We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2019 Sophie Coe Prize is Malcolm Thick, for his informative and original paper, ‘The Sale of Produce from Non-Commercial Gardens in Late Medieval and Early Modern England.’ The judges commented that Thick’s work offers “new insights into one of the mysteries of food in the British Isles: the supply of vegetables, historically, in English food,” revealing through careful scholarship the true place of vegetables in the historic British diet.
The judges also highly commended one essay, “Under the Cover of Savory Vapors–Opossums, Power and Jim Crow Politics” by Stephanie N. Bryan, commenting that this ‘surprising piece of culinary history’ about the custom of hunting and cooking opossums in the southern USA and its manipulation by early 20th century politicians was well researched and well told.
The Prize was announced and presented at the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery on Sunday 14th July, where the judges’ report was read. Thick was unable to attend and receive the Prize in person, but sent a statement of thanks:
I am sorry that a throat and chest infection prevents me from attending this year’s Symposium.
I am delighted [and surprised] to hear I have been awarded the 2019 Sophie Coe prize. Looking through the list of previous winners, I see I am in distinguished company. The money will be used to pay some of the expenses of my latest project – a biography of the eighteenth-century agricultural journalist and writer on country food and medicine, William Ellis. Incidentally, I was awarded a subsidiary Sophie Coe prize in 2000 for my introduction to a new edition of Ellis’s Country Housewife’s Family Companion of 1750.
I warmly thank the panel of judges and the Trustees for awarding me this prize.
Thank you to all 40 individuals who entered work in this year’s Prize competition, and hearty congratulations to our winner and our high commendee.