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"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

“It’s such a crazy honor to be recognized by such a talented group of women whose work I’ve so long admired.  Thank you -- for cooking and writing and producing ... and for reading. I’ll definitely be carrying your encouragement with me.” --Rachel Levin 2018 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

2018 Recipient is:

Rachel Levin is a freelance journalist who has written for such publications as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Lucky Peach, San Francisco magazine, and more. In July 2017, she was named Eater's first San Francisco restaurant critic, where she publishes reviews every other week. She launched a companion Instagram feed called @offfmenusf, which features no food photos—but images and musings of all sorts of other good things that make a restaurant. She’s a member of the editorial committee for La Cocina’s F&B: Voices from the Kitchen and the author of a new (non-food related!) book called LOOK BIG: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds (Ten Speed, April 2018). She's currently at work on another: EAT SOMETHING, a pop culture look at Jews and food, co-authored by Wise Son Deli, to be published by Chronicle in Spring 2020. More at http://byrachellevin.com.

Nyum Bai’s Dreamy Cambodian Food is a Hit 

Walzwerk's Hearty Food Is a Steady Presence in a Changing San Francisco https://sf.eater.com/2017/7/7/15883824/walzwerk-restaurant-review-german

In a Tasting Menu Town, Youthful Avery Isn’t Yet Living Up To Its Potential https://sf.eater.com/2018/6/5/17430246/avery-review-fillmore-rodney-wages-tasting-menu-san-francisco

The Piano Man of Zuni Cafe http://byrachellevin.com/the-piano-man-of-zuni-cafe

One Award-Winning Chef and His Surprisingly Cheap Eating Habits

Pass the Pork Belly and the Joint, The New York Times

Previous recipients are:

2017 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 Yorke, 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 in 2019.

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, Booklist, and The Independent. She continues freelance writing and is a contributing editor at Taste Cooking.  She's also co-founder of The Ruby, a women’s coworking space and social club, which debuted in early 2018 in San Francisco. 

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 Matt Jennings, Homegrown: Cooking from My New England Roots, came out in October 2017. She contributes a weekly column called “In the Kitchen" at the San Francisco Chronicle. Her first solo cookbook, Repertoire, was published by Little, Brown in spring 2018.

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, published in April 2017, continues to receive accolades and critical acclaim.

2012 Twilight Greenaway is the former managing editor of Civil Eats, a daily news source for critical thought about the American food system, where she continues as contributing 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, 2017).  And in 2018 she authored Hungry for Change for UC's Berkeley Food Institute. That project showcases 20 emerging food systems changemakers in California. Sarah also freelances for a variety of media outlets on a wide range of food-related subjects.

2010 Novella Carpenter is the author of national bestseller Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, as well as Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild, and The Essential Urban Farmer (co-authored with Willow Rosenthal). She teaches urban agriculture and writing at University of San Francisco. She is working on her fourth book, City Fruit: An Orchard Year

Donate to the Karola Saekel Craib Excellence in Food Journalism Fellowship

Les Dames d' Escoffier Int'l-San Francisco
816 E 4th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94401
Phone (650) 766-9402


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