Best Gourmet Grocer/Food Hall
The Readers Choice nominees for Best Gourmet Grocer/Food Hall include one that started out with a small store in Texas and today, has more than 270 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. An Ohio-based nominee is family-owned and operated that is recognized for its great food and service. Two nominees are New York institutions offering gourmet foods from around the world. Last, but not least, there's an opulent Food Hall in London that is known worldwide for the sheer volume and selection of its international goods all presented in breathtaking displays.
Dean & DeLuca
Dorothy Lane Market
Harrods Food Hall
Best Online Gourmet Food
The Readers' Choice nominees for the Best Online Gourmet Food include a New York institution with a staff that travel the world in search of great artisan-produced foods. A Seattle-based nominee was launched by a group of passionate food-lovers committed to the best artisan-produced, sustainable foods while another nominee is a family-owned operation that originated from three generations of cheese importers. A Michigan-based nominee is a collection of local businesses, each with its own food specialty. Finally, the Philadelphia-based nominee celebrates the European roots of its two founders with a wide array of gourmet meats, cheeses, oils, and other goods from around the world.
Dean & DeLuca
Di Bruno Brothers
Zingerman's Mail Order
Best Caviar Retailer
The Readers' Choice nominees for Best Caviar Retailer include award-winning brands from Europe and the United States with each offering the highest of quality. Several offer some of the finest Russian caviar to be found, while one is a proponent of sustainably harvested roe with its own tank-farming system.
Caviar House & Prunier
Tsar Nicoulai Caviar
Best Bread Bakery
The Readers' Choice nominees for Best Bread Bakery include companies that have been producing bread for decades. One opened more than 70 years ago and is now an institution in Paris, while another was launched in Belgium before expanding around the world. A Los Angeles-based nominee has developed more than 100 varieties of award-winning breads. The Philadelphia-based nominee features artisanal breads and the baked goods of the Ann Arbor-based nominee are known throughout the Midwest.
La Brea Bakery
Le Pain Quotidien
Best Cheese Shop
The Readers' Choice nominees are among the most respected shops in the world. These cheese shops, offer a full range of both international and domestic artisanal cheeses. They are the destinations for serious cheese lovers and chefs who are in search of the best.
Neal's Yard Dairy
Filed under: Dining
Max Poilane is nominated for a Luxist Award in the Best Bread Bakery category. It all started more than 70 years ago when Pierre-Léon Poilane, Max Poilane's father, moved to Paris from Normandy and started a bakery. Contrasting with France's famous fluffy white French loaves, the Poilane bakery brought a signature miche, or sourdough loaf made from stone-milled gray flour that makes for richer, more nutritious baked goods that last longer (up to a week in some cases).
The Max Poilane Bakery, as it is today, came to be many years later (in the 1960s) when Max and his brother Lionel had a falling out and Max Poilane left the family business to start his own bakery on the other side of town. Tensions ran high over the following years and even included a lawsuit over legal rights to the name 'Poilane' (the courts ruled Max Poilane had the right to use his own name). Emotions are still tense today but the Max Poilane Bakery continues to put out delicious baked goods made in a very simple, artisanal way that holds true to family tradition.
The bakery is famous mostly for its fresh bread, although it does offer pastries and other baked goods as well. So next time you're in Paris you could do well to stop by and pick up some of their 'pain,' if just for the experience. Also, there's a fascinating video on YouTube showing how the bakery's famous bread is made.
Vote now for what you believe is the best of breed in Gourmet Foods. Readers' Choice Awards for Food will be announced on November 30th.