The International Association of Culinary Professionals presents the best culinary travel writing of the year.
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Gifts for Grandparents
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Here at Travel + Leisure, we know that food and travel are two sides of the same coin — so we’re excited to announce the year’s best culinary travel writing awarded by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

One of the foremost authorities in the food world, the IACP was born in 1978 as the Association of Cooking Schools — a passion project from the day’s premier food educators, including Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. The organization’s food media awards have for decades been among the most prestigious and authoritative in the industry, honoring the year’s most important work in fields from food styling to public policy.

IACP’s 2017 nominees for the best international and travel-related food writing cover a wide swath of today’s culinary world, exploring taste, ritual, and indigenous ingredients across time and continents. The winners investigate the relationship between food and place with especially fresh perspectives and nuanced contexts, deepening the ways we can understand cultures — others, and our own — through relationships with the things we eat. Here’s what you should be reading:

Acid Trip by Michael Harlan Turkell
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Acid Trip: Travels in the World of Vinegar

By Michael Harlan Turkell

Editor Michael Sand | Abrams

The winner in the culinary travel cookbook category is food photographer Michael Harlan Turkell, who — after shooting cookbooks for chefs like Marco Canora and Chris Cosentino — decided to write and photograph his own. Harlan Turkell’s debut is Acid Trip, a journey through the world’s many vinegarmaking traditions that took the author to Italy, Japan, and beyond in search of indigenous techniques and vinegar-based dishes. The recipes within include contributions from chef friends from Daniel Boulud to Sean Brock, as well as instructions for making your own vinegar from ingredients like bananas, cherry blossoms, and Manischewitz. Be on the lookout for his next title, debuting next month from Dovetail Press: The Beer Pantry, co-authored with Brewers Association Executive Chef Adam Dulye.

Culinary Travel Cookbook finalists:

By Joan Nathan

Editor Lexy Bloom | Alfred A. Knopf

By Carla Capalbo

Editor Alexander Fyjis-Walker | Interlink Books/Pallas Athene Publishers

King Solomon's Table by Joan Nathan
Credit: Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

King Solomon's Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World

By Joan Nathan

Editor Lexy Bloom | Alfred A. Knopf

The year’s best international cookbook comes from Joan Nathan, prolific author, television personality, and one of the most enthusiastic ambassadors in the U.S. for world Jewish cooking. She has penned nine cookbooks of Jewish and Israeli cuisine (complemented by two on American cookery) — but King Solomon’s Table is perhaps her most comprehensive and wide-ranging project yet, sweeping across the Jewish diaspora with recipes from Yemen to Georgia and, of course, from the author’s years living in Israel. In addition to this honor, Nathan has garnered awards and accolades from the likes of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research for her continued work preserving and promoting global Jewish foodways.

International Cookbook finalists:

By Gonzalo Guzmán with Stacy Adimando

Editor Jenny Wapner | Ten Speed Press

By Ashok Bajaj; Vikram Sunderam; David Hagedorn

Editor Daniel Halpern | Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

expensive Japanese melons
Credit: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

“Why Should a Melon Cost As Much as a Car?”

By Bianca Bosker

Roads & Kingdoms | March 27, 2017

In the food writing category, journalist and author Bianca Bosker claims 2017’s best culinary travel essay for her deep dive into the Japanese cult of designer fruit. Exploring the country’s luxe fruit purveyors (showrooms where apples and muskmelons are displayed like jewels) and elite restaurants (where chefs treat a strawberry with the same respect and attention as ōtoro tuna), Bosker begins to unpack the thousand-dollar-fruit phenomenon — at once connecting the trend to centuries-old traditions, and investigating how the emphasis on quality and care in Japanese cuisine plays out to its logical end. For more from Bosker, we recommend her acclaimed New York Times bestseller Cork Dork, about the equally strange and fascinating world of master sommeliers.

Culinary Travel Writing finalists: 

  • “In Good Hands”
  • By Frances Lam
  • AFAR | May/June 2017
  • “Four Million Pots”
  • By Leslie Pariseau
  • SAVEUR | August/September 2017