Jessica B. Harris wins DeMasters Award

The Association of Food Journalists is proud to announce that Jessica B. Harris will receive the 2016 Carol DeMasters Service to Food Journalism Award.

The annual award was established in 2014 to honor DeMasters, a co-founder of AFJ and its longtime executive director. The award recognizes an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of food journalism.

Harris will accept the award on Sept. 21 at AFJ’s 2016 conference in Seattle, Wash.

She has authored more than a dozen cookbooks and is full professor at Queens College, C.U.N.Y. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University. She has spent much of her career researching, preserving and promoting African and African-American contributions to the culinary field.

Her most recent book, “High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America” (Bloomsbury, New York, 2011), won the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Food History Award in 2012.

She has served as a consultant in a variety of fields. She is primary consultant for the cafeteria of the Smithsonian African American Museum of History and Culture being built on the Mall in Washington, D.C., and she served a consultant for the Ray Charles Programs in African American Food Studies at Dillard University in New Orleans.

Currently, she hosts “My Welcome Table,” a monthly radio show on Heritage Radio Network about food, travel, music, and memory. Learn more about Harris at

She is the third recipient of this award, established in 2014, and the AFJ’s highest honor.

Upon notification of receiving the award, she said: “I am delighted and honored to be the recipient of the Carol DeMasters Service Award. Please convey my thanks and my delight to all of the members of the board and indeed all members of the Association of Food Journalists.”

— Juliana Goodwin, committee chair