Christiane Lauterbach wins SFA’s Craig Claiborne Award

On Saturday night, at the culmination of much eating, drinking, food scholarship and all-around fellowship, the Southern Foodways Alliance awarded the Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award to our longtime columnist, Christiane Lauterbach.

The organization specifies that the award “goes to an individual whom all thinking eaters should know, the sort of person who has made an indelible mark upon our cuisine and our culture, the sort of person who has set regional standards and catalyzed national dialogues.”

The theme of the SFA’s annual symposium was the Global South—exploring the ways that myriad culinary traditions, not just early influences, have shaped and continue to redefine Southern food culture. The award recognizes Christiane’s tireless documentation of Atlanta’s global food scene. SFA director John T. Edge, who wrote a profile of Christiane in the most recent issue of Oxford American, gave a heartfelt introduction, quoting some of the early writing in her publication Knife & Fork. For example, in a review of Gojinka, a Japanese restaurant in the 80s, she wrote (and he read): “Imagine a ballet in midair, consisting solely of hands and fingers performing a series of delicate yet strong movements in regular succession [as a way to have] some idea how chef-owner Yukio Watanbe crafts sushi.”

The award includes a portrait by Mississippi artist Blair Hobbs (Edge’s wife). The portrait was drawn from a 1985 photograph.

We couldn’t be prouder. Congratulations, Christiane.

(Thanks to Vené Franco for the photograph)