Made in Virginia Awards 2021: Food

From oysters to ice cream, here are our Food category winners.

(Photography by Fred and Elliott)

Frozen Burritos

(Sous Casa: in Richmond)

(Photography by Fred and Elliott)

Created by Richmond chef Jim Hamilton, Sous Casa burritos pack massive flavor in a tidy tortilla parcel. Having cooked for touring musicians from Beyonc  to Phish, Hamilton understands the demands of life on the go and has created a freezer-friendly option that truly rocks. Sous Casa’s “freshly frozen,” made-in-Richmond burritos, represent a diverse crosssection of cuisines, from the classic Frollo Verde with chicken and salsa verde to a Saag Paneerito, with curried spinach and paneer cheese. More options include vegan, glutenfree, and low-carb alternatives, and recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And these are burritos that give back. The company makes a local donation with every order; over 10,000 burritos to date have been provided to Virginia food pantries, churches, and nonprofits.

$3.25-$5.75 EatSousCasa.com


Misty Point Oysters

(Cherrystone Aqua-Farms: in Cape Charles)

Cherrystone calls their Misty Point oysters the “filet mignon” of their offerings, and that’s fitting for this meaty delicacy, with a high meat-to-shell ratio and a brilliant salinity with every slurp. Plucked straight from Virginia’s Eastern Shore waters around Cape Charles, Misty Points are ideal on the halfshell with a squeeze of lemon. “The Ballard family has raised oysters in the pristine waters surrounding Virginia’s Eastern Shore since 1895—and we absolutely love it!” says director of marketing Caitlin Hart. “Today, the fifth generation continues this fine tradition using sustainable farming and harvesting practices to produce the best tasting oysters in Virginia.” Cherrystone’s oysters and clams ship from the Eastern Shore straight to your door.

Starting at $52 ClamAndOyster.com


Grass Fed Beef Biltong

(Ayoba: in Springfield)

(Photography by Fred and Elliott)

The van Blommestein family is Northern-Virginia-based, with strong South African roots. Their family has been producing the beef snack biltong, a delicious, meaty muchie with a uniquely tender texture, since 2017. But please, don’t call it jerky! Ayoba’s traditional South African biltong is marinated in spices and air dried to create a soft and chewy mouthfeel with explosive flavor. The protein-packed meat has hints of coriander and rosemary, but their grass-fed beef biltong is as special for what’s in it as what they leave out—namely sugar, nitrites, and artificial flavors. In South Africa, the word ayoba expresses delightful approval—a fitting term for a snack with a lot to love.

$7.99-$23.99 AyobaFoods.com


Lucha Crunch Bar

(Gearharts Fine Chocolates: in Charlottesville)

CIA-trained chocolatier Tim Gearhart masterfully combines bold and, at times, unexpected flavors with premium chocolate in his Charlottesville-based flagship shop and production kitchen. It’s all about contrasting flavor and texture in Gearharts’ Lucha Crunch Bar, which was inspired by Lucha Libre, otherwise known as Mexican wrestling. Creamy and tart lime caramel goes toe to toe with crunchy bits of half-popped popcorn within a milk chocolate shell, with spicy red chili sprinkled on top. There’s milky sweetness, salty surprises, and subtle heat. You can’t miss the bright, punchy (no pun intended) colored packaging of this total knockout of a chocolate bar. Available online and also in Gearharts’ Charlottesville and Richmond storefronts.

$8 GearhartsChocolates.com


Coconut Brittle

(Bakefully Yours: in Manassas)

(Photography by Fred and Elliott)

“I created this company because I could not find great tasting handmade grain-free, dairy-free, and soy-free treats at grocery stores,” says Bakefully Yours founder Sarah Seligman. “And now, five years into this business, many customers enjoy these treats and appreciate the high-quality, allergy-friendly ingredients.” Seligman’s allergy-friendly bakery, Bakefully Yours, produces cookies, brownies, and brittle from their gluten-free facility in Manassas. Their three-ingredient, organic coconut brittle is a perfectly balanced sweet and salty indulgence with just the right amount of crunch. Try it as a topping on ice cream, with yogurt, or enjoy snacking on it right out of the bag. Bakefully Yours treats are available online and at stores nationwide.

$10.25 Bakefully.com


Sweet Potato Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

(M Catering: in Richmond)

(Photography by Fred and Elliott)

Chef Michael Hall has been perfecting his barbecue sauce for years, and the result is one that perfectly balances sweet and savory flavors. Chef Hall’s Sweet Potato Chipotle Barbecue Sauce marries the spice of smoky chipotle peppers with the sweetness of sweet potatoes and brown sugar. Hints of honey, molasses, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and hickory smoke round out the complexity of this delectable dressing. Hall originally concocted the recipe in 2015 as the chef and owner of Spoonbread Bistro in Richmond. That year, it took home honors at a Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Savor event. Now the chef at Tavern 19 at the Independence Golf Course in Midlothian, Hall sells the bottled sauce at the golf course gift shop.

$10.99 IndependenceGolfClub.com/Tavern-19


Premium Ice Cream Pints

(Richlands Creamery: in Blackstone)

(Photography by Fred and Elliott)

Made from milk sourced directly from the family’s third-generation dairy farm, Richlands Creamery ice cream pints are at the top of their class. From classic flavors like vanilla and strawberry to creative options like banana pudding and lemon cream, Richlands has something for everyone. “We pride ourselves on the care that we give to our land and animals, and we think you can taste the goodness in every bite of ice cream,” says owner Coley Drinkwater. Opened in June of 2019, Richlands offers all manner of milky goodness, from two percent, whole, and chocolate milk to heavy cream; but it’s the ice cream that puts a smile on the faces of visitors to their Blackstone ice cream parlor.

$4.99-$5.29 RichlandsDairyFarm.com


Heavenly Kettle Corn

(in Virginia Beach)

(Photography by Fred and Elliott)

Available in five mouth-watering flavors, like tangle of lime, sweet heat, and crab corn, Heavenly Kettle Corn is an addictive, salty snack with a mission. The company donates five percent of sales from every bag to nonprofits that benefit children, veterans, and families of law enforcement. Owner Jeremy Bigler says he started the business to teach his children real-world skills, and the family-run operation pops each variety in small batches from their Virginia Beach home. Each bag has a resealable zipper so you can save some for later, if by chance it’s not eaten in one sitting! Look for this “corn with a cause” at farmers markets, stores, and breweries around Hampton Roads.

$8 HeavenlyKettleCorn.com


Applesauces

(Mrs. Marcy’s Homemades: in North Chesterfield)

(Photography by Fred and Elliott)

Finding herself with an abundance of time and apples from her home garden, serial entrepreneur Marcy Thornhill launched Mrs. Marcy’s Homemades from her Chesterfield home during the height of the pandemic. Thornhill says she was interested in preserving the bounty from her garden while creating a healthy snack for her family. With a variety of flavors available, including classic apple, strawberry, blueberry, and orange, the product line grew quickly. Thanks to an appearance on Virginia This Morning, Thornhill soon began selling in retail stores like Southern States, The Market at 25th Street, and Pole Green Produce. Mrs. Marcy’s ultimate mission? To make all of her products “happy, healthy, and homemade.”

$5-$9.50 MrsMarcysHomemades.com


Summer Winter Crest di Galle

(Foggy Mountain Pasta: in Herdon)

(Photography by Fred and Elliott)

Founded in the mountains of Appalachia in 2016, Foggy Mountain Pasta is all about wheat. They source sustainably grown heirloom varieties to imbue each bite of pasta with a distinct flavor. In the Summer Winter Crest di Galle, sweet and tender summer wheat combines with nutty, firmer winter wheat in a tubular mohawk shape that holds its own against bold sauces. “Truly farm to fork, our pasta proudly features the unique flavors, colors, and textures of each grain, how it’s milled, and where it’s from,” says owner and pasta maker Gabriel Key. Key’s Foggy Mountain artisan handmade pastas are available to order online and for sale at farmers markets across Northern Virginia.

$10.99 FoggyMountainPasta.com

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