Writing about food is not all glitz and glamour, just as slugging away as a chef isn’t as pleasant as it looks on TV. As a food writer, it’s nice to be recognized by your peers for your work. The IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) has been honoring cookbook writers for 20 years, as well as food journalists, photographers, and stylists. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners! And now, a few highlights:

The award for best blog went to Hank Shaw’s Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, for Shaw’s work teaching people how to forage, farm, and fish for their dinner—all while keeping their day jobs! Check out our recent interview with him; finding ‘shrooms, cooking with huckleberries, and making liquor out of flowers was never so easy and fun.

I’m eager to read the two books that tied in the “Food Matters” category; that is, books on issues of political or social importance in the food world. American Wasteland by journalist Jonathan Bloom documents how much food Americans throw out (half), and why and in what ways. Good Meat by Deborah Krasner tells you how to find sustainable meat wherever you are, then how to cook it (since grass-fed can be a little leaner).

My current cookbook obsession, Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, won in the “Baking: Savory or Sweet” category. It was a well-deserved win: I have made four recipes out of this book, and every one was incredible. They included the over-the-top turtles—shortbread crust topped with caramel, chocolate chips, and pecans—and chocolate pudding bars, where a thick chocolate pudding gets a crust so it can be hand-held.

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