Culinary Writers Invited To Compete For Award

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If you have written and published a cookbook, or contributed to one, between 2004 and 2005, you may be eligible to compete for three cash awards to be presented in October. The deadline to enter is April 1.

Cash awards totaling $1,750 will be presented to three outstanding female culinary authors entered in the Les Dames d'Escoffier International (LDEI) M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing.

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Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher (1908-1992) is the author of more than two dozen books, including "How to Cook a Wolf," which was first published in 1942 when wartime shortages were at their worst.

This is a new award honoring Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, a widely read and lauded culinary writer whose focus was the art of eating. One of M.F.K. Fisher's two dozen books, "How to Cook a Wolf," was first published in 1942 when wartime shortages were at their worst. The perennially popular book dealt with the problem of cooking within a budget. The book includes a wealth of practical and delicious ways to keep the "wolf from the door."

Among the contents were chapters with such headings as "How to boil water," "How not to boil an egg," "How to be content with vegetable love," "How to make a great show" and "How to practice true economy," according to sample pages found at amazon.com.

The pleasures of the table were the essential ingredients of Fisher's books, penned in her distinctive first-person style.

No one has written with more relish of the simple yet sophisticated pleasures to be found in dining alone, or of the peculiar tastes and traditions of a family kitchen. Whether "Considering the Oyster" or defining "An Alphabet for Gourmets," she addressed the universal needs "for protection, food, love."

M.F.K. Fisher's election to the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1991 secured her literary reputation.

The inaugural M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing will be presented during LDEI's Annual Conference on Oct. 21, 2006, at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency. In addition to the first-place award of $1,000, the winner will also receive airfare and hotel expenses for the awards ceremony. Second and third prize winners will receive $500 and $250, respectively.

The contest is open to women writers in the United States, Canada and Mexico who have had nonfiction culinary writing published in the English language during 2004 and 2005. Entries must be postmarked by April 1, 2006.

How to enter

The M.F.K. Fisher Award is designed to honor women writers whose published nonfiction works reflect creativity and insight, and illuminate the pivotal roles of food, beverages or the arts of the table, or contribute to our knowledge of those who grow, produce or prepare nourishment.

For information about how to enter the M.F.K. Fisher Award contest, visit www.ldei.org or www.mfkfisher.org, call Greg Jewell at (502) 456-1851 or e-mail ldei@aecmanagement.com. For questions about the rules, contact M.F.K. Fisher Award Chair CiCi Williamson at Mfkfisher06@aol.com.

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