The best food media this year, according to the 2018 James Beard Awards

Kae Lani Palmisano

// By


The James Beard Foundation Award season officially kicked off with this morning’s announcement of the 2018 nominees. Most people think about the James Beard Awards as a distinction dedicated solely to expensive restaurants and the prestigious chefs who run them. To an extent, that can be true, but that thinking misses a huge part of what makes the awards so important to the food, restaurant and hospitality industries.


The mission of the James Beard Foundation “is to celebrate, nurture and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone.” In recent years the James Beard Foundation has made strides in making food culture and cuisine more accessible. To indulge in international cuisine or to dine in a fine restaurant may be reserved for those who could afford the hefty price tag, but the Beard Awards has proven year after year that high-quality food doesn’t have to destroy your bank account (in fact, last year USA Today 10Best highlighted James Beard Award-winning restaurants that had entrees around $15).

Many people don't realize the James Beard Foundation isn’t limited to chefs and restaurants. Cookbook authors, food writers, journalists, photographers, videographers, broadcasters and storytellers alike are also distinguished by the foundation’s Media Awards. If you want a crash course on becoming a food expert, start by immersing yourself in this year’s nominees will bring you up to speed on the emerging trends and conversations that are moving the industry forward and shaping food culture as we know it.

This year’s theme – “Rise” – celebrates community leaders who rise to the occasion, whether to feed those in need, to stand up for what they believe in, to support their local communities, or to express their personal stories through cooking. So create a playlist on Netflix and Youtube, add these books to your Amazon Wish List, and bookmark these articles because these are this year’s well-deserved James Beard Foundation Media Award nominees, and the stories shared and cultures expressed aren’t ones you will want to miss.

Winners will be announced April 27, 2018.

2018 James Beard Foundation Book Awards


Homegrown: Cooking from My New England Roots

Matt Jennings

(Artisan Books)

The Lost Kitchen

Erin French

(Clarkson Potter)

The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen

Sean Sherman with Beth Dooley

(University of Minnesota Press)

Baking and Desserts

BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts

Stella Parks

(W. W. Norton & Company)


Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

(Ten Speed Press)

The Sweet Spot: Dialing Back Sugar and Amping Up Flavor

Bill Yosses and Peter Kaminsky

(Pam Krauss Books)


3-Ingredient Cocktails

Robert Simonson

(Ten Speed Press)

Meehan's Bartender Manual

Jim Meehan

(Ten Speed Press)

Mezcal: The History, Craft & Cocktails of the World’s Ultimate Artisanal Spirit

Emma Janzen

(Voyageur Press)


Christopher Kimball's Milk Street: The New Home Cooking

Christopher Kimball

(Little, Brown and Company)

Dinner: Changing the Game

Melissa Clark

(Clarkson Potter)

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Samin Nosrat

(Simon and Schuster)

Health and Special Diets

The Beauty Chef

Carla Oates

(Hardie Grant Books)

Deepa’s Secrets

Deepa Thomas


Eat Right

Nick Barnard

(Kyle Books)



Gonzalo Guzman and Stacy Adimando

(Ten Speed Press)


Anya von Bremzen and Megan Fawn Schlow


The Palestinian Table

Reem Kassis



Cook Beautiful

Johnny Miller


Simple Fare: Spring and Summer

Karen Mordechai



Peden + Munk

(Ten Speed Press)

Reference, History, and Scholarship


Peter Liem

(Ten Speed Press)

The Culinarians: Lives and Careers from the First Age of American Fine Dining

David S. Shields

(University of Chicago Press)

Peppers of the Americas

Maricel E. Presilla

(Lorena Jones Books)

Restaurant and Professional

Modernist Bread

Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya

(The Cooking Lab)

On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen

Jeremy Fox and Noah Galuten


State Bird Provisions

Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, with JJ Goode

(Ten Speed Press)

Single Subject

Mastering Stocks and Broths

Rachael S. Mamane

(Chelsea Green Publishing)

Offal Good

Chris Cosentino

(Clarkson Potter)

The Pho Cookbook

Andrea Nguyen

(Ten Speed Press)

Vegetable-Focused Cooking

The Book of Greens

Jenn Louis with Kathleen Squires

(Ten Speed Press)

In My Kitchen

Deborah Madison

(Ten Speed Press)

Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables

Joshua McFadden with Martha Holmberg

(Artisan Books)


The Cooking Gene

Michael W. Twitty


The Taste of Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World

Lizzie Collingham

(Basic Books)

Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life

Emily Kaiser Thelin

(Grand Central Life & Style)


2018 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Awards



Director: Matthew Salleh

Producers: Daniel Joyce and Rose Tucker

Airs on: Netflix

Blind Sushi

Director: Eric Heimbold

Producers: Eric Heimbold and Laura Heimbold

Appeared at: Multiple film festivals in 2017

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent

Director: Lydia Tenaglia

Producers: Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Collins, and Joe Caterini

Airs on: CNN, Netflix, and iTunes

Outstanding Personality/Host

Pati Jinich

Pati’s Mexican Table

Airs on: WETA Washington; Distributed Nationally by American Public Television

Ina Garten

Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro

Airs on: Food Network

Vivian Howard

A Chef’s Life

Airs on: PBS ­


The Sporkful

Host: Dan Pashman

Producers: Dan Pashman, Anne Noyes Saini, and Dan Charles

Airs on: Stitcher, iTunes

Why We Eat What We Eat Episode 2: I Eat Everything, Except...

Host: Cathy Erway

Producers: Wendy Dorr, Frances Harlow, and Abbie Ruzicka

Airs on:, Gimlet Media, and Apple Podcasts

Your Last Meal (with Rachel Belle)

Host: Rachel Belle

Producers: Aaron Mason and Rachel Belle

Airs on: iTunes, Stitcher, and

Radio Show/Audio Webcast

The Food Chain

Host: Emily Thomas

Producers: Emily Thomas and Simon Tulett

Airs on: BBC World Service

The Legacy of the Mississippi Delta Chinese

Host: Melissa Block

Producer: Elissa Nadworny

Airs on: NPR

The Splendid Table: Every Bite is Precious, Buddhist Cooking in Japan

Host: Abigail Leonard

Producer: Abigail Leonard

Airs on: NPR

Special (on TV or Web)

CBS Sunday Morning – The Food Issue: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Host: Jane Pauley

Producers: Rand Morrison, Amy Rosner, and Amol Mhatre

Airs on: CBS

Family Meal: NYC

Producers: Alice Xue Yu, Lilit Marcus, and Molly Shiels

Airs on: CNN

Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes

Host: Lidia Bastianich

Producer: Laurie Donnelly

Airs on: PBS

Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location

Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro

Host: Ina Garten

Producers: Rachel Purnell, Olivia Ball, and Bridget Lumley

Airs on: Food Network

The Bobby and Damaris Show

Hosts: Bobby Flay and Damaris Phillips

Producers: Bobby Flay, Kim Martin, and Kirsty Nordal

Airs on: Food Network

The Latin Kitchen

Hosts: Luis Valenzuela, Juan Pablo Gonzalez, and Luis “Tigretón” Leon

Producer: Chris Knight

Airs on: Gusto

Television Program, on Location

Chef’s Table: Jeong Kwan

Producers: David Gelb, Brian McGinn, and Andrew Fried

Airs on: Netflix

The Food Flirts with the Brass Sisters

Hosts: Marilyn Brass and Sheila Brass

Producers: Bruce Seidel and Denise Swidey

Airs on: PBS

The Migrant Kitchen

Producers: Juan Devis, Antonio Diaz, and Stef Ferrari

Airs on: KCET and Link TV

Television Segment

ABC 7 News – The Hungry Hound

Host: Steve Dolinsky

Producer: Steve Dolinsky

Airs on: ABC 7 Chicago and

PBS NewsHour

Reporters: Allison Aubrey and Paul Solman

Producer: Mary Beth Durkin

Airs on: PBS


Host: David Schechter

Producer: Chance Horner

Airs on: WFAA-TV Dallas and stations owned by TEGNA Media

Video Webcast, Fixed Location and/or Instructional

Andrew in the Kitchen

Host: Andrew Zimmern

Producers: Patrick Weiland and Andrew Zimmern

Airs on:

The Breath of a Wok

Host: Grace Young

Producer: Grace Young

Airs on: and YouTube

Panna Cooking: Black Bean-Glazed Salmon with Ginger Cabbage

Host: Vivian Howard

Producers: Amy Currie and Stephanie Roush

Airs on:

Video Webcast, on Location

Food Grails

Host: Miss Info

Director: Justin Bolois

Producer: Justin Bolois

Airs on: First We Feast YouTube Channel

From the Wild – Season 3

Director: Kevin Kossowan

Producer: Kevin Kossowan

Airs on: Vimeo On Demand

Working 24 Hours at...

Host: Andrew Knowlton

Director: Vincent Cross

Producer: Matt Duckor

Airs on: YouTube and Bon Appétit Video

Visual and Technical Excellence


Director: Matthew Salleh

Photographer: Matthew Salleh

Editors: Matthew Salleh and Rose Tucker

Airs on: Netflix

The Birth of Bread

Director, Photographer, Editor: Matthew Pendergast

Airs on: Vimeo

Food Talkies

Director, Photographer, Editor: Andrew Gooi

Airs on:


2018 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards


“The Eton Mess Is Beautiful, Chaotic, British”; “Hot Night, Cold Soup”; and “Bread Soup from the Lost Years”

Scott Hocker


Missed Cues: “Get Help”; “Distilled Identity”; and “Destination, Small Town”

Osayi Endolyn


What She’s Having: “Nostalgia in a Bowl”; “I Was a Chick-fil-A Virgin”; and “A Time Capsule, with Chicken Pot Pies”

Devra First

The Boston Globe 

Dining and Travel

“The Eating Season”

Tyler Kord

Bon Appétit

“Off the Eaten Path: The Best Anti-Restaurants in America”

The Editors of GQ


“In Pursuit of Perfect Hummus”

J.M. Hirsch

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Magazine 

Feature Reporting 

“A Day in the Life of a Food Vendor”

Tejal Rao

The New York Times


Tom Sietsema

The Washington Post

“The NBA’s Secret Addiction”

Baxter Holmes

ESPN The Magazine 

Food and Health

“Egg Mogul Jack DeCoster Sickened 56,000 People. He’ll Spend Just Three Months in Prison”

Joe Fassler

The New Food Economy

“The Great Nutrient Collapse”

Helena Bottemiller Evich


“What Healthy Means Now”

Hunter Lewis

Cooking Light 

Food Section

New York Magazine

Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite

Roads & Kingdoms

Nathan Thornburgh, Matt Goulding, Cara Parks, and the Roads & KingdomsTeam

San Francisco Chronicle

Paolo Lucchesi and the San Francisco Chronicle Food and Wine Team


“Chili at the Fifty”

Matt Diffee

Texas Monthly

“Four Million Pots”

Leslie Pariseau


“The Teenage Whaler’s Tale”

Julia O’Malley

High Country News 

Home Cooking

“Lost Pies of the South”

Nancie McDermott

Southern Living

“Nuts About Nuts”

Molly McDonough

Culture: The Word on Cheese

“Thanksgiving Lessons”

Adam Rapoport and the Bon Appétit Editorial Team

Bon Appétit 


“Pumpkin Spice Life”

Maura Judkis

The Washington Post

“Trixie Mattel Makes a PB&J (and More Importantly, a Cocktail)”

GQ Video


“Worst Shift Ever: No Experience Necessary”

Blake Smith and Derek Salvatore

ChefsFeed on Facebook

Innovative Storytelling 

“America’s Most Authentic Dive Bars”

Tim Carman, Fritz Hahn, and Shelly Tan

The Washington Post

“Going Viral”

Vince Dixon, Ellie Kirn, Brittany Holloway-Brown, and Ian Stroud


“The New Essentials of French Cooking”

Melissa Clark, Emily Weinstein, Barbara deWilde, and Alexandra Eaton

The New York Times 

Investigative Reporting 

“John Besh Restaurants Fostered Culture of Sexual Harassment, 25 Women Say”

Brett Anderson | The Times-Picayune

“Ken Friedman, Power Restaurateur, is Accused of Sexual Harassment”

Julia Moskin and Kim Severson

The New York Times

The Only Good Muslim” and “Compromised

Ted Genoways

The New Republic 

Local Impact

“Farm to Chapel”; “They Ditched Vienna Sausages for Porterhouse Steaks and Lobster at West Grove Cookout”; and “How a Secular Jewish Baker Became Miami’s Kosher King”

Carlos Frías

Miami Herald

“What Do Lakewood Residents Think of Their Neighborhood’s Newest High-End Restaurant?”; “ ‘La Comida’ Makes for a Big Family Meal at Mothers & Sons”; and “The Restaurant Industry Depends on Immigrants. What Happens If We Lose Them?”

Victoria Bouloubasis

Indy Week

“You’re Invited to the Spirited Brunch”; “Meet the Kitchen Cabinet”; and “Get It in Writing: Restaurant Industry Grapples with Sexual Harassment”

Hanna Raskin

The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.)

Personal Essay

“Dear Women: Own Your Stories”

Lisa Donovan

“The Meth Lunches: The Care and Feeding of a Drug Addict”

Kim Foster

Nevada Public Radio’s Desert Companion Magazine

“Strip Clubs, Salvation and Sonic Drive-In”

Tiffany Langston

Tiffany Tastes 



Patrick Radden Keefe

The New Yorker

“She Was a Soul Food Sensation. Then, 19 Years Ago, She Disappeared.” 

Mayukh Sen


“The Untold Story of the Lady from Louisville and the Bubbe Who Wasn’t There”

Rebecca Flint Marx


Wine, Spirits, and Other Beverages

“Drink Seltzer, Live Forever”

Liam Baranauskas


“The Pu-Erh Broker”

Max Falkowitz


“A Short History of My Long Drinking Life” 

Andrew Knowlton

Bon Appétit 

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award

“Bar Normandy”; “Pawpaw”; and “Rappahannock Oyster Bar”

Hanna Raskin

The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)

Counter Intelligence: “The World’s Best Restaurant Opens a Pop-Up in Mexico”; “At Vespertine, Jonathan Gold Makes Contact with Otherworldly Cooking”; “Jonathan Gold Finds Delight in the Secretive Santa Monica Restaurant Dialogue”

Jonathan Gold

Los Angeles Times

“The Radical Sandwich Kings of New Orleans”; “America’s Next Great Southern Restaurant Is in the Pacific Northwest”; “At Santa Monica’s Dialogue, Seasonality Meets Surrealism”

Bill Addison


MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award

“After Oranges: Following John McPhee to Florida”

Wyatt Williams

Oxford American

“Christ in the Garden of Endless Breadsticks”

Helen Rosner


“Who Owns Uncle Ben?”

Shane Mitchell

The Bitter Southerner 


Kae Lani Palmisano

About Kae Lani Palmisano

Kae Lani Palmisano is the Emmy Award-Winning host of WHYY's Check, Please! Philly, a television show that highlights dining throughout the Philadelphia region. She also writes and hosts WHYY’s Delishtory, a digital series exploring the history of food.  As a freelance food and travel writer, she has been published in KitchenAid Stories, Resy, USA TODAY, 10Best, Roads & Kingdoms and more.  

Read more about Kae Lani Palmisano here.

Connect with Kae Lani Palmisano via: Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


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