2008 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

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Last week we danced with joy when we learned that our book, The Story of Tea had been nominated as a Finalist in the 2008 IACP Cookbook Awards.

Today, to our even greater surprise, we were notified that The Story of Tea has also been selected as a Finalist in the 2008 James Beard Foundation Book Awards. We danced another jig, fired off a few exuberant emails, and suddenly realized that more than anything, else we were overwhelmed and stunned by all of the attention. We are truly blessed to have our book singled-out by both of these prestigious culinary organizations from the distinguished pool of great cookbooks published in 2007.

However, the other Finalists in the Reference Category with us are serious contenders for the James Beard award as well. Hmmm…..

Food: The History of Taste, edited by Paul Freedman, University of California Press

A Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseurs Guide to Oyster Eating in North America by Rowan Jacobsen, Bloomsbury, USA.

We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to work our publisher Ten Speed Press. They consistently garner more coveted cookbook awards than any other publisher, and I am happy that they used so many of my photographs in our book. We loved every minute of the nearly two years that it took us to complete the project. Our razor-sharp editor, Brie Mazurek, is to be applauded for cheerfully undertaking our herculean manuscript.

For us, tea is our passion and being able to share tea knowledge with tea enthusiasts and readers gives us a great deal of satisfaction. Writers do not write books just to win awards, but being plucked out of the pack for a job well done is, we must say, a pretty special feeling.

The IACP Cookbook Awards WINNERS will be announced on April 18th in New Orleans, and the James Beard Foundation Food Awards on June 8th in NYC. Til then, if you see us walking funny, it’s because we are keeping both fingers and toes crossed.

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The Story of Tea has Been Nominated for a 2008 IACP Cookbook Award

We have just been notified that our book, The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide has been nominated as one of three finalists in the Single Subject Category of the 2008 IACP Cookbook Awards.

While being recognized by one’s colleagues is the dream of every professional, we really did not imagine that our book would garner such attention.

The IACP Cookbook Awards are the premier recognition of excellence in cookbook writing and publishing. This year, over 450 cookbooks from Australia, Canada, China, England, France, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Trinadad, and the United States were entered in the competition.

The winners of each of the thirteen categories, as well as Cookbook of the Year, will be announced on April 18th at the IACP’s 30th Annual International Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Over 1,000 food professionals are expected to attend the awards ceremony.

For those of us who follow our passion through food writing, it is indeed an honor to be so recognized. Of course, we hope that the judges vote out book the WINNER, but our two colleagues who have also been nominated in this category are certainly serving up some pretty strong competition.

Fish Forever: The Definitive Guide to Understanding, Selecting, and Preparing Healthy, Delicious, and Environmentally Sustainable Seafood by Paul Johnson

Vegetables: Recipes and Techniques from the World’s Premier Culinary College by The Culinary Institute of America

To see the entire list of IACP Cookbook Award nomines, visit:

iacplogo.jpgwww.iacp.com and click on the awards listing on the homepage.

We sincerely wish to thank everyone who has purchased copies of The Story of Tea and who has sent us letters and emails telling us how much our book has opened their eyes to the intricacies of the fascinating world of tea.

We are thrilled beyond belief to be leading the ongoing dialogue on tea education, and to see tea, the world’s oldest beverage, come into the spotlight after all these years !

Spring

spring.jpgAt last, the first signs of sweet spring are unfolding in New England The long awaited and tell-tales signs of winter’s anticipated retreat are in place – the vast piles of snow are disappearing, cheery little robins are busy bustling about for worms on just-exposed, bare patches on lawn, and we no longer feel the urge to ‘hunker and settle’ but yearn instead to venture outdoors, raise our faces to the sun and breathe.
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Meyer Lemon Oil

Albert KatzHere in New England, March brings late winter greens to the market. And citrus fruits at their glorious peak of flavor and color from warm weather places. It’s time to put away the braising pans and dutch ovens and replace our winter meals with transitional dishes that are lighter, more seasonal in flavor and more colorful. Think braised leeks, grapefruit mousse, orange and black olive salad, pancakes with fresh maple syrup, shad roe with black butter, rapini with penne and parmesan, and arugula and goat cheese salads.

Jazz up your pantry items and kick-start your taste buds as well. Begin with the just-released, new harvest Meyer Lemon Oil from our friends Kim and Albert Katz of Katz & Co. Meyer lemons have a superb flavor that is milder, but more complex than our everyday lemons – a cross between a tangerine and a lemon might begin to get the idea across. Katz & Co Meyer lemon has a gorgeous, delicate but persistent citrus aroma and flavor, and yes, the flavor of the olive oil comes through with a nice, fresh ‘bite’. I find hints of green herbs in the aroma even though none have been added.

You will reach for this oil again and again. Use it with vegetable dishes, grilled or broiled fish, and to adorn a simple but perfect baby spinach salad – it’s a taste of spring and the American Mediterranean ( California ) in a bottle.