We are still high from the 2013 James Beard media awards last week. Not because we won another of those medals—which are basically the academy awards of the food world—but because some of our very favorite peers took home the top honors. The biggest brands in the industry vie for these awards, but this time several winners were upstarts whom we’ve covered or published in our pages—or whose food system badassery serves as major inspiration to our own storytelling. Food journalism is sometimes “pure play,” but at its best it’s a pleasure to read/hear/watch, and simultaneously cultivates a smarter citizenry whose informed food choices benefit us all. So a heartfelt mazel tov to these journalists on landing heavy medals. They inspire us big-time and we bet you’ll feel the same way.
Tamar Adler – As we wrote when Everlasting Meal came out, this gorgeous book changed the way we cook everything, including onions. Haven’t read it? Get thee to a library. And we were proud to print her on-the-ground essay on a hot August spent in northern Italy in our Travel Issue last fall. Oh yeah, and her brother is Franny’s chef John Adler, which, you know, is just awesome.
Sandor Katz – This NYC ex-pat’s Art of Fermentation is both practical and poignant, ancient and new. A must-read, whether you want to get serious about sauerkraut, be a weekend-warrior yogurt maker, or just understand this ancient preservation technique. Prepare to become obsessed.
The Perennial Plate –We profiled this food-filming duo, chef Daniel Klein (formerly of Applewood, don’t ya know) and his co-producer (and recent fiancé, yeah!) Mirra Fine, when they first kicked off their weekly video series focused on adventures in socially responsible eating. What began as a weekly post from Minnesota became a national and then world-wide tromp through exactly the kind of stuff we cover in our pages. www.theperennialplate.com: it’s about to become your favorite thing on youtube.
Hank Shaw – We’ve long been foraging fans, but when Shaw’s Hunt Gather Cook came out, we ran a page on it in Edible Manhattan and vowed to pick up a gun and a blaze orange vest. Shaw’s honest and entertaining journey into becoming a full-on hunter-gatherer will make you feel the same way. Way to bag a Beard, Hank! (And we can’t wait to cook from your new Duck, Duck, Goose book, which we got our hands on yesterday!)
Tracie McMillan –This Brooklyn-based writer’s article “As Common as Dirt,” which appeared in The American Prospect, shines an illuminating beam on the dirty world of farm-labor policy. It’s a sobering read, but coverage like this is exactly how change happens.