Secure a bursary of up to £2500 to undertake a research trip to Asia, to support the production of your first cookbook.
For enquires and to discuss possible applications, contact the YKS Awards Committee (YKSAward@gmail.com).
This is your opportunity to fulfil a dream to research, travel and write an original work about food and food culture from any corner of Asia – Iran to Japan, Indonesia to the Central Asian Republics.
The Yan-Kit So Memorial Award for Food Writers on Asia 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 Book 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.
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, written in English.
The winning applicant is expected to lead the effort to secure a publishing contract for their proposed book. The YKS committee and OCC Trust will offer advice, guidance and support, but neither bears any responsibility for helping the winning applicant secure a publishing contract. While securing such a contract is the primary objective, we accept that it will not be possible for every winning applicant to publish a book. In such circumstances, the winning applicant must be willing to deliver a substantial piece of written work, intended for publication, within 36 months of completing the trip, with the focus agreed by the YKS committee.
The maximum bursary available is £2,500. The sum awarded may vary depending 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 2023 award submission deadline is 23:59 on 30th April 2023.
The Award is offered every two years, the next in 2023. 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. The Award’s founding Patron is David Thompson, distinguished chef, writer and restaurateur.
To learn more about the work of Maria-Garbutt-Lucero, winner of the award in 2021 award, and runner-up Noby Leong, follow this link.
The award is offered every two years. Previous winners:
2021 Maria Garbett-Lucero, food of the Philippines
2019 Julie Kleeman, Tibetan cuisine
2017 Samar Khatiwala, Gujrati food
2015 Celia Plender, Regional Japanese Cuisine
2013 Mirabelle Dominé-Walley, Vegetarian Food in Vietnam
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 The Oxford Cultural Collective Trust, which has charitable status (registered charity 1191568). Please email email@example.com for more information.
In your application, submitted online, you are required to include:
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
COVID 19 TRAVEL POLICY
The Yan Kit So Memorial Award for Food Writers on Asia provides a travel grant for an unpublished writer to visit an Asian country in order to research a cookbook.
During the covid-19 pandemic, applicants must read and acknowledge that they have understood the following terms, which the successful candidate will need to fulfil. You will not put your health or the health of others at risk in pursuit of the YKS Award and your research trip.
The bursary award is a maximum of £2,500. The committee is unable to provide any further funds under any circumstances.
The YKS Committee understand that plans may need to be flexible during the continuing global response to the pandemic. You agree to keep the committee up to date and discuss all changes to your proposed plan before making firm plans.
In accepting the award, you commit to completing the trip. Consider buying flexible tickets that allow for rescheduling in the event of a pandemic-response related change to your travel plans.
It is a requirement of the award that you take out suitable travel insurance as soon as you book any travel arrangements for your research trip. You will need to research and secure suitable policies that reflect the needs of the pandemic and its possible impact on your plans.
You agree to keep up to date with the travel restrictions and comply with any relevant guidelines.
You will comply with all guidelines on covid-19 testing on both your arrival in your chosen country and on return to the UK.
Please factor in the potential need to quarantine on arrival/return from your research trip. This may involve conversations with your employer before you embark on your trip.