"Thank you so much for the amazing honor. I will take it as a vote of confidence at a time when writing is all too under-valued. And I feel immensely lucky to have my work taken seriously by such an important group of inspiring women." --Twilight Greenaway, 2012 Fellowship Recipient

About the Karola Saekel Craib Excellence in Food Journalism Fellowship

The San Francisco Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier Board voted unanimously in 2010 to create The Karola Saekel Craib Excellence In Food Journalism Fellowship, in recognition of Karola’s more than fifty-year career in journalism and immeasurable contributions. Her reporting and writing excellence helped to define the best of food journalism as we now know it. Karola, who sadly passed away the spring of 2011, was greatly honored by our creating the fellowship. She helped us formulate the criteria and reviewed last year's nominees. This fellowship is given annually to a promising Bay Area woman food journalist (not a Les Dames member) and has no application process or strings attached. The monetary award is presented as an acknowledgement for good works, and as encouragement to keep writing, to stay in journalism. It is a surprise award in the style of the MacArthur Genius Awards. Nominations are confidential submitted by members and previous recipients. Nominations are received throughout the year, reviewed in the summer and awarded in the fall.

Nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Bay Area women food journalists whose writings show talent and promise
  • Demonstrates a commitment to a career in food journalism
  • Excellence and range of writing (subject, genre in a variety of food subjects)
  • Not more than ten years in the field of food journalism and not a Les Dames Member

2017 Recipient is:

Bonnie Tsui is the author of AMERICAN CHINATOWN. She has written about Michelin street food, Hong Kong's rooftop farmers, the world's first surf film, shark fin soup, the Baghdad swim team, and much more for the New Yorker.com, California Sunday, Pop-Up Magazine, and The New York Times, among other publications. Recently, she appeared as a talking head in the documentary The Search for General Tso, to explain the curiously foreign-yet-familiar quality of Chinese-American food. She also helped to launch F&B: Voices from the Kitchen, a storytelling project from La Cocina that seeks to share stories from cooks and kitchens that are less often heard. A member of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, she is writing a new book, on swimming, to be published by Algonquin Books. 

Story links:

Why Is Asian Salad Still on the Menu? in The New York Times Sunday Review

Eleven Thousand Bowls of Soup, in California Sunday

Hong Kong's Skyline Farmers, in The New Yorker

Drinking by Numbers, in the New York Times Sunday Review

Bonnie will perform a new story, The Kitchen at St. Anthony's Never Closes, on the theme of "Refuge," in the latest installment of La Cocina's Voices from the Kitchen storytelling series, on October 19 at the Swedish American Hall and October 20 at the San Jose Museum of Art.

Previous recipients are:

2016 Lisa Morehouse is an award-winning public radio reporter, producer and editor. She is currently at work on California Foodways, a county-by-county exploration of stories at the intersection of food, culture, economics, history and labor. For that series, she won national Edward R. Murrow and SPJ NorCal awards, and was named an 11th Hour/UC Berkeley Food and Farming Journalism fellow and nominated for a James Beard Journalism Award.  She holds a Certificate in Documentary Arts from Duke University’s Center For Documentary Studies, and helps run workshops there each summer.

2015 Rachel Khong edited a book with Lucky Peach called All About Eggs, published on April 4, 2017 . Her novel Goodbye, Vitamin, published in July 2017, has been named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, San Francisco Chronicle, Esquire, Huffington Post, Nylon, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzed, Women.com, Booklist, and The Independent. She continues freelance writing, and is a contributing editor at Tastecooking.com.

2014 Jessica Battilana continues her freelance food writing career. A book, Home Cooked, on which she collaborated with Anya Fernald, was published last spring, and another cookbook with Boston chef Matthew Jennings is due this year. She contributes a weekly column called "In the Kitchen" at the San Francisco Chronicle. She is currently working on her first solo cookbook, Repertoire, to be published by Little, Brown in Fall 2017.

2013 Emily Kaiser Thelin is Editorial Director for Recipes at the organic meal kit delivery company, Sun Basket. Her biographical cookbook about culinary legend and Alzheimer’s advocate Paula Wolfert, Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life came out this April 2017.

2012 Twilight Greenaway former managing editor of Civil Eats, a daily news source for critical thought about the American food system, where she served as managing editor. She has been writing and editing for the web since 2000. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Salt (NPR’s food blog), the Guardian, the Bay Citizen, Food & Wine, Mother Jones, Gastronomica, Modern Farmer, TakePart, and on Grist, where she was the food editor in 2011 and 2012.

2011 Sarah Henry is the author of Farmsteads of the California Coast (Yellow Pear Press, 2016), which profiles a dozen Golden State growers farming on the edge. She teamed up with chef Preeti Mistry to co-write her memoir The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook: Indian Spice, Oakland Soul (Running Press, fall 2017). Sarah continues to freelance for a variety of media outlets on a wide range of food-related subjects. Click here to read her 2017 article published in Edible Marin and Wine Country entitled Devoured or Empowered?

2010 Novella Carpenter has a masters in journalism from UC Berkeley and continues to teach urban agriculture and writing at University of San Francisco, as well as write for a host of media outlets. She is working on her third book.


The chapter membership funds the fellowship through both dues and additional donations. Plus contributions from other chapters, organizations, and individuals help assures the longevity of this fellowship. For more information or to make a donation, contact: Dames Roberta Klugman and Jennifer Newens, Fellowship Chairs

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