Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Ariston Specialties LLC in Bloomfield.
That was the decision after judges recently taste tested 184 food items from Connecticut-based manufacturers in the recent 2013 CT Specialty Food Association Product Awards Competition.
For those that imbibe, the best 2013 Wine Product of the Year was the Cayuga White 2010 from Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen.
The event featured 35 categories including cheese, ice cream, hors d’oeuvres, CT grown, gluten free, relish, salad dressings, organic and desserts.
Some well-known winners included Cato Corner Farm, which took first, second and third place in the cheese division, Rachel’s Cookies & Treats in Plainville which swept the cookie category, Chester’s Tiezzi Imports, LLC which won all three awards in the honey division, and Willington’s Purple Pear, a past “best of” winner that took it all in the sweet toppings category.
“It’s always amazing to see the variety of high quality food and beverages made by producers right here in Connecticut,” said CSFA director Tricia Levesque. “This competition showcases the best of the best in the state.”
And since we are talking food, there were several other Connecticut chefs included in the “Best Chefs America” book that was recently released. Besides chefs from the Max Group and Simsbury Millwright’s, other chefs who were included in the book are Josef Aigner of Brew Bakers in Middletown, Hartford chefs. Vinnie Carbone from Carbone’s, John Chen of Feng, Jeffrey Lizotte of On20 and Celestino Cialfi from Peppercorn’s, Christiane Gehami of Arugula Bistro and Billy Grant of Bricco Trattoria, both in West Hartford, Ryan Jones of the Mill at 2T in Tariffville and Steven Wolf of Bloomfield’s Republic.