We are proud to announce that the Julia Child Foundation has named Cook’s Country Editor in Chief Toni Tipton-Martin the recipient of the 2021 Julia Child Award. Every year since 2015, this award has gone to the individual "who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats, and drinks." Past recipients include José Andrés and Jacques Pépin.
Simply put, this is one of the most prestigious culinary awards in the industry, and Toni is well deserving. She is an award-winning food journalist, historian, and author who has spent her career championing the study, appreciation, and awareness of African American cuisine. It is that same pioneering spirit and leadership that Julia Child demonstrated in her career.
The award comes with a $50,000 grant to be given to the food-related nonprofit of the recipient’s choosing. Toni has chosen The SANDE Youth Project, a grassroots organization she founded in 2008 that serves vulnerable families by using cultural exhibits and cooking experiences to promote the connection between cultural heritage, food, and health.
Congratulations to Toni—everyone at America’s Test Kitchen is honored to work alongside you every day.
Read more about Toni’s career and the award in the press release below.
TONI TIPTON-MARTIN NAMED 2021 JULIA CHILD AWARD RECIPIENT
BY THE JULIA CHILD FOUNDATION
Seventh Annual Award Presented in Partnership with
the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 3, 2021) – Today, the Julia Child Foundation announced multi-award-winning food journalist, historian, author, and recently named PBS host Toni Tipton-Martin as the recipient of the seventh annual Julia Child Award. Toni will receive the award on November 4, 2021, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., the home of Julia Child’s kitchen. The award is accompanied by a $50,000 grant from the foundation.
"Toni Tipton-Martin is a transformative leader in the culinary world. Her commitment to highlighting the depth and importance of African American cuisine and of making the industry more inclusive through research and education led the jury to select her as this year’s Julia Child Award recipient," said Eric W. Spivey, chairman of the Julia Child Foundation. "Toni also shares many qualities and accomplishments with Julia, including a pioneering spirit—best reflected in her groundbreaking cookbook—and a belief in the power of food to bring people together. Both Toni and Julia have also been hosts of beloved PBS cooking shows."
The jury has recognized Toni for her work as a writer, editor, academic, and food justice warrior. Toni has long championed the study, appreciation, and awareness of African American cuisine and inspiring that community particularly to eat and cook healthier.
Toni is the editor in chief of Cook’s Country magazine and the author of the award-winning books Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking (2019) and The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks (2015). In 2005, Toni published a historic reprint of an early 20th-century cookbook, The Blue Grass Cook Book by Minnie C. Fox, containing the first known photographs of African American cooks. She is also co-author of A Taste of Heritage: The New African-American Cuisine (2002), among other books.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama invited Toni to the White House twice for her work to help families live healthier lives, and in 2014 Toni earned the Southern Foodways Alliance John Egerton Prize for her efforts. Toni has appeared as a guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, was featured on CBS Sunday Morning’s annual "Food Show," and was published in Best Food Writing 2016. She has been a featured speaker at the Library of Congress and many universities.
In 2008 Toni founded The SANDE Youth Project as a grassroots outreach to improve the lives of vulnerable families. SANDE presented an after-school cooking program for elementary school–age kids; invited high school culinary students to cook at the James Beard House; created the Children’s Picnic, a free, annual healthy food festival for families; and provided networking opportunities for young food professionals through Soul Summit, the first symposium dedicated to African American foodways. SANDE will use the $50,000 grant from the Julia Child Foundation to focus its mentoring and training activities on next-generation food writers.
"In The French Chef Cookbook, Julia wrote that she wanted to 'take the bugaboo out of cooking.' I had a similar hope," said Toni. "I wanted my work to reclaim African American kitchen wisdom and make our cooking more accessible. It is in this same spirit that I look forward to using the Julia Child Award grant to inspire the next generation of food writers and chefs."
The Julia Child Foundation is one of the leading grant-giving private foundations solely dedicated to supporting the field of gastronomy and the culinary arts. The foundation established the Julia Child Award in 2015 to foster Julia’s legacy while also honoring an individual (or team) who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats, and drinks.
To date, grants chosen by Julia Child Award recipients have contributed $350,000 to culinary nonprofits and nonprofit projects. Previous award recipients include Danielle Nierenberg, José Andrés, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Danny Meyer, Rick Bayless, and Jacques Pépin.
To learn more about the foundation and its work, visit juliachildfoundation.org. To learn more about the Julia Child Award, including past recipients, visit juliachildaward.com. To learn more about food history at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, visit s.si.edu/foodhistory.
Learn more about Toni in these articles:
- Toni Tipton-Martin's episode of The Walk-In with Elle Simone
- Editor in Chief Toni Tipton-Martin on Her Vision for Cook's Country
- Toni Tipton-Martin: Some of My Most Cherished Cookbooks
- Toni Tipton-Martin To Lead 'Cook's Country' Magazine (NPR)
- Cook’s Country Gets a New Editor, Toni Tipton-Martin (The New York Times)
- The Jemima Code Highlights Two Centuries of African American Cuisine (NBC News)