In May, my colleagues and I attended the James Beard Foundation’s journalism awards banquet, and I for one had the jitters. Edible Manhattan was nominated in the “best profile” class– for the feature on the revolutionary nutritionist Joan Gussow our publisher Brian Halweil penned last year– and I held my breath as the evening crept toward that category.
We didn’t land the medal– or may I say, we tied for second place; it is indeed an honor to be nominated. But the night did not end in disappointment. Far from it. For the Foundation unveiled a new category, grandiosely entitled “Publication of the Year,” to be awarded to a magazine, newspaper or digital source that “demonstrates fresh directions, worthy ambitions and a forward-looking approach to journalism.”
And the inaugural winner was none other than Edible Communities, the national network of which Edible Manhattan is a proud member.
“We believe,” explained the awards committee, “that in years to come the collected work of these unique publications will serve as a valuable resource for exploring the impact of regional food and agriculture from a grassroots perspective.” May it be so.
That night my publishers and I celebrated at the Breslin with our forward-thinking founders, Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian. I raised shots of tequila to their vision, until I started to lose my own.
But I also raise a glass to you, dear eater. For without the good-food movement fueled by your ideas and appetites, we would have no stories to tell. Without the impassioned exigencies of people hungry for meaningful food experiences, there would be no bracing bowls of vichyssoise, no upstate-crafted crème de cassis, no apron-encouraging initiatives at City Hall, no books on enlightened butchering. Ray Bradley would never have started farming, Fishs Eddy would sell china made in China, and rooftops would not be sprouting revolutions, or even rhubarb.
So thank you– for reading, and even more so, for eating.