Winners of the 2017 sofi Awards are being announced April 19 at noon EST/9 a.m. PST in broadcast from the top of One World Trade Center Observatory in New York by Phil Kafarakis, Specialty Food Association President, joined by legendary Chef and TV personality Sara Moulton (39 categories with gold, silver, and bronze awards for each category).
Since 1972, the sofi Awards have helped the Specialty Food Association advance culinary excellence and creativity worldwide by recognizing the outstanding work of its members. This year, sofi Awards were also given to the best new product in 37 of the categories.
The winners were chosen from among almost 3,000 entries submitted by 875 Specialty Food Association member companies, noted Kafarakis. “Winning the sofi is really a big deal” – he said. “It’s the best of the best. It’s promoted in the industry like crazy” – added Moulton, who recalled that in covering the Fancy Food Show for 12 years for “Good Morning America” – she always liked to head first to the display case for sofi winners because she knew that those products had already been filtered by knowledgeable judges. To this day, when she’s at the Fancy Food Show, the sight of a sofi statuette in a vendor’s booth will often make her turn aside and take a look at that booth, even if she hadn’t intended to do so, because the statuette indicates to her that the booth represents a company that produces good products, she said.
Judging for this year’s awards competition was done at the Specialty Food Association offices in New York over a two-week period by 62 judges who included chefs, culinary instructors, bloggers, food writers and specialty food buyers, Moulton said: “We all get together to talk about what’s happening in the specialty food world. You learn while you’re tasting. It’s fantastic.”
In four categories, the gold award winner was also named best new product. The Rustichella d’Abruzzo Pasta Integrale di Farro-Couscous (imported in USA by Manicaretti Italian Food Imports) won these amazing 2 awards in “Pasta, Rice, Grain” category.