'Yucatán,' Barbara Kafka top James Beard book awards

Russ Parsons
The California Cook
'Yucatan' is named best book of the year by James Beard Foundation

David Sterling's "Yucatán: Recipes From a Culinary Expedition,” published by University of Texas Press' William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture, was honored as the best cookbook of the year Friday night at the prestigious James Beard awards in New York.

In the lavishly illustrated book, Sterling, who runs a cooking school in Mexico, pulls together the various ethnic and cultural strands that make up Yucatecan cooking -- influences from France, Spain and Portugal, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.

This is the second big win for the book. "Yucatán" had earlier won the first $10,000 Art of Eating prize for the best cookbook of the year.

Also Friday night, longtime author Barbara Kafka was inducted into the cookbook hall of fame. She joins Diana Kennedy and Anne Willan as winners since the category was switched in 2013 to reflect authors rather than specific books.

Kafka, a protege of Beard, is the author of numerous cookbooks including "Roasting," "Microwave Cooking" and her newest, "The Intolerant Gourmet," about cooking without gluten or lactose.

The James Beard restaurant awards will be announced May 4 in Chicago.

Cookbook Hall of Fame: Barbara Kafka.

Cookbook of the Year: “Yucatán: Recipes From a Culinary Expedition” by David Sterling.

American Cooking: “Heritage” by Sean Brock.

Baking and Dessert: “Flavor Flours: A New Way to Bake With Teff, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Other Whole & Ancient Grains, Nuts & Non-Wheat Flours” by Alice Medrich.

Beverage: “Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail” by Dave Arnold.

Cooking From a Professional Point of View: “Bar Tartine: Techniques & Recipes” by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns.

Focus on Health: Cooking Light: “Mad Delicious: The Science of Making Healthy Food Taste Amazing” by Keith Schroeder.

General Cooking: “The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking” by Faith Durand and Sara Kate Gillingham.

International: “Yucatán: Recipes From a Culinary Expedition” by David Sterling.

Photography: “In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes From Grandmas Around the World” by Gabriele Galimberti.

Reference and Scholarship: “Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering” by Adam Danforth.

Single Subject: “Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, With Recipes” by Jennifer McLagan.

Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian: “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well” by Amy Chaplin.

Writing and Literature: “The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food” by Dan Barber.

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