This year for the first time, the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) is introducing a new cookbook award category: The People’s Choice Award. The cookbook judges have weighed in on all the other categories, but for this new award, the final outcome depends totally on public opinion. IACP has flung open the doors to welcome in audience participation, kinda like with American Idol and America’s Best Dance Crew.
The judges have decided upon the finalists and between now and April 5, you can cast your ballot for your favorite.
As an author whose book is among the finalists for one of the awards, I fear running the risk of pandering by asking for your vote. But guess what? It’s a competition and I would love to win for the sake of all of you who have and continue to support my work. Just like the IACP cookbook award judges, many of you have test driven recipes from Asian Dumplings. That’s what got me this far from the original field of over 500 contenders, and I am truly honored and flattered by the final nomination.
All the cookbooks in the final running are worthy publications, but I’m compelled to give shout-outs to my Aussie pal Luke Nguyen for his exceptional Vietnamese cookbook, The Songs of Sapa, which accompanies his new public television program airing in Australia. We are not related but we are Viet and that means a lot in the food world. Luke hosted me in Melbourne, introduced me to the Viet community in Cabramatta, and his recipe for roasted pork belly graced my kitchen with enormous eating pleasure.
Kudos also goes out to veteran author Eileen Yin-Fei Lo for Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking. That work inspired me to give a tracheotomy to successfully blow up the Peking duck. I recommended both of these works in December's roundup of Asian cookbooks and am delighted to see them make the IACP list of finalists. The unfortunate thing is that they’re up against each other in the international category. Yikes!
Non-Asian finalists that I admire include Ad Hoc by Thomas Keller and Seven Fires by Francis Mallman and Peter Kaminski. They are well-written, authoritative, and absolutely beautiful publications that teach and invite culinary innovation. And, in addition to books on booze, there is also a bevy of baking books to choose from too. Oy, I’m suffering from carb, fat, and liquor overload just thinking about all the great food and drink in these publications.
So click on this IACP link to the People’s Choice Award and cast your vote. You have until April 5!
P.S. You DO NOT have to be an IACP member to vote. And, as much as you may want to stuff the ballot for moi, they are recording IP addresses. Please vote responsibly. Do encourage others to participate!