2018 Association of Food Journalists Awards Finalists

The finalists below are listed in alphabetical order. Ties are possible.

Newspaper awards are given in two groups, based on average daily Monday-Friday print circulation, according to figures submitted by the publications.

The winners and rankings will be announced on Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix, during the AFJ National Conference. The conference runs from Sept. 25 to Sept. 30; check out https://www.afjonline.com/2018-conference-phoenix/ for the complete agenda.



Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media, How books and buses are fighting summer hunger in rural Alaska

Lisa Morehouse, California Foodways for KQED, The California Report, From Underdogs To State Champs, Tiny High School Team Heads to Cooking Nationals

Simran Sethi, KCRW’s Good Food, We eat with our ears


Beer, Wine Or Spirits

Kevin Alexander, Thrillist, The Craft Cocktail Revolution is Over. Now What?

Andrew Curry, National Geographic, Our 9,000-Year Love Affair With Booze

Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, Enjoy the last drop with our guide to after-dinner drinks


Food Column (for a series of columns)

Mark Antonation, Westword

Jenn Hall, Spoonful Magazine

Tamar Haspel, The Washington Post

Debbie Koenig, Weight Watchers Magazine


Restaurant Criticism (for a series of reviews)

Hanna Raskin, The Post and Courier

Tom Sietsema, The Washington Post

Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News


Food Policy or Food Issues

Helena Bottemiller Evich, Politico, The vegetable technology gap

Joe Fassler and Claire Brown Prison Food is Making U.S. Inmates Disproportionately Sick

Helen Freund, The Lens, New Orleans chefs are joining the fight to rebuild Louisiana’s coast


Food Business Story

Bianca Bosker, WIRED, How The Trendiest Grilled Cheese Venture Got Burnt

H. Claire Brown, The New Food Economy, How North Carolina became the home of Japan’s #1 candy

Ari LeVaux, Food & Environmental Reporting Network and The Weather Channel, Climate change threatens Montana’s barley farmers — and possibly your beer


Food/Travel Story

Bianca Bosker, Roads & Kingdoms, Why Should a Melon Cost As Much As A Car?   

J.M. Hirsch, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Magazine, In Pursuit Of Perfect Hummus

Steve Hoffman, Growler Magazine, Five Tables and the Sea: The restorative simplicity of Anne Majourel


Newspaper Food Feature

GROUP ONE: Above 125,000

Steve Hoffman, Star Tribune, Learn how to cook Hmong from the Twin Cities master

Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle, Steeped in controversy: Tea guru in the fight of a lifetime

Maura Judkis, The Washington Post, Can smart kitchen devices actually make you a better cook?

GROUP TWO: Below 125,000

Devra First, The Boston Globe, The strange but true story of a tricky crop, a vicious fungus, and the War on Drugs

Samara Kalk Derby, Wisconsin State Journal, A thriving food culture is making Viroqua the place to be

Kathleen Purvis, The Charlotte Observer, Living with cerebral palsy, he’s also become ‘The Dude’: A food critic. Can this be his future?


Newspaper Food Coverage

GROUP ONE: Above 125,000

The Washington Post, Bonnie Benwick, Matt Brooks, Joe Yonan, editors

Star Tribune, Lee S. Dean, food editor

Tampa Bay Times, Michelle Stark, food editor

GROUP TWO: Below 125,000

The Boston Globe, Chris Morris, food and travel editor

The Post and Courier, Hanna Raskin, food editor

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nancy Stohs, food, home and gardening editor


Magazine Food Coverage (a series of magazines)

Hannah Agran, Midwest Living

Leah Eskin, Baltimore Magazine

Eve Hill-Agnus, D Magazine

J.M. Hirsch, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street


Special Food Project

Maura Judkis, Emily Heil, The Washington Post, Rape in the storage room. Groping at the bar. Why is the restaurant industry so terrible for women?

Paolo Lucchesi, Shakirah Simley, George McCalman, Esther Mobley, Jonathan Kauffman, Shanna Farrell, Justin Phillips, Tannis Reinhertz, Thuy Tran, Bonnie Tsui, Illyanna Maisonet, Omar Mamoon, Sarah Fritsche, San Francisco Chronicle, Refuge: Stories about finding humanity through food

Jill Wendholt Silva, The Kansas City Star, In landlocked Midwest, fish and seafood can still be fresh, sustainable and local


Single Interactive Digital Food Project

J. Emory Parker, Hanna Raskin, The Post and Courier, Fried Chicken

Staff Writers, San Antonio Express-News Taste Team, Top 100 Dining & Drinks

Staff Writers, San Antonio Express-News Taste Team, 365 Days of Tacos


Food Photo

Felipe Cuevas, INDULGE Magazine, The Miami Herald, Food on Fire

Blaine Moats, Midwest Living, Sheet Pan Sausages and Fall Vegetables

Blaine Moats, Midwest Living, Salmon Smørrebrød


Food Essay

Adam Erace, TASTE, Down the Shore, Crab Gravy Is King

Patricia Escárcega, Phoenix New Times, Mother’s Milk

Devra First, The Boston Globe, Instagram is ruining food, and I might be the only one who cares

Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle, The gayest cook in the Castro

Anna Mindess, KQED, Refugees’ Life Stories Deepen the Brew at 1951 Coffee Company


Non-Newspaper Food Feature

Eve Hill-Agnus, D Magazine, Taste Japan in Dallas

Steve Hoffman, The Growler, Minnesota Spoon: Travail cooks traditional with Bob Gerken, James Winberg, and Mike Brown

Steve Hoffman, The Growler, Minnesota Spoon: Beyond barbecue — Thomas Boemer’s expansive vision for cooking with fire


Student Writing On Food

Carlynn Crosby, Tampa Bay Times, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, We Tried That: Fermenting vegetables is quite easy

Jared Kaufman, Vox Magazine, University of Missouri, Columbia’s hidden figure: Verna Laboy brings Annie Fisher to Life

Lily Jackson, The Auburn Plainsman, Auburn University, The ‘American Dream’ with a side of pasta