Local Blue Ribbon Winners

This year, LB Fresh’s Foodways Summit included two contests for local growers and makers. While our report on the event series is forthcoming, we are excited to share the contest winners and participants and celebrate their bounty!

This year’s contests saw many impressive entries, and our judges from the broader food community showed great discernment in choosing this year’s winners. We’re thankful for everyone who participated, as these events aim to inspire and connect locals to grow and craft great food. Photos below are by Brian Feinzimer and Reza Allah-Bakhshi.

Urban Agriculture Contest at Bixby Knolls’ 2023 Long Beach County Fair

Leafy Greens

3rd place – Charlie Southward (In God’s Hands Gardens) – Collard Greens

2nd place – Kate Thomas’ (Long Beach Organic) – Purple and Green Lettuce 

1st place – Sowing Seeds of Change Urban Farm’s Japanese Mustard Greens


3rd place – MAYE at TGE Urban Farm – Artichokes 

2nd place – Kate Thomas’ Fennel

1st place – Cheryl Carrillo’s home grown Snow Peas

Root veggies

2nd place – Purple turnips – Charlie 

1st place – Cheryl Carrillo – Rainbow carrots


3rd place – Sowing Seeds of Change Urban Farm’s Hippeastrum 

2nd place – Kate Thomas’s garden flowers and artichoke

1st place –  Jacqui Viale’s tea rose and california poppy bouquet 

Judges included:

City Councilwoman Megan Kerr

Resident and local food expert, Cindy Goss

Peter Ruddock of Resilient Foodsheds

Shakira Miracle of Santa Barbara County Food Action Network

Melanie Wong of California Food Policy Council

Bakeoff and Cottage Foods Contest at Sunday’s Southeast Marina Market

Baked Goods

3rd place – Hanna Suarez (Sowing Seeds of Change) with Herb garlic Paratha, a hand kneaded and laminated flat bread.

2nd place – Pastry Pang with flat leavened oven-baked Italian Focaccia with 24hr fermentation, natural pink beet coloring, and house roasted garlic

1st place – Renate Boronowski (RenateBakes) with Sourdough loaf with CA-grown milled flour from Farmer Mai-Chiddam of Blanc De Mars) with homegrown herb dip

Pickled and Fermented Foods

3rd place – Janet Song (In A Pickle) with Savory Korean umami pickles with lotus root, daikon, and chayote.

2nd place – Janet Song (In A Pickle) with Spicy Garlic Dill brined pickles with farmers market ingredients

1st place – Pam Adell (Pam’s Pantry) with Italian Giardiniera


3rd place – Kan Tano with Roasted Garlic hot sauce

2nd place – Acapico Salsa with La Buena hot sauce, made with fresh tomatillos, chile guajillo, sea salt, chile yahualica, apple cider vinegar.

1st place – Ben Harrison (Dynamo’s Dills) with Carrot-Habanero hot sauce, a flavor-first blend using oregano to round out its flavor.

Fermented Beverages

1st place – Green Smith Goodness‘ Ginger Pear Jun Tea kombucha, fermented and flavored with shrub. Made with all local ingredients from the market at SSC Urban Farm.

Judges included:

Peter Ruddock of Resilient Foodsheds

Chef Paul and Dana Buchanan of Primal Alchemy

James Tir of LBFoodComa

Matt Meier from BarelyaliveUS

We must say, our judges had their work cut out for them in this contest! Additional (and equally impressive) entries also included Phylicia Johnson’s Challah, Dynamo’s Dills’ pickles and blueberry-thai hot sauce, Proper’s Pickles’ pickled red onion, Jaime Falcón’s Sourdough smoked chocolate chip cookies, Fermentality’s Dulse kraut, Pastry Pang’s mole hand pie, Dovalle Pasta’s pesto sauce, Hanna Suarez’ kale salsa verde, Pam’s Pantry’s red hot sauce and dill pickle chips, Green Smith Goodness’ passionfruit lemon curd, Kantano’s ginger miso, citrus chili, Acapico’s spicy joe and mexitang hot sauces.

Long Beach Fresh is a not-for-profit community organization, and we are able to continue our programming and support for local food sustainability because of individual contributions. This year, our contests were partly sponsored by Everytable, the contributions of contestants, and produced with the support and partnership Harbor Area Farmers Markets and Bixby Knolls Business Improvement District. Consider pledging your support to be a local food champion, as we plan more ways to create a more connected food community of eaters, feeders, and seeders.

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