The Sophie Coe Prize 2015 was awarded (in absentia) at the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery on Saturday 4th July to Anya Zilberstein, for her essay ‘Inured to Empire: Wild Rice and Climate Change’. Accepting the prize on her behalf, Trustee Phil Iddison told Symposiasts that although birthday celebrations prevented the Montreal-based historian collecting the prize in person, she was delighted and honoured by this award for her first foray into food history writing. The judges described her essay as a celebration of a ‘marvelous forgotten moment in food history’.
Janet Beizer’s ‘The Emperor’s Plate: Marketing Leftovers in Nineteenth-Century Paris’ and Madeline Shanahan’s ‘“Whipt with a twig rod”: Irish manuscript recipe books as sources for the study of culinary material culture, ca. 1600 to1830’ were highly commended by the judges as being significant contributions to the field; while the judges commended Anthony Buccini’s ‘The Merchants of Genoa and the Diffusion of Southern Italian Pasta Culture in Europe.’
Ken Albala’s ‘La Cuisinière Canadienne: The Cookbook as Communication’ and Máirtin Mac Con Iomaire’s ‘Gastro-Topography: Exploring Food-Related Placenames in Ireland’ were also singled out by the judges for an honourable mention.
Zilberstein, as well the commended entries and all previous prize winners were heartily congratulated by the founder of the trust, Professor Michael Coe. In a moving speech celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Prize, Coe reminded the audience of Oxford Food Symposiasts about the origins of the Prize, its development over its first twenty years of existence, and the close link between his late wife Sophie Coe, Alan Davidson and the wider Symposium family.
We heartily congratulate all of the commended writers.