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Eyes on the Prize?

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#1 Steve Klc

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Posted 03 June 2002 - 08:23 AM

Jeanne--in light of your previous comments about food writers and "writing about food" here:


Do you ever expect a newspaper writer to win a Pulitzer for writing about food or food topics?  Is this within the realm of possibility in the near future?

I'm thinking of:

1) something investigative, along the lines of the "Taste of Slavery" series, which linked the world chocolate trade to modern-day slavery and won a Polk Award for international reporting honors. It was reported by Sudarsan Raghavan and Sumana Chatterjee of Knight-Ridder and, for those who haven't seen this already, here is one part of the series:



2) recognition of some body of work--criticism, essays or commentary.

If so, what writer, what voice might you lay early odds on now?

If not, what has to happen or change?
Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant
Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo


#2 Jeanne McManus

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Posted 05 June 2002 - 01:40 PM

This is a tough question. Yes, yes, yes, I could say, of course the work of a writer who writes about food could be considered for a Pulitzer.

But let's be honest. The Pulitzer Prize winners I know are enormous talents, writing and thinking. Say, for example, Michael Dirda, who won the Pulitzer for book criticism, and Henry Allen, who won it for photography criticism.

Does food generate the kind of complex criticism that wins prizes? Does food cause a writer to think big thoughts, does it act as a springboard for a mind like Dirda's, does it have a history, a sort of intellectual archive that a writer like Henry Allen can draw on? I just don't think so.

You can write about food, as Tony Horowitz did about the chicken processing plants (I think I'm remembering this correctly) and win about the Pulitzer, but that was investigative reporting, not food criticism

#3 mamster

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Posted 06 June 2002 - 06:57 AM

Dave Barry won a Pulitzer.  An enormous writing talent, yes.  Big thoughts, uh-uh.
Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"
Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

#4 Jeanne McManus

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Posted 06 June 2002 - 09:51 AM

Good point. But I think he's really the exception and in his prime he really cornered the market on humor writing. Maybe someone has to do that for "food writing."