Georgia Department of Agriculture

Flavor of Georgia contest winners announced

Friday, March 25, 2011

The names themselves are enough to make your mouth water: Pear Honey Jam, Sweet Savannah Shrimp Cakes, ‘Blue Heaven’ Blueberry Gourmet BBQ Sauce...

These are a few of the winners in the 2011 Flavor of Georgia contest. Winners were announced Tuesday, March 22, at Georgia Agriculture Day at the Georgia Freight Depot in downtown Atlanta.

The annual contest is conducted by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (UGA CAED).

Capturing the top prize this year were Emily Myers and Gina Bodell of Dunwoody. Their business, Jam of Love, makes 24 different flavors of jam ranging from Rhubarb Marmalade to Tipsy Onion and Garlic. The pair’s products can be found in more than 100 stores nationwide or purchased online at www.emilygs.com.

Myers and Bodell were awarded the title of Grand Champion at a ceremony led by Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black.

Pear Honey Jam was one of 21 products sampled and judged by a panel of food brokers, buyers and other food industry experts. Contestants were awarded points based on flavor, Georgia theme, unique or innovative qualities, commercial appeal and originality. Finalists were chosen from 89 entries from all across Georgia.

This year’s category winners were:

Barbecue and Hot Sauces – Kenneth Dasher of Hogwaller BBQ Sauce in Hoboken, won with Hogwaller ‘Blue Heaven’ Blueberry Gourmet BBQ Sauce. www.hogwallerbbq.com

Confections – Beth Cleveland of Cleveland Organics in Fort Valley, won with Coffee Toffee. www.naturalpecans.com

Dairy – Nicki Schroeder of High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet in Atlanta won with Caffeine and Cacao ice cream. www.highroadcraft.com

Jams, Jellies and Sauces – Emily Myers and Gina Bodell of Emily G's in Dunwoody won with Emily G’s Jam of Love: Pear Honey Jam. www.emilygs.com

Meat and Seafood – Linda Whiddon of Dubberly’s Seafood in Savannah won with Sweet Savannah Shrimp Cakes. www.sweetsavannahshrimp.com

Snack Foods – Beth Cleveland of Cleveland Organics in Fort Valley, won with Twisted Pecans. www.naturalpecans.com

Other Products – Marco Martinez of 100% Artisan Foods LLC in Atlanta won with Jalapeno Tamales.

The people’s choice winner was Lauri Jo Bennett of Lauri Jo’s Southern Style Canning in Norman Park, for Lauri Jo’s Blueberry Pepper Jelly. www.laurijossouthernstylecanning.com

Winners and finalists earn the right to have their products stamped with the 2011 Flavor of Georgia logo.

“This contest is an excellent way to spread the news about Georgia specialty foods. It helps increase sales and helps promote the Georgia brand,” said Commissioner Black.

The Commissioner also had the opportunity to sample some of the winners. “Everything was delicious. I am so thankful to live in Georgia – a state that produces a wide diversity of fruits, vegetables and meats and that has a rich culinary heritage. These winners are artists as well as entrepreneurs.”

The annual food contest is sponsored by the UGA CAED in partnership with the office of Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Agribusiness Council, Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, Walton EMC and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Food Science and Technology.

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