Toni Tipton-Martin Has Exciting Plans For Julia Child Foundation Grant

Toni Tipton-Martin Has Exciting Plans For Julia Child Foundation Grant

The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts announced multi-award-winning food journalist, historian, author and recently named PBS host Toni Tipton-Martin as the recipient of the seventh annual Julia Child Award, which includes a $50,000 grant.

Tipton-Martin recently talked about how the money will go toward an important project that builds on her life’s work.

The Julia Child connection

Tipton-Martin was a reporter in the 1980s working in Los Angeles when Julia Child made a big first impression.

“I was at a meeting in Santa Barbara of the Dairy Council of California and there was a lot of discussion about nutrition,” she said during a recent phone interview. “Julia Child was in the back of the room, quietly listening. She eventually stood up and said in that amazing voice of hers: ‘Isn’t anyone going to say that food tastes good?’ That was a pivotal moment for me. Her ability to stand up to the establishment in a collegial manner, that really impressed me.”

Like the legendary author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, it’s long been Tipton-Martin’s mission to inspire people to get comfortable in the kitchen and to learn the history of the dishes they’re cooking. Tipton-Martin’s award-winning books — The Jemima Code and Jubilee — are celebrations of the contributions African-American women have made to this country’s rich culinary landscape. Contributions that are often overlooked.

“I’ve understood that our history was silenced. I approached the content that has existed like a journalist. The books are not written in the first person. This was never about me. By taking a journalistically sound approach, I was able to make the material approachable and hope that the storytelling inspires readers to get into the kitchen.”

That’s the approach she’s taking in her new position as editor-in-chief of Cooks Country, a popular publication and PBS show that’s been driven by recipe development. “We’re adding more journalism to our mission,” she said.


Work in progress

The $50,000 grant from the Julia Child Foundation will go towards planning how to best utilize Tipton-Martin’s library in Baltimore, an innovative project designed to support and encourage the next generation of African-American food journalists.

Efforts to restore the historic building in the city’s Charles Village have been in the works for several years. “It’s been a trying process, especially during the pandemic, but we’re near the end and I’m so excited to see the library come to life.”

Tipton-Martin will receive the award at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., the home of Julia Child’s kitchen. She’s the first African-American to receive this award.

When asked how she felt about that, she responded: “I’m excited and proud of the award and the respect it demonstrates for what I’ve accomplished. I’m very aware that I’ve been a pioneer throughout my career, but I think it’s time to reframe question. I think it’s a question for the industry. Why has it taken so long? I hope I’m the last to be first.”

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Published at Wed, 02 Jun 2021 21:14:01 +0000