The Heat is On

Sarah Cohen takes the gold for her amazing sweet potato chips. Here she is posing for a photo with Jacques Pepin at the 2008 Summer Fancy Food Show.

Sarah Cohen takes the gold for her amazing sweet potato chips. Here she is posing for a photo with Jacques Pepin at the 2008 Summer Fancy Food Show.

And we’re off! Today is the first day we are receiving entries for the 37th annual sofi™ Awards contest. I can’t believe an entire year has passed since I joined the NASFT and jumped into the sofis. It is one of our most important events and the entire staff gets involved. It’s only 2:45 New York City time, and we’ve already received dozens of boxes of great products, all contending for the Oscars of the specialty food trade.

We have cheeses, pita chips, salsas and dark chocolate chips. There’s a truffle-flavored honey, and a chocolate-flavored tea! I’ve talked to several members today to help them with their entries, including some gold and silver winners from last year. Last year we got an amazing 2,091 entries, a record.

Sarah Cohen, president of Route 11 Potato Chips, won the 2008 sofi Gold for her Sweet Potato Chips. She told me today that one of her favorite parts the win was the awards ceremony at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York. Jacques Pépin was the master of ceremonies. “It was really like a mini Academy Awards. The thrill for me was you had Jacques Pépin as the host. That was just amazing,” she said.

The ceremony was fun for me too. I stood on stage and handed M. Pépin the trophies, and got to meet some of the winners for the first time after emailing, calling and faxing for weeks leading up to the big event. This year’s host will be Ming Tsai.

-Louise Kramer, NASFT Communications Director (and sofi Awards Director)

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