We are excited with the trade buyer only judging panel that will be judging the US International Vinegar Competition. All of our judges are real trade buyers judging the vinegars as if buying them for their own business.

Greg Dunmore
The Japanese Pantry, San Francisco

Greg is an accomplished San Francisco chef with twenty-five plus years of experience. Throughout his career he has run critically acclaimed restaurants and earned Michelin Stars. Greg’s passion for Japanese food came early on and was most visible in his last venture as chef/owner of Nojo, a San Francisco top 100 restaurant, where he created his own unique Japanese-inspired California Izakaya. Over the years of traveling to Japan Greg forged relationships with artisanal producers and is excited to help them bring their products to the US.

As a co-founder of The Japanese Pantry, we have imported 3 different vinegar producers and currently we import two producers. Iio-Jozo is our main company that we work with and we bring in currently 7 different types from them every 2 to 3 months.

Tenaya Willette-Green
Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco

Tenaya Willette-Green is a long-time specialty food industry professional and grocery enthusiast with a passion for all things acidic. Working for Zingerman’s Deli for four years (sandwiches!) and Bi-Rite Market for 11 years (leadership in both the Grocery Department and Inventory Control Department) has offered her the opportunity to taste and sell some of the best vinegars the industry has to offer, and her home pantry shows it! She’s thrilled to be a part of this opportunity.

Kyle Huges
Faire, San Francisco/NYC

Kyle helps lead the Food & Beverage brand partnerships team at Faire. He grew up in Northern California and has spent the majority of his career working in food. He graduated from New York University and shortly thereafter moved back to San Francisco and immersed himself in the local food movement. He’s previously led wholesale programs at 4505 Meats, Black Oak Coffee Roasters and Bellwether Coffee, and co-founded a Food & Beverage consulting company to advise emerging brands on growing their businesses. He’s also worked at numerous restaurants throughout the region including the Delfina Restaurant Group.

Julia Hallman
Formaggio Kitchen, Cambridge, Massachussets and NYC

Julia Hallman is the owner of Formaggio Kitchen, a small chain of award-winning specialty food shops located in the Boston area. She's been in the industry for over 16 years and during that time she has had the pleasure of tasting hundreds of vinegars. Formaggio Kitchen's flagship store located in Cambridge, MA has over 80 different vinegars at any given time, ranging from Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio-Emilia and Balsamico di Modena to fresh takes from iconic American producers like American Vinegar Works and Katz. 

Grace Singleton
Managing Partner at Zingerman's

Grace Singleton in 2002, joined Zingerman’s where her mind was opened to the traditions, methods and flavors of artisan food. “I’ve learned more about food while working at Zingerman’s than anywhere else I’ve been,” Grace said. “Learning about and really understanding terroir, the care and time artisans spend growing raw ingredients, then transforming those raw ingredients into things like cheese or salami or bread, and the diversity of quality that comes from different productions, were things I understood only superficially before coming to Zingermans." Today, Grace is one of three managing partners at Zingerman’s Delicatessen, and one of the Deli’s resident artisan food experts with a special passion for vinegar. One of the favorite parts of her work is leading guided tastings, offering Deli guests the same special experience that gave her that first spark for the culinary world.

Michael Harlan Turkell
Head Judge

Michael Harlan Turkell, a once aspiring chef, now photographer, author, and podcaster, has twice been nominated for James Beard Foundation awards, photographed dozens of cookbooks, and written a few, including his own, "ACID TRIP: Travels in the World of Vinegar", which won an IACP award for culinary travel writing. He's hosted long-running podcasts for Heritage Radio Network, Food52 and Modernist Cuisine, and teaches food photography at New York University. Turkell lives in Brooklyn, NY, and is still in search of the premier malt vinegar for his fries.

Steph Steele

Longtime Austinite Steph Steele is the owner and grocer of Tiny Grocer, a small specialized grocery store serving the Austin community with locations on South Congress and in Hyde Park. 

Steph started her career making sandwiches in the Whole Foods deli, before working her way up through every department and eventually running Whole Foods stores. She moved to Austin to run Whole Foods’ flagship store and ultimately worked for the company for 24 years. After her time at Whole Foods, Steph served as Director of Operations for Bunkhouse, then as Project Director for Swedish Hill, where she opened and ran the bakery, deli, and café. After many years in the grocery retail industry, Steph opened her first Tiny Grocer location on South Congress in 2021. At Tiny Grocer, Steph curates a selection of small batch, locally-produced items by artisans who share her values in sustainability and ethical production

Steph's favorite things to buy for the store are olive oils and vinegars because of their complexity. Vinegar is an ingredient that can wildly change a dish by its quality and flavors, and her favorite at the moment is a Pinot Grigio vinegar from Italy that makes a delicious simple salad dressing. Steph estimates that Tiny Grocer orders about 20 vinegars from 15 producers, coming out to approximately 500 cases a year of vinegars. 

Jim Dixon
Founder Wellspent Market

Food writer Jim Dixon started Wellspent Market because he wanted an endless supply of olive oil for himself. On his first trip to Italy nearly 30 years ago he tasted real extra virgin olive oil and brought some home to Portland. When he realized he couldn’t just go to Italy when he ran out, he started importing it and sold some to his friends to cover the cost of shipping. Before long he had a business, and he found other things he wanted to eat, like good salt, the world’s best capers, and Katz Orleans style vinegars from California. He still writes about food, and you can find recipes for the things he loves to eat to Willamette Week.