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Austin’s Rachel Laudan wins IACP honors for ‘Cuisine and Empire’

Addie Broyles

Earlier this week, the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ handed out its annual book and journalism awards at the organization’s annual conference in Chicago, and Austin-based author Rachel Laudan won the Culinary History Award for her book, “Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History” (University of California Press, 2013).

Laudan, who grew up on a farm in England later earned a PhD in history and philosophy of science, moved to Austin in 2012 after years of living and writing in Mexico, and she is a visiting scholar in the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas.

“Cuisine and Empire” is her second book examining the food history and how it shapes cultures. Her first, “The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii’s Culinary Heritage,” which came out in 1996, was honored by IACP in 2004 with the Julia Child/Jane Grigson Prize.

Laudan’s latest work is an academic look at how cuisines spread as humans migrated (and set out to conquer) various places around the world, as well as a history of how the act of turning plants and animals into food has shaped every culture on the planet.