This year’s National Jewish Book Awards have just been announced, and Jewish Food books scored big! Of course, there is the award category for “Food Writing & Cookbooks,” which obviously covers the topic. But even in a few other categories, Jewish Food books were recognized.
Michael W. Twitty’s book Koshersoul received top honors, being recognized with the award of Jewish Book of the Year! This is quite a big deal, solidifying Twitty’s place among interesting thinkers within the Jewish Food world. Congrats to him.
Beyond that, Benedetta Jasmine Guetta’s wonderful Cooking alla Giudia took the award in the aformentioned food category. I’ve had some online interactions with her this past year, and am very happy to see her success. The book — an examination of Italian Jewish cooking — is beautiful and thorough!
Although not a final winner, Hélène Jawhara Piñer deserves recognition as a finalist in a different category: Sephardic Culture. Her book Jews, Food, and Spain: The Oldest Medieval Spanish Cookbook and the Sepahrdic Culinary Heritage is the academic follow-up to her popular cookbook Sephardi: Cooking the History. I finally had the please of meeting Hélène this year, and am so happy for her success, as well, even if she did not ultimately win in her category.
Finally, another new friend also found success in a related award category. Though not officially a part of the National Jewish Book Awards, the Jewish Book Council also recognizes a “Natan Notable Book” twice a year. The recently announced Fall 2022 winner is the interesting Feeding Women of the Talmud, Feeding Ourselves. Kenden Alfond, who runs the popular Jewish Food Hero website put this book together as the follow up to her previous Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves.
Hearty congratulations to all of the awards winners, but especially to those of you contributing to the growth of Jewish Food as a category worth studying and exploring!