The awards, founded in 2007, acknowledge and celebrate outstanding, independent South African food producers, markets and outlets for their innovation, passion, integrity and care for the environment.
Nominations were received from the public earlier in the year and the qualifying nominees were judged by 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, it's a group of outstanding small food producers that represent everything the awards stand for.
Making the cut
Nominees were assessed by a set of criteria per category, but overall aspects such as taste, presentation, innovation and care for the environment were taken into account to select the 23 winners.
An award for Best Local Food Blog was also presented. This category acknowledges the role that local bloggers play in celebrating and uplifting South Africa’s food industry. Unlike the other awards, the winner of this award was decided by public vote.
The 2014 Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards winners are:
Best New Product:
Best Small Producer:
Baked Goods - Babylonstoren
Confectionery - Ooh La La
Dairy (Other) - Jenny's Clotted Cream
Dairy (Hard Cheese) - Chrissie's Country Cheeses AND Fynboshoek (tied)
Dairy (Fresh Cheese) - Buffalo Ridge
Earth - Harvest of Hope
Grocery/Condiments - Quality Pickles
Paddock (Cured) - Woodview Wagyu Beef
Paddock (Fresh) - Greenfields Free Range Beef
Paddock (Poultry) - Dargle Ducks
Seafood - Wayfarer Trout
Best Free-Range/Organic Producer:
North - Cheese Gourmet (Johannesburg)
South - Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants (Cape Town)
East - Sprigs (Durban)
North - Neighbourgoods Market (Johannesburg)
South - Neighbourgoods Market (Cape Town)
East - I Heart Market (Durban)
South African Heritage Award:
Oranjezicht City Farm
Best Local Food Blog:
lifeisazoobiscuit.com by Anél Potgieter
For more information regarding the Eat Out Produce Awards click here.