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Overheard at the 2016 JBF Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards

JBF Editors

JBF Editors

April 27, 2016


JBF Award winners Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov

Put a bunch of writers, producers, journalists, and media hosts in a room together, and you’re bound to get a few worthy bon mots. Here are some of our favorite quotable lines from last night’s Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards, which capped a celebratory evening with hilarious and inspiring sentiments.

“I thought you had to grow a beard for this event.”—Steven Cook, International Award and Cookbook of the Year Award winner with Michael Solomonov for Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking

“A toast to my wife, who as a female computer scientist faces some of the same struggles as female chefs, and to all the female chefs who have succeeded—and those not just thinking about their own success, but how to make it easier for the next generation.”

—J. Kenji López-Alt, General Cooking Award winner for The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

“When you start out cooking, you cook so you don’t have to write or read or speak that coherently. I’m lucky enough to have a business partner to do that, so I’m going to pass it to him.”

—Michael Solomonov, International Award and Cookbook of the Year Award winner with Steven Cook for Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking

“When I had this idea, I tried to sell it to literary agents and nobody would buy it. Even my mother said, 'I wouldn’t buy a book with that title!' This is the best culinary reparation we could give to a group of people that had no voice in the food world.”

— Toni Tipton-Martin, Reference and Scholarship Award winner for The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks

“Who would have thought that just a little bit of flour and water would rise to this honor.”

—Sarah Owens, Baking and Dessert Award winner for Sourdough: Recipes for Rustic Fermented Breads, Sweets, Savories, and More

“When I first started cooking, I had a vegetarian problem—I didn’t like the word, because I felt like it pushed people away. But over the decades I really think that things have changed so much that really everyone can come to the table. Being a vegetarian isn’t a big deal; it can be one day a week, or it can be just adding more vegetables to your diet. The table is bigger, and more people are sitting at it.

—Deborah Madison, Cookbook Hall of Fame Award winner, for The Greens Cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and others  

“You learn a lot about Frank Underwood by the way he devours a plate of Freddy’s ribs...gnawing down to the bone and flicking the BBQ sauce off his fingers”

—JBF Award winner Andrew Zimmern on House of Cards

“I guess I’m allowed to say ‘holy cow!’”

—Raghavan Iyer, Video Webcast, Fixed Location and/or Instructional Award winner for Indian Curries: The Basics & Beyond

“I’ve just always wanted to be accepted by the food community because my mother was a terrible cook.”

—Phil Rosenthal, Television Program, on Location Award winner for I’ll Have What Phil’s Having

“I used to watch Anthony Bourdain when I was a little boy, and I wanted to be just like him. And I think I am exactly like him…if he was afraid of everything.”
—Phil Rosenthal, Television Program, on Location Award winner for I’ll Have What Phil’s Having​

“Food is the reason why in L.A. we get out of our cars, or really why we get into them, to explore our city.”

—Lesley Bargar Suter, Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication Award winner for Los Angeles Magazine

“Thanks to my kids for being an inspiration to me, even if they don’t eat anything I cook.” 

—Robin Bashinsky, Food and Health winner for “The Healthy Cook’s Guide to Fat,” with Sidney Frye, Cooking Light  

“And I thought winning a toaster oven was going to be the highlight of my night.”

—John Birdsall, Food and Culture winner for “Straight-Up Passing,” Jarry ​

“In this age of stainless steel chefs as media figures, thank you to the New York Times Magazine for wanting to do a column on home cooking with immigrant chefs. And thank you to the immigrants of every race and religion for making America great again and again and again.

—Francis Lam, Food-Related Columns Award winner for “Eat,” New York Times Magazine

“Holy crap. Chicken tenders, guys—it’ll get you up here.”

—Helen Rosner, Personal Essay Award winner for “On Chicken Tenders”

“In an uncertain and rapidly changing journalistic landscape, the appetite for many forms of cultural reporting is shrinking, and yet food journalism is flourishing. The public hungers for stories about food and the central role it plays in our lives.

—John Kessler, 2016 Journalism Awards Committee Chair

See the complete list of winners here.

The JBF Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards are presented with leading support from Breville®, Goose Island Beer Co. and Lenox Tableware and Gifts. See our complete list of Awards sponsors.