Mudhouse and JM Stock Provisions both named Good Food Award winners and other local restaurant news

Local coffee spot Mudhouse and charcuterie JM Stock Provisions are Good Food Award winners. Photo: Elli Williams Local coffee spot Mudhouse and charcuterie JM Stock Provisions are Good Food Award winners. Photo: Elli Williams

Mudhouse and JM Stock Provisions both named Good Food Award winners

How do you define good food? According to the Good Food Awards, the qualifications are pretty simple: “tasty, authentic and responsibly produced.” Tastemakers across the country submit products that fall under 13 categories, including cider, beer, cheese, confections, pickles and preserves. This year, two local companies were named Good Food Award winners—Mudhouse Coffee Roasters in the coffee category (naturally), and JM Stock Provisions for charcuterie.

The application process began last summer, and Mudhouse roaster Phil Hobbes says a panel of “highly respected people from the coffee industry” evaluated their limited-edition Geisha, among dozens of other submissions. The judges prepared all the submitted coffees in a home brewer “to make it more consumer-oriented,” which caused some anxiety for the Mudhouse team.

“We’re selling this coffee for $55 for a half-pound through our website,” Hobbes says. “This is not a coffee that people will generally be putting through their home brewer.”

It seems the brewer did the locally roasted beans justice. Not only did the coffee pass the taste test, but it’s sourced and produced sustainably and fairly. The bean hails from Finca La Mula, a farm on the side of Volcán Barú, an active volcano in the western region of Panama. The farm isn’t certified organic, but Hobbes says it was designed by a coffee agriculture school nearby, and the “best practices the school teaches and promotes were all implemented directly into the farm.”

Good Food Awards applicants fill out an extensive questionnaire about price transparency, farm workers’ rights and environmentally sustainable practices, which local butcher shop JM Stock Provisions also passed with flying colors.

Last year JM Stock received the award for its country paté, and this year the guys brought home the title for their spicy, Creole-style tasso ham.

“Our pork is pasture-raised, a heritage breed of hog,” says co-owner James Lum. “They’re slaughtered and processed in the most respectful way possible.”

There’s no prize money for winners, but both Hobbes and Lum say they look forward to entering the contest again in the future.

“The drive behind doing it is getting a lot of exposure and respect in the industry,” Lum says.

Good, better, best

Speaking of things that are good, it’s time for the annual Know Good Beer Festival. On Saturday, January 30, more than 20 craft brewers and cider-makers will set up shop at the Ix Art Park for a day of boozing (and eating and music-listening). Local favorites such as Three Notch’d Brewing Company, Starr Hill Brewery, Champion Brewing Company and Bold Rock Hard Cider will be in attendance, plus breweries from all over the country, including Boulevard Brewing Company and Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits.

Blue Ridge Pizza Company, South Fork and Little Manila food trucks will also be standing by, ready to help you soak up all the alcohol.

The festival begins at 1pm, and the $36 ticket gets you limited pours until 6pm. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.knowgoodbeer.com.

Restaurant Week ‘redeux’ 

You may have noticed some cold white stuff that’s accumulated on the ground. Charlottesville Restaurant Week participants certainly did, and to make up for the days they had to close because the chefs and servers couldn’t get out of their driveways, they’ve extended the nine-day event by two days—they’re calling it a “redeux.” The original end date for Restaurant Week was Saturday, January 30.

Threepenny Cafe opted out of the extension, but the other 39 participants will continue to offer their multi-course meals on Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6.