Southern Food Gets Noticed at the James Beard Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards


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Nashvillians may spot some familiar folks in the list of winners from the James Beard Foundation's Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards. Announced Friday at a ceremony in New York, the awards include a couple of prominent nods to the world of Southern food. (The book awards are a prelude to the main JBF awards gala, which takes place tonight at New York's Lincoln Center.)

Almost one year ago, John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, wrote about the history and sociology of Southern barbecue in a piece called "BBQ Nation," published in the pages of Saveur. Friday night, his impassioned elegy won him the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.

"A good measure of my work with the Southern Foodways Alliance — a University of Mississippi-based nonprofit that documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South — has been an attempt to pay down a debt of pleasure owed to those unnamed pitmasters, to honor their labor, to frame their life experiences so that a broad swath of Americans may recognize barbecue as a great national food and pitmasters as unsung culinary and cultural heroes," he wrote in the piece.

Meanwhile, honorary Nashvillian Jeni Britton Bauer, whose company Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams chose Nashville for its first retail store outside Ohio, won best cookbook in the desserts category for her work, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home (Artisan Books, $23.95). Jeni is a frequent visitor to Nashville and gets some of the fresh produce for her ice cream from Tennessee farms.

In the cookbook category titled American Cooking, Georgia chef Hugh Acheson won the prize for A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen (Clarkson Potter, $35). His restaurants are Five & Ten and The National, located in Athens, Ga., and Empire State South in Atlanta.

Bitesters who are headed to the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival this weekend (Chris Chamberlain gave us a heads-up on that a couple weeks ago) will be able to see Acheson (along with his colleague Ryan Smith) serve up lamb delights Friday night at the Shepherd to Chef dinner, working with Nashville's own Capitol Grille chef Tyler Brown, along with Ashley Christensen of Poole's Diner, Bryan Voltaggio of Volt, and Drew Robinson of Jim and Nick's.

One of my favorite culinary documentaries was also honored by the JBF. A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt was screened at the Nashville Film Festival in 2011. It's a great film that follows the chef through a long, colorful decade of ups and downs. It later aired on HBO.

The full list of winners from the Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards can be found here on the James Beard blog, or peruse the list below.

2012 James Beard Foundation Book Awards
Presented by Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate
For cookbooks published in English in 2011.

Cookbook of the Year

Modernist Cuisine
by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet
(The Cooking Lab)

Cookbook Hall of Fame
Laurie Colwin
Home Cooking and More Home Cooking

American Cooking
A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen
by Hugh Acheson
(Clarkson Potter)

Baking and Dessert
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
by Jeni Britton Bauer


Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, & Formulas
by Brad Thomas Parsons
(Ten Speed Press)

Cooking from a Professional Point of View
Modernist Cuisine
by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet
(The Cooking Lab)

General Cooking
Ruhlman’s Twenty
by Michael Ruhlman
(Chronicle Books)

Focus on Health
Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen
by Heidi Swanson
(Ten Speed Press)

The Food of Morocco
by Paula Wolfert

Notes from a Kitchen: A Journey Inside Culinary Obsession
Artist/Photographer: Jeff Scott

Reference and Scholarship
Turning the Tables: Restaurants and the Rise of the American Middle Class, 1880—1920
by Andrew P. Haley
(The University of North Carolina Press)

Single Subject

All About Roasting
by Molly Stevens
(W.W. Norton & Company)

Writing and Literature
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
by Gabrielle Hamilton
(Random House)

2012 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards
For articles published in English in 2011.

Publications of the Year
Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs

Darra Goldstein

Cooking, Recipes, or Instruction
Anna Thomas
“The Soup for Life”

Environment, Food Politics, and Policy

Ben Paynter
Fast Company
“The Sweet Science”

Food Coverage in a Food-Focused Publication
James Oseland

Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication
Lesley Bargar Suter
Los Angeles
“Chinese Food in L.A.,” “It's Time for Breakfast in L.A,” “Food Lovers Guide”

Food Culture and Travel
Fuchsia Dunlop
The Financial Times
“Global Menu: Kicking Up a Stink”

Food-Related Columns
Lettie Teague
The Wall Street Journal
On Wine: Lettie Teague: “Drink, Memory: How to Remember that Wine;” “In Praise of the One-Cabernet Lunch;” “May I recommend: Lessons of Great Sommeliers”

Group Food Blog
The Salt: NPR’s Food Blog
Maria Godoy

Health and Well-Being
Maureen O’Hagan
The Seattle Times
“Feeling the Weight: The Emotional Battle to Control Kids’ Diet”

Brett Martin
“The Hangover Part III”

Individual Food Blog
Poor Man’s Feast
Elissa Altman
“Craving the Food of Depravity”

Personal Essay
Cal Fussman
“Drinking at 1,300 Ft: A 9/11 Story About Wine and Wisdom”

Susan Choi
Food & Wine
“The Spice Wizardry of Lior Lev Sercarz”

Visual Storytelling
Landon Nordeman
“Soul of Sicily,” “BBQ Nation,” “Heart of the Valley”

Wine, Spirits, and Other Beverages

Sarah Karnasiewicz
“Fizzy Business”

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award
Alan Richman
“The Very Tasty Liberation of Paris,” “I Heart SF,” “Diner for Schmucks”

MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award
John T. Edge
“BBQ Nation”

2012 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Awards
Presented by Lenox Tableware and Gifts
For television, webcast, and radio programs aired in 2011.

Radio Show/Audio Webcast
Fear of Frying: Culinary Nightmares
Host: Nina Barrett
Area: WBEZ
Producer: Jason Marck

Special/Documentary (Television or Video Webcast)

A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt
Network: HBO
Producers: Sally Rowe, Rachel Mills, and Alan Oxman

Television Program, In Studio or Fixed Location

Host: Ted Allen
Network: Food Network
Producers: Linda Lea, Dave Noll, and Vivian Sorenson

Television Program, On Location
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Host: Andrew Zimmern
Network: Travel Channel
Producer: Andrew Zimmern

Television Segment
CBS News Sunday Morning
Host: Martha Teichner
Network: CBS
Producers: Lauren Barnello, Jon Carras, Edward Forgotson, Patrick Lee, and David Small

Video Webcast

eatTV with Jamie Tiampo
Host: Jamie Tiampo
Producers: Suzanne Glickstein, Jimmy McCoy, and Jamie Tiampo

Media Personality/Host (Television or Video Webcast)
Host: Ted Allen
Show: Chopped
Network: Food Network


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