The weekend of January 20th, Good Food Foundation held its seventh annual Good Food Awards recognizing outstanding food producers around the country exhibiting excellent craftsmanship in responsible, sustainable manner. I was happy the award ceremony was held on the 20th. I needed something to take my mind off what was happening on the other side of the country. What better way than to see old friends and familiar faces as well as meeting new people devoted to the cause of good food.
Of course, things are not that simple and compartmentalized. Throughout the ceremony and the weekend, the current political situation colored the mood and found its way into conversations. What I found heartening was that the tone wasn't defeatist. I felt instead the community had a sense of purpose and a commitment to standing up for integrity and equality.
As I did last year, I set up an area to take portraits at the ceremony and the Mercantile the next day. This is a haphazard operation, trying to get the people to stand in front of the camera. There is no official agenda or schedule for the portraits. Very few of the attendees are aware that I am doing this. Many of the people I should photograph, I don't know what they look like so it's a challenge to find them in a crowd. And some of the subjects I have to gently coax. It's a fun way to spend the two days, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones in five minute increments.
One more observation: With the Women's March held on the same day as the Mercantile the issue of feminism and gender equality was on my mind throughout the day. I couldn't help but notice again the prominent roles that women have in the food world, at least as represented by the Good Food Awards. If the future is indeed female, the food world is ahead of its time. And that's a good thing.
With that, Here are the portraits of some of the presenters, staff and participants of the Good Food Awards 2017.