Image credit: photography by Barley Blyton and food styling by Celia Plender

The Yan-kit So Memorial Award

For Food Writers on Asia

The Yan-kit So Memorial Award for Food Writers on Asia was established in 2006 to assist first-time cookery writers who are interested in writing about Asian cuisine.  The Award provides a bursary to support travel and research expenses during the time when a proposal is being written and before a publishing contract has been awarded.

This award is offered in memory of Yan-kit So (1933-2001) – Britain’s leading authority on Chinese cuisine. An enthusiastic promoter of food in Asia, her first book The Classic Chinese Cookbook (1984) went on to win major awards such as the prestigious André Simon Memorial Fund Annual Food and Drink Book Award and the Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award. To read more about Yan-kit So click here.

The maximum bursary available is £2,500 and will vary depending on proposals and budgets. It will be awarded to those whose cookbook proposals demonstrate they will  make significant contributions to increasing understanding of Asian culture through outstanding and well-researched writing about Asian food. Applicants must reside in the UK and must not have already published a cookery book.

The Yan-Kit So Award for 2017 is now being administered by Oxford Brookes University. For information on how to apply, click here. Enquiries should be addressed to YKSAward@gmail.com.

The 2015 winner is Celia Plender, a PhD student and freelance food writer based in London. She has just returned from Japan where she was researching recipes for a cookbook on regional Japanese cuisine. For more information on this year’s winner click here.  To follow Celia on Twitter click here.  To read Celia Plender’s account of her trip around Japan click here. 

Applications for the Award are judged by a panel of all-star culinary experts. The 2015 panel was:

David Thompson, author and expert on Thai cooking, currently chef of the award-winning Nahm restaurant in Bangkok
Fuchsia Dunlop, leading Chinese cookery writer
Carol Michaelson, art curator and a close friend of Yan-kit So’s

The recipient of the previous Award was Mirabelle Lý Eliot who travelled to Vietnam to research her proposed cookbook Tales from the Jade Cave, focused on Vietnamese vegetarian cookery.

To read about her account of her trip click here and to read about the presentation she gave at Asia House after the trip click here.

The deadline for applications for the 2015 Award was February 28 2015.

For more information about the Award, please contact Betty Yao at betty.yao@asiahouse.co.uk