Washington Post Food Section Wins Beard Foundation Award

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The weekly Food section of The Washington Post has won the James Beard Foundation's 2009 award for best newspaper food section.

The section, which appears Wednesdays and is edited by Joe Yonan, won the award for work published last year.

The judges for the foundation's media awards include journalism professors, writers and editors who do not cover food, and former food writers and editors.

The foundation is named for James Beard, an American chef and cookbook writer, who died in 1985 and is regarded as a champion of American cuisine.

Yonan, who came to The Post in 2006 to edit the section, said he considered the award "a validation" of the work he and his staff and other contributors had devoted to the section in the past two years.

The section's deputy editor is Bonnie Benwick, and Jane Black is its staff writer.

Yonan said the section was meant to entertain and inform "everyone who loves food." It should offer the ideas of people who produce, cook and think about food, he said, as well as give readers someplace to go to find "a recipe for dinner that night."

Before coming to The Post, Yonan wrote about food at the Boston Globe, where he had worked as travel editor and held other editing positions.

The Beard Foundation describes its mission as "to celebrate, preserve, and nurture America's culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence."

Foundation awards in 19 media categories were announced Sunday night in New York.

-- Martin Weil

© 2009 The Washington Post Company