Edible Buffalo, Western New York’s only regional food publication, has been awarded the 2011 Publication of the Year Award from the James Beard Foundation, along with the nearly 70 other titles currently publishing within the Edible Communities network of regional food magazines. During the James Beard Journalism Awards dinner held in New York City last Friday evening, Edible Communities co-founders, Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, were on hand to accept the award on behalf of all of the Edible magazines.
“We could not be happier or more proud of our publishers than we are right now — they each bring an incredibly high level of quality to their magazines and are experts at knowing all there is to know about their local food communities, says Ryder. They all work very hard to ensure that each issue is full of compelling stories and images and also play an active role in their local food communities. To know that the vote was unanimous and that every member of the Beard Foundation Journalism Awards Committee voted for us is an honor we deeply appreciate.”
Background and information from the James Beard Awards Committee:
This year, the Journalism Committee of the James Beard Foundation Awards has decided for the first time to present a special award for what it deems to be Publication of the Year. The Publication of the Year Award recognizes a publication—in magazine, newspaper, or digital format—that demonstrates fresh directions, worthy ambitions, and a forward-looking approach to food journalism.
The publications produced by the Edible Communities company are “locavores” with national appeal. They are locally grown and community based, like the foods, family farmers, growers, retailers, chefs, and food artisans they feature. The company’s unique publishing model addresses the most crucial trends in food journalism; the publications are rooted in distinct culinary regions throughout the United States and Canada, celebrating local, seasonal foods with the goal of transforming the way we shop, cook, and eat. Their underlying values speak to today’s spirit of shared responsibility: every person has the right to affordable, fresh, healthful food on a daily basis.
Through the vision of its co-founders, Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, Edible Communities began in 2002 with a single publication, Edible Ojai, in their California hometown. Maintaining consistent standards of excellence, the network has grown to 70 publications in 2011. Edible Communities’ regional journalists and publishers are local foods advocates who write with a community voice, reside in the communities where they publish, and savor the culinary products produced there.
Edible Communities is more than a group of high-quality, regional print magazines with compelling storytelling and visual narratives. Through electronic and digital platforms—websites, social media, Edible Radio podcasts, and popular local events—its food journalism carries regional stories to national and global audiences. We believe that in years to come the collected work of these unique publications will serve as a valuable resource for exploring the impact of regional food and agriculture from a grassroots perspective.
At a time when journalists are reinventing traditional publications and embracing digital formats, the Journalism Committee of the James Beard Foundation is proud to recognize Edible Communities for this first-ever award. Edible Communities’ body of work reflects excellence in the ever-changing world of food journalism. Its publications inform and connect today’s food-savvy readers with local communities that stand for a healthful, flavorful, and sustainable food supply.
— The Journalism Awards Committee