Stories / Awards

Meet the 2015 Personal Essay Journalism Nominees

Maggie Borden and Alyssa Haak

Maggie Borden and Alyssa Haak

April 15, 2015


Garden & Gun

From holiday menus to vacation dinners to the first ice cream cone at the beginning of summer, our memories of food frequently influence our identities more than music, art, or even education. The nominees for the James Beard Journalism Award for Personal Essay are connected by a common thread of contemplation of meals past, transforming nostalgia into thoughtful commentary on the role of food in their larger lives and cultures.


Rick Bragg
Garden and Gun
Requiem for a Fish Sandwich

Faced with new overfishing regulations and species depletions, Rick Bragg looks back on the glory days of grouper sandwiches to say goodbye to what once was. [Image shown above]


John DeVore
Life in Chains: Finding Home at Taco Bell

For John DeVore, Taco Bell means far more than chalupas and chimichangas. In his passionate ode for Eater, DeVore reveals how the fast food giant came to embody his childhood, his family, and his heritage.

Lucky Peach

Lucas Peterson
Lucky Peach
Deus X-Mas China

Lucas Peterson’s relationship with the traditional dish jook takes him from childhood to adulthood, as he struggles to embrace his Chinese identity.

Read all 2015 Awards coverage here.