When we didn't win. To be honest I kind of expected something from the endeavour because they'd asked us to send product up for a second photo shoot.... shhhh. So when we didn't win we turned to each other and agreed that we didn't deserve it. It was too soon and we haven't really put all of our ducks in a row enough and maybe try harder next year. I texted home and told them we lost. I was glad I hadn't bought a new dress for it. And then while I was explaining why to my eldest daughter who couldn't believe we didn't win.. we won a different award called 'BEST NEW PRODUCT'. That was us. Shocked and relieved (because we had worked hard enough) and happy to be in the room in any dress. No time to text friends back for an hour to tell them we'd actually come away happy. :) We walked to the front and I made a little speech with Roger right sort of behind me.... I spoke about 'curiosity and optimism etc' and how it was naivety that allows a business to grow because otherwise...would you?
Of all the products - our milk kefir is by far the healing magic that it is said to be. We are the only ones who make it commercially in Australia - the rest are made from powdered cultures and are mere imitations. Like Tang (or Cool Aid) to orange juice. It deserves an award. It's beautiful stuff but full of complexity and possibility too.
So we are glad it happened but it was never going to sky rocket our milk kefir business into the heady heights that people would have like because we don't want to change how we make it - and this is a hard one to get out into the world - it's not well known, and people don't like the way it sometimes gets separated and ugly and a bit of cream on the top....BUT an award validated to us that it was refreshing to the chefs to taste something so wild and so real. And that I needed to do more to get it into homes -- I needed to sell the grains and teach how to make it and - perhaps write a book.
And that's what we've done. We've loved that award. How great is a magazine on food that celebrates small artisan producers the way Delicious. magazine does. Last year we won 'State Finalist' for our Smokey Jalapeno Kraut. This year I want a trophy again. Is that selfish? Recognition feels nice for the kitchen. x Varma and Roger deserve it.
More information on the other winners can be found here.