The Yan-Kit So Memorial Award for Food Writers on Asia enables aspiring food writers to fulfil their dreams to research, travel and create original work about any aspect of Asian food.
The award is inspired by the work of Yan-Kit So (1933-2001), arguably Britain’s leading authority on Chinese cuisine. A passionate promoter of Asian food, her first book The Classic Chinese Cookbook (1984) went on to win prestigious awards such as the André Simon Memorial Award and the Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award. Her seminal work Classical Food of China (1992) made a major contribution towards the understanding of Chinese regional food culture.
Hosted by Oxford Cultural Collective, the Award is given as a bursary, which is taken from funds raised by a group of volunteers in Yan-Kit’s memory.
The aim of the award is to enable an emerging writer to undertake a research trip to Asia, to support the production of an original piece of writing, intended for publication, which will enhance our understanding and appreciation of Asian food culture. This original work should be a cookbook or a substantial article for a magazine or journal, to be published in print or electronic form, in English.
The maximum bursary available is £2,500. The sum awarded may vary dependent on the scale of the winning project. The applicant must currently reside in the UK and must not have already published a cookery book.
The Award is offered every two years, the next in 2021. The members of the judging panel for the Yan-Kit So Memorial Award for Food Writers on Asia are:
The Award is jointly administered by Betty Yao MBE and Freya Aitken-Turff. The Award was launched in 2008 stemming from an original idea by Betty Yao to commemorate the life and work of her friend Yan-Kit So through her twin passions for food and travel.
David Thompson, cookery writer and Chef Patron of Nahm restaurant in Bangkok, was the inaugural speaker of the Yan-Kit So Memorial Lecture and the Award’s Founding Patron.
To learn more about the work of Julie Kleeman, winner of the award in 2019 award, follow this link.
The Yan-Kit So Memorial Award for Food Writers on Asia is sustained by philanthropic donations from those with an interest in promoting Asian food culture. To discuss making a donation please contact Donald Sloan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
All donations are made to Oxford Brookes University, which has charitable status. Follow this link to make a donation.