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
Beluga may be the well-known star of caviar, but the White Sturgeon roe peddled by Tsar Nicoulai Caviar is the choice of the green generation. Founded in 1978 by husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Mats and Dafne Engstrom, Tsar Nicoulai Caviar raises its fish sustainably in Northern California instead of depleting the endangered ranks of wild sturgeon, as many purveyors in other countries do.
With the help of researchers at the University of California Davis, Tsar Nicoulai has developed a proprietary tank-farming system to raise its fish. Water is pumped from local aquifers into a four-acre hydroponics pond topped with a bloom of natural plankton algae and flanked by a year-round crop of vegetables, creating a mineral-rich environment free of mercury, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals often found in international waters.
March of 2004 marked the opening of the Tsar Nicoulai Caviar Café in San Francisco as a complement to the company's delivery business. Customers across the country can have fresh caviar shipped to their doorstep via Tsar Nicoulai's website; celebrity chefs from Wolfgang Puck in Los Angeles to Charlie Palmer in New York are frequent customers. Tsar Nicoulai Caviar's online operation offers caviar, roe, smoked delicacies and an array of caviar accessories.
In light of recent U.N. and U.S. bans on wild caviar from the Caspian and Black Seas, Tsar Nicoulai seems poised to profit from the switch to sustainably harvested roe. Though the West Coast may never produce roe with the glamour and glitz of Beluga, many restaurateurs are turning to Tsar Nicoulai's California State Ossetra as a cheaper, cleaner, greener alternative to its Caspian counterpart.
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.
Filed under: Dining