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American Treasure Awards for 2011

The American Treasures Awards are presented annually at the American Treasures Cullinary Experience to individuals and small producers in recognition of a singular and significant contribution to our Nation that both preserves and fosters a unique All American craft and tradition. This year’s awards are being presented to organic growers and craft producers. The winners are carefully selected and vetted through a deliberative process by a National Advisory Committee consisting of individuals with relevant subject matter expertise. A special Congressional Honorary Steering Committee supports the initiative.

2011 America Treasures National Advisory Committee

  • Nicholas Sharpe, Chair, Michael Mina Group, San Francisco, CA
  • Robert Bornschein, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Washington, DC
  • Simon Epstein, Trumedia, Washington, DC
  • David Hale, Central, Michel Richard, Washington, DC
  • Jamie Mc Bain, Bourbon Steak
  • William Morris, Bourbon Steak, Washington, DC
  • Nicholas Stefanelli, Bibiana, Washington, DC
  • Lidice Rivas, FELTG, Washington, DC
  • Adam Sobel, Bourbon Steak
  • Tom Wellings, Equinox, Washington, DC

2011 American Treasures Award Winners

Border Springs Farm, Patrick Springs, Virginia - http://borderspringsfarm.com

Located in Patrick Springs, Virginia, Border Springs Farm raises pastured and grass fed lamb and heritage bronze turkeys and Buckeye chickens. The farm is nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains 20 minutes from the picturesque Blue Ridge Parkway. Border Springs Farm is a small family farm specializing in Animal Welfare Approved hybrid Kathadin and Texel grass fed lamb prized by many chefs from New York City to New Orleans. Owners Craig and Joan Rogers started the farm out of devotion to their herding dogs, border collies, and their hobbies of competing in sheep dog trails and agility. Their sheep graze the foothills on the east slope of the Blue Ridge.

Border Springs lamb has been designated as one of Virginia’s Finest by the Virginia Agriculture Department. Border Springs Farm lamb is prized by, and found on the menus of, acclaimed chefs including: Wolfgang Puck, Jose Andres and Eric Ripert as well as a host of James Beard Award winning chefs around the country.

Boxwood Winery

Boxwood Winery, Middleburg, Virginia - http://boxwoodwinery.com

Boxwood Winery, located in Middleburg, Virginia exemplifies the American values of innovation and excellence. In less than five years, Boxwood established a sustainable vineyard and produces wines that rival those from long established European counterparts. Both the vineyard and the winery are models of sustainability.

100% of the grapes used in the wines are grown on the property and all the harvesting is done by hand and only environmentally approved materials are used throughout the estate. The wineries four buildings sit gently on the land and state of the art equipment inside are technologically advanced to optimize scarce natural resources.

Historic Boxwood estate is owned and lovingly cared for by John Kent and Rita Cooke. Rachel Martin, Executive Vice President, is setting the highest standards for excellence in production. Along with viticulturalist, Adam McTaggert and acclaimed wine maker, Stephane Derenoncourt, Rachel is working to advance the American Wine industry, especially in Virginia, and secure for it the international recognition it deserves.

The Fresh Link, Locust Dale, Virginia - http://thefreshlink.com

Sonoma and_FreshLinkFounded in 2009, The Fresh Link is a unique food distribution network focused on connecting small independent farms to the region’s top chefs. Located in Locust Dale, Virginia, The Fresh link partners with growers in Virginia and North Carolina to deliver the freshest, most nutritious and diverse produce to customers twice a week. The Fresh Link is also home to the Last Catch Seafood Program, which provides seasonal deep-sea shrimp, grouper, oysters, clams, and flounder fresh off a local fisherman's boat in Brunswick, North Carolina.

Fresh Link founder Mollie Visosky developed a sustainable business model for small farmers. The model has saved jobs in rural communities and is putting fresh foods on city plates. The company’s carefully selected business partners have a demonstrated commitment to quality and consistency in their products. Fresh Link’s innovative partnership produce planning enables farmers and chefs to plan the growing season together. This advance planning system communicates to farmers what produce to grow to meet the needs of participating restaurants and gives chefs the ability to plan a seasonal menu.

Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, Louisville, Kentucky - http://oldripvanwinkle.com

Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery is now in its fourth generation of family ownership. The Van Winkle family’s involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery is home to the highest rated whiskeys in the world. In a blind taste test of whiskey labels from around the world, The Beverage Tasting Institute in Chicago gave the 20-year old Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve a 99 out of 100 rating... the highest mark ever awarded. 15-year old Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve and Van Winkle's Special Reserve 12-year old have each received a 98 rating, higher than any other bourbon whiskeys.

Each barrel of Van Winkle bourbon is made with wheat, rather than the less expensive rye grain employed by most other distillers. This use of wheat in the mash recipe gives the bourbon a smooth sweet flavor, which is enhanced by extra aging time. The firm is operated today by Julian Van Winkle III and Preston Van Winkle.

Pride of the Plains, The Plains, Virginia - http://prideoftheplains.com

Pride of The Plains is located at Fox Den Farm nestled in the Hunger Run Valley sheltered by the Bull Run Mountains. The area’s natural spring waters and rolling pastures provide excellent birthing, grazing and feeding areas for their noted purebred Angus cattle. No hormones or steroids are used thereby assuring only top quality, pasture-raised and grain finished Angus beef for family consumers, chefs, and small retailers.

Pride of The Plains owners, Nina and Abernethy, take great pride in raising Angus cattle—a native Scottish breed, recognized as the best beef producers among all cattle breeds. Their feed cattle program draws from a registered Angus herd and select purchases from other neighboring purebred producers, assuring consistency of frame size, genetics and resulting beef quality. Our cattle are pasture-raised and grain finished (90 to 120 days). We do not use a confined “feed lot” system, believing our animals are much more content and healthy in our natural environment.

Rogue Creamery, Central Point, Oregon - http://roguecreamery.com

Established in 1928, Rogue Creamery is an artisan cheese company dedicated to the art and tradition of handmade cheese. For over 80 years, the company has been committed to making American cheddar and blue cheeses of exceptional quality. Rogue won the coveted World’s Best Blue cheese Award at the World Cheese Awards in 2003 and Best in Show from the American Cheese Society in 2009. Under the ownership of David Gremmels and Cary Bryant, Rogue continues to be widely recognized for its commitment to sustainable practices in every step of the cheese making process.

The company’s cheeses are made using only natural grass-based raw milk from certified sustainable dairies. Rogues production facilities fully conform to the 3R’s: reducing waste; recycling whey and recycled packaging and as certified sustainable by the Food Alliance. Rogue’s products are prized by chefs and found in leading restaurants around the world.

Tennessee Truffles, Chuchkey, Tennessee - http://tennesseetruffle.com

Tennessee Truffle GroveTennessee Truffles is the first commercial scale truffle producer, offering Perigord style truffles in the United States. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Tom Michael’s, Tennessee Truffles are cultivated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The combination of a perfect climate, hospitable soil, science, intuition, and years of caring all came together in 2007, the year Tom produced the first commercial quantities of Perigord truffles, which have received glowing praise from many of the Nation’s top chefs.

Trickling Springs Dairy, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania - http://tricklingspringscreamery.com

Trickling Springs CowsTrickling Springs Creamery opened in June of 2001 to provide fresh, wholesome milk and super premium ice cream to consumers in the town's local to Chambersburg, PA. As people enjoyed the products, word spread. Today Trickling Springs supplies milk to quality focused consumers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and Washington DC.

Milk is purchased from local, family farms that take the best care of their animals and land. These farmers take pride in their product and take a special interest in the welfare of the grass-fed cows on their family farms by using organic and holistic practices. Their happy cows get all the sunshine and free grass they want during growing season and are not pushed in growth or production by synthetic hormones. Unlike many commercial dairies, Trickling Springs processes the milk using a low-temp pasteurization method that allows the milk’s natural proteins and enzymes to live, giving you healthier products.

Woodlands Pork, West Virginia, Kentucky - http://woodlandsqualitybutchers.com/products.html

Nick Heckett of Woodlands Pork has a simple mission: to create an American Charcuterie that will rival the finest in the world from Spain, Italy, and France. The seed of this “American revolution” is germinating at Chuck Talbott’s Black Oak Holler Farm in Mason County, West Virginia. By reviving traditional agricultural practices and employing modern climate controlled curing, Woodlands Pork is taking the traditional dry cured American Ham into the 21st century.

The forested mountainsides and lush bottomlands of the western Appalachian range in Virginia offer the optimal geographic and climatic conditions for mast finishing pork (that is the practice of allowing hogs to roam freely through the woods, fattening on nuts and other foods: the tree mast). This practice is essential to developing a superior ham for dry curing and Chuck’s area of expertise that is unrivaled here and rare abroad.