M.F.K. Fisher Awards for Excellence in Culinary Writing
The Winners Are...

LDEI’s M.F.K. Fisher Awards for Excellence in Culinary Writing

2017 Awards Program -  Award Instructions  -  Entry Form

2017 Awards Online Registration

The M.F.K. Fisher Awards for Excellence in Culinary Writing, presented annually, honor Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, a widely read and lauded culinary writer. Before her death in 1992, MFK Fisher personally gave her permission to Les Dames d’Escoffier International to present awards in her name. For more information about her, go to www.mfkfisher.com, a site maintained by LDEI.

For each of the three categories below, three cash prizes and certificates will be awarded: $500 to the category winner, $100 for second prize, and $50 for third prize, making a total of nine cash prizes. An additional $500 (USD) will be awarded to the grand-prize winner judged to be the best of the three category winners (totaling $1000). The grand-prize winner will also receive round trip (coach class) airfare to the conference city to receive her honor in person (mandatory) at the awards presentation during the opening general session. 

• Book Award
• Print Award (newspaper and magazine entries)
• Internet Award

The goals of the awards are:
• To honor the accomplishments of MFK Fisher and to showcase her contributions to gastronomy
• To give recognition to a woman who is engaged in significant culinary writing.

From 1992 to 2004, the award recognized and supported a woman in mid-career whose work directly impacted the areas of food, beverage, and arts of the table.

In 2006, the M.F.K. Fisher Awards program was completely redesigned. The award now recognizes excellence in culinary writing. Women in the United States, Canada, and the British Isles are eligible to be nominated for the award. For information on the awards program, click on the links below.

M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipients:

2016 Grand-Prize Winner

Dianne Jacob Dianne Jacob of Oakland, California., a writing coach, editor, and author of the "The Meaning of Mangoes," has been selected as the 2016 grand-prize winner and the internet category winner. Her winning article, chosen from among 80 entries, is about her parents longing for mangoes after they escaped the Communist revolution in China. Her article was posted on Lucky Peach, David Chang's Internet magazine at luckypeach.com

2015 Grand-Prize Winner

Erin Byers Murray Erin Byers Murray of Nashville, Tennessee, managing editor at Nashville Lifestyles magazine, was selected from over 75 other entries, as the 2015 grand-prize winner and the internet category winner]. Her winning work was her article "Sense of Self," published on (a Website by Breville), foodthinkers.com/which details her mother's loss of taste resulting from a concussion and fractured skull in a train accident. Read on

Grand-Prize Winner

Nina Mukerjee Furstenau , a journalism teacher at the University of Missouri in Columbia, was awarded the 2014 grand-prize winner and the book category winner, for an excerpt from her book, Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America's Heartland (University of Iowa Press, 2013). Nina details the culinary thread that weaves one culture into another and how we maintain our differences as well as how we come together through what we cook and eat. Read on

  • 2016 M.F.K. Fisher Grand Prize Winner: Dianne Jacob
  • 2015 M.F.K. Fisher Grand Prize Winner: Erin Byers-Murray
  • 2014 M.F.K. Fisher Grand Prize Winner: Nina Mukerjee Furstenau
  • 2012 M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipient: Jess Thomson
  • 2010 M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipient: Natalie MacLean
  • 2008 M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipient: Louisa Kasdon
  • 2006 M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipient: Kitty Crider
  • 2004 M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipient: Andrea Immer
  • 2002 M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipient: Mary Risely
  • 2000 M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipient: Katherine Mary Alex
  • 1998 M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipient: Barbara Haber
  • 1996 M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipient: Cathrine Sneed
  • 1994 M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipient: Deborah Madison
  • 1992 M.F.K. Fisher Award Recipient: Linda Bisson


Celebrate the life and accomplishments of M.F.K. Fisher at  www.mfkfisher.com.


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