In yet another pinch-me moment surrounding our cookbook (First pinch-me moment: the book we’ve worked on for years gets published. Second: getting amazing feedback from some of our favorite creators. See: Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Andrew Zimmern, and so many others! Third: hitting the New York Times Bestseller list!), we found out yesterday morning that The Woks of Life: Recipes to Know and Love from a Chinese American Family was nominated for a James Beard Award!
Ahhhhhh!!!!!!! So many emotions. 😲🥰😎🥳🥲🤓🤗
Not only was it nominated, it was nominated in the U.S. Foodways category, which we’re super proud of.
Not only does this acknowledge the wide reach and role Chinese food has played in American life over the last 150 years or so, it speaks to how diverse American foodways are in general, and the many immigrant approaches to cooking and eating that form the fabric of *American Cuisine.*
We are also in the company of some amazing books. In our category, there are two other nominees.
One of them is Gullah Geechee Home Cooking: Recipes from the Matriarch of Edisto Island, by Emily Meggett, who “spent her life feeding others” according to The New York Times, and sadly passed away a few days ago at the age of 90. The book contains 123 recipes that reflect and celebrate a lifetime of cooking for family and community in the coastal South. It was also recognized as a New York Times Bestseller, and we are thankful that these recipes have been recorded for future generations. We are so humbled and honored to be listed alongside it.
The third nominee is a book called, I Am From Here: Stories and Recipes from a Southern Chef, by Vishwesh Bhatt, James Beard Award-winning executive chef at Snackbar in Oxford, MS. The book is filled with colorful and vibrant Southern recipes, also influenced by the author’s Indian background. Recipes like: Boiled Peanut Chaat, Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peaches, and Gujarati-style Black-eyed Peas. It’s another cookbook that beautifully reflects the continued evolution and diversity of American foodways.
Once again, we are so grateful to be on this cookbook journey together, and it feels incredible to be nominated as an entire family. Thank you, reader, and all of our readers out there, for cooking with us and supporting us these last 10 years!
If you’re interested, check out the full list of the 2023 James Beard Media Award Nominees to see some other great books, TV programs, and articles recognized this year.
If you haven’t checked out The Woks of Life cookbook yet, get your copy at any of the links below!