Omnivore - Besha Rodell takes top prize at AFJ awards

Rodell's 2008 Food Issue comes in first place for Newspaper Food Feature under 250,000 circulation

Congratulations (!) to Besha Rodell whose 2008 Food Issue, My week on an all-Georgia diet, took home first place for Newspaper Food Feature under 250,000 circulation at the Association of Food Journalists conference in New Orleans. (We also hear that some guy named Obama was honored today too, although not for his food writing ...) For the issue, Besha challenged herself to do that which so many preach yet so few seem to accomplish — survive on a purely local diet. She allowed herself a few basic cheats (salt, oil and yeast), but otherwise maintained a strict Georgia-grown dictum: no sugar, no pepper, not even any beer!

The result was a funny, honest, down-to-earth diary documenting her experience and experiment. She also spotlighted some of the faces behind the food on her table, such as Mike Buckner of Fielder's Flour and beekeepers Donna and Ray Lopes. Since she came on as Creative Loafing's restaurant critic and food editor in early 2006, Besha's won two other AFJ awards and was nominated for a James Beard award in 2007 for her 2006 Food Issue. Congratulations Besha!