gordon talks The Good Food Awards, good sourcing and Cajun Okra
By Susan Able, Edible DC
Artisan foodmakers have their own "Oscars" competition each year in San Francisco where The Good Food Awards celebrate "the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced."
Local favorite, Gordy's Pickles, founded by Sarah Gordon and Sheila Fain, continues to impress not only their customers, but national judges with their quality homemade products. Recently, I had a chance to catch up with Sarah Gordon about their latest win and good it feels to come home to DC with an award in a competition where there are over 2,000 entrants and only 199 medal winners.
Susan, EDC: Gordy's Pickles has entered the Good Food Awards several times. How many times have you won, and with what products?
Sarah Gordon, Gordy's Pickles: We have won 4 times! Our winning products are: Sweet Chips (2x), Sweet Pepper Relish and Cajun Okra. Also very happy to have had our Hot Chili Spears and Thai Basil Jalapeños as finalists.
EDC: The competition in fermented products seems pretty fierce, how do you guys craft a product that can stand out from the crowd and win a national award? What goes into creating your okra?
Sarah: We start with the highest quality ingredients—that's our secret. For us it's alway been about bringing people back to tasty, authentic flavors made with real ingredients.
EDC: How do you see The Good Food Awards win help you keep building your brand?
Sarah: It's a great honor to be recognized among other dedicated and responsible producers in America who are seeking to make change, by not only making delicious products, but also by sourcing ingredients in a responsible way. It's great not only compete with people you respect, but to stand together with a shared mission about what's important.
EDC: Okay, I'm sure people will want who to add Cajun Okra to their pantry and snacking system immediately, where can they buy it? Any suggestions on how to serve it or do you say to just eat it straight on? (Full disclosure, Gordy's Okra is one of our household favorites, right out of the jar!)
Sarah: You can purchase our Cajun Okra at a number of local spots—Glen's Garden Market, Salt & Sundry and Streets Market to name a few. It's also easy to order online, we ship direct via our website gordyspicklejar.com. Our favorite way to enjoy the Cajun Okra is either straight from the jar, in gumbo or fried. It doesn't get much better than fried Okra!
Also time to give a huge salute to the DMV's other local winners this year! Category winners were Port City Brewing, for Tidings Ale, Firefly Farms Creamery, Merry Goat Round Spruce Reserve, Charm School Chocolate, Coconut Milk Mocha, Shrub District, Just Grapefruit, Modern Bar Cart, Embitterment Chocolate Bitters, Element [Shrub], Chai Pear Shrub, HEX Ferments, Glow Kraut, Atwater’s, Strawberry Hibiscus Jam and Catoctin Creek Distillery, Roundstone Rye 80 Proof and Dress It Up Dressings for Sesame Tahini Dressing.
In its eighth year, the Good Food Awards are given annually to winners in 16 product categories who meet and exceed standards for good taste, responsible business practices, use no artificial ingredients, show expression of tradition and culture, and value seasonality and locality. An annual Awards Ceremony and Marketplace is held in San Francisco. http://www.goodfoodawards.org/