LDEI Announces M.F.K. Fisher Award Winners

From CiCi Williamson, Chair:

After five months in the process (including two months and three rounds of judging), the winners of LDEI’s 2017 M.F.K. Fisher Awards Contest have just been determined by our 10 non-Dame judges from 74 entries. I’m very excited to tell you that a Dame has won the grand prize ($1000 and a trip to Newport Beach, CA, to the LDEI conference in October).

Sandra Gutierrez, Cary, NC, of our fairly new North Carolina Chapter, won the grand prize with her Internet story, “A Voice from the Nuevo South.” Sandra is the author of four books and the former food editor of the Cary News.

Only once before was the grand prize won by a Dame: Kitty Crider (Austin) in 2006, the first year of the culinary writing contest.

The 2017 winners include two other Dames:

  • Cynthia Graubart (Atlanta) won Third Prize and $50 in the Book Category for “Chicken and Me,”and excerpt from her book Chicken: A Savor the South Cookbook (University of North Carolina Press).
  • Kim Ode (Minnesota) won Third Prize and $50 in the Print Category for her article, “Ooh, can I have a taste?” published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

It’s actually remarkable that three of the nine prizes were won by Dames since only 14 Dames entered the 2017 contest—about half the number of previous years.

Other prize winners are:

Book Category

First Prize ($500): Elaine Khosrova, Chatham, NY, won first prize and $500 in the Book Category for Butter, A Rich History (Algonquin Books, 2016).

Second Prize ($100): Yasmin Khan, London, United Kingdom, author of The Saffron Tales (Bloomsbury USA). Excerpt entered: “RASHT. Tales of rice paddies and tea plantations”

Third Prize ($50): Cynthia Graubart, Atlanta, GA (mentioned above)”

Internet Category

First Prize/Grand Prize ($1000): Sandra Gutierrez, Cary, NC (mentioned above)

Second Prize ($100): Carolyn Phillips, Alameda, CA, for her story, “Good Graces”

Third Prize ($50): Elaine Cicora, Macedonia, OH, for her story, “Why I Garden”

Print Category

First Prize ($500): Kathy Gunst, South Berwick, ME, for her article “The Epiphany That Turned Me into a Good Baker,” published in the Washington Post.

Second Prize ($100): Laura Reiley, Tampa, FL, for her article, “Farm to Fable” published in the Tampa Bay Times

Third Prize ($50): Kim Ode, Edina, MN (mentioned above)

Read all the winning stories at www.ldei.org.

The deadline for the 2018 contest is March 31. The more Dames who enter, the more Dames will win!

I hope you will be attending LDEI’s annual conference in Newport Beach, CA, to meet talented Dame Sandra Gutierrez, our grand-prize winner.


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