Please join us in celebrating the 2020 Media Awards winners in a series of conversations, presented by Capital One.

This series has now concluded. Watch all recordings here.

The Power of Food Writing
September 9, 1:30-2:15 P.M. ET

Panelist: Burkhard Bilger, Staff Writer for The New Yorker (James Beard Journalism Award: Food Coverage in a General Interest Publication), Kim Foster, Essayist (James Beard Journalism Award: Personal Essay, Long Form), and Jamila Robinson, Food Editor at Philadelphia Inquirer and James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards committee chair
Moderated by Chandra Ram, Editor at Plate and James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards committee vice-chair

Some of the best food writing doesn't focus on ingredients or flavors, but rather, uses food to tell larger stories about our lives. Food writing has the power to go beyond the plate and share stories that can influence policies, redefine gatekeepers, and spark social movements. In this panel, James Beard Media Award winners and committee members will discuss how they harness their understanding and experience to write about food as a gateway to bigger, more meaningful stories.
Suggested Media: 
Journalism Award: Food Coverage in a General Interest Publication 
Can Babies Learn to Love Vegetables?
Burkhard Bilger 
The New Yorker 
Journalism Award: Personal Essay, Long Form 
The Dysfunction of Food
Kim Foster 

Romancing the Stove
Jamila Robinson
Food & Wine Magazine

The Wok Therapist Will See You Now 
August 26, 1:30-2:15 P.M. ET

Panelist: Grace Young, The Stir Fry Guru and cookbook author (2020 James Beard Broadcast Media Award: Online Video, Fixed Location and/or Instructional, 2011 James Beard Book Award: International) and Harrison Jeffs, Filmmaker
Moderated by Hsiao-Ching Chou, James Beard Book Awards committee chair and author of Chinese Soul Food

Here’s your chance to ask the James Beard Award–winning Wok Therapist and Stir Fry Guru Grace Young all of your burning wok questions. Ease your anxieties around using a wok and start to develop that unbreakable bond (and unscratchable seasoned patina). This conversation will also delve into how COVID-19 has affected Chinese restaurants and communities across the nation.

Suggested Media:
Broadcast Media Award: Online Video, Fixed Location and/or Instructional
Wok Therapist
Grace Young and YouTube

Chinese Soul Food
Hsiao-Ching Chou
Sasquatch Books

Beard on Books: Quarantine Cooking
August 12, 6:00-6:45 P.M. ET

Panelists: Amy Chaplin, author of Whole Food Cooking Every Day (James Beard Book Award: Vegetable-Focused Cooking), Yohanis Gebreyesus, author of Ethiopia (James Beard Book Award: International), and Leo Robitschek, author of The NoMad Cocktail Book (James Beard Book Award: Beverage with Recipes )
Moderated by Hsiao-Ching Chou, James Beard Book Awards committee chair and author of Chinese Soul Food

Some food books inspire you to eat. The best cookbooks inspire you to get into the kitchen. Join these award-winning authors for a collection of live demonstrations that will showcase the fine storytelling, recipe writing, and cooking skills that earned them their James Beard Book Awards. 

Suggested Media:
Book Award: Vegetable-Focused Cooking
Whole Food Cooking Every Day: Transform the Way You Eat with 250 Vegetarian Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refind Sugar
Amy Chaplin
Artisan Books

Book Award: International
Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa
Yohanis Gebreyesus with Jeff Koehler
Interlink Publishing

Book Award: Beverage with Recipes
The NoMad Cocktail Book
Leo Robitschek
Ten Speed Press

Chinese Soul Food
Hsiao-Ching Chou
Sasquatch Books

Want to make the demonstrated recipes yourself? View here

Wednesday, July 29, 6:00-6:45 P.M. ET 
You Don’t Know L.A. Until You Know L.A. Taco 
Panelist: Javier Cabral, Editor-in-Chief at L.A. Taco (James Beard Journalism Award: Emerging Voice) 
Moderated by Gustavo Arellano, Features Writer for the Los Angeles Times and James Beard Journalism Awards committee member
This year the Journalism Awards Committee retired the Publication of the Year award to replace it with an award that recognizes emerging voices in publishing. Join us as we get to know the first Emerging Voice Award winner, L.A. Taco, in a conversation between Gustavo Arellano, features writer for the Los Angeles Times and Journalism Award committee member, and Javier Cabral, Editor-in-Chief of L.A. Taco. They’ll explore how the publication’s content is representative of the sprawling, diverse city it serves and how it seamlessly melds food’s intersectionality with inequality and racial justice.  

Suggested Media:
Journalism Award: Emerging Voice

L.A. Taco


Select work by Gustavo Arellano



Wednesday, July 15, 2020 6:00-6:45 P.M. ET
Representation in Food Media

Panelists: Pati Jinich, host of Pati’s Mexican Table (Broadcast Media: Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location winner), Marc Fennell, host of It Burns (Broadcast Media: Audio Program winner), Amanda Kludt, Editor-in-chief of Eater
Moderated by Debbie Mitchell, CEO/Founder of Deborah Mitchell Media Associates and Past Vice-Chair of the Broadcast Media Awards committee

Lack of BIPOC representation has been a pervasive issue in food media. Looking at our panelists today, we ask the question: is the face of food media changing? These Media Award winners will discuss how representation of diverse people and voices in food media has been lacking and how it must evolve in this important time of change. 

Suggested Media:
Broadcast Media Award: Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location
Pati's Mexican Table – A Local's Tour of Culiacán
WETA distributed nationally by American Public Television

Broadcast Media Award: Audio Program
It Burns: The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World’s Hottest Chili

Broadcast Media Award: Online Video, on Location
Handmade – How Knives Are Made for New York's Best Restaurants; How a Ceramics Master Makes Plates for Michelin-Starred Restaurants
Eater and YouTube

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 
Who Gets to Talk About Southern Food?

Panelists: Dr. Cynthia Greenlee, scholar, writer and editor (Journalism: Foodways); Chris Smith, author of The Whole Okra (Book: Reference, History, and Scholarship Winner); and Betsy Shepherd, reporter for Gravy (Broadcast Media: Audio Reporting winner)
Moderated by Adrian Miller, James Beard Book Award Winner, Soul Food Scholar and Restaurant and Chef Awards committee member

The history of Southern food is complex, to say the least. Talking about the region’s cuisine means acknowledging the free and enslaved Black Americans who helped to create it, and how their contributions were viewed and communicated from 1619 to today. Just who gets to talk about Southern food is still a highly debated topic. Join a panel of Media Award winners as we continue the discussion on where the line is drawn between cultural exchange and owning the dialogue on Southern cuisine, by which we are also talking about American food writ large.

Suggested Media:
Journalism Award: Foodways
A Real Hot Mess: How Grits Got Weaponized Against Cheating Men
Cynthia R. Greenlee
Munchies / Vice

Book Award: Reference, History, and Scholarship
The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration
Chris Smith
Chelsea Green Publishing

Broadcast Media Award: Audio Reporting
Gravy – Mahalia Jackson’s Glori-Fried Chicken 
Betsy Shepherd and iTunes

2014 Book Award: Reference and Scholarship 
Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time
Adrian Miller
The University of North Carolina Press

Wednesday, June 17, 2020
What is Food Writing’s Role in a Divided Nation?

All journalism has the power to address the challenges of our times. But often food journalism is dismissed as irrelevant to important social issues. Join Chef Tunde Wey and 2020 M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award winner John T. Edge as they discuss how food writing can be used to highlight, unpack, and disrupt topics that divide our nation. Moderated by Jamila Robinson, Journalism Awards chair and food editor for Philadelphia Inquirer.

Suggested Reading:

2020 James Beard Journalism Award-Winning Works: 

  • M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award: “My Mother's Catfish Stew” by John T. Edge available here
  • Profile: “The Provocations of Chef Tunde Wey” by Brett Martin available here

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Writing, Reporting, Broadcasting about Food During a Global Pandemic

  • Hsiao-Ching Chou, James Beard Book Awards committee chair, author, Chinese Soul Food
  • John Kessler, James Beard Journalism Awards chair (2020), writer and author
  • Jamila Robinson, James Beard Journalism Awards chair (2021), food editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Ken Rubin, James Beard Broadcast Awards chair, chief culinary officer, Rouxbe Online Cooking School
  • Moderated by Mitchell Davis, chief strategy officer, James Beard Foundation

A few of the topics that were addressed during this wide-ranging conversation:

  • Critique versus criticism
  • Everyone is a broadcast star with Zoom  
  • What to do with all those coffee table chef books now that we actually have to make dinner?