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Two Sonoma County cookbooks win IACP’s Cookbook Awards

The International Association of Culinary professionals announced its 2016 IACP Award winners in Los Angeles on Sunday, including two tomes by Wine Country authors.

In the Food Matters category, “The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Cookbook” (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2015) by The OAEC Collective with Olivia Rathbone took home a coveted award.

The cookbook includes 200 vegetarian recipes inspired by the West Sonoma County educational retreat center, eco-think tank and home of the Mother Garden, one of California’s first certified organic farms.

“The cookbook has been a long-standing dream,” Rathbone said last spring when the cookbook was released. “It’s a huge accomplishment for us.

In the Wine Beer and Spirits category, Kelli A. White’s “Napa Valley, Then & Now” (Rudd Press) tied with Jeff Alworth’s “The Beer Bible.”

White, who works as the sommelier at Leslie Rudd’s Press restaurant in St. Helena, researched the history, the land, the wineries and wines of the Napa Valley,and included tasting notes of older vintages.

Considered the gold standard among cookbook awards, the IACP’s Cookbook Awards have been presented for more than 25 years to promote quality and creativity in writing and publishing.

The organization also gives awards recognizing journalism, photography and digital media. For a complete list of winners, go to iacp.com.

Diane Peterson

Features, The Press Democrat

I’m interested in the home kitchen, from sheet-pan suppers to the latest food trends. Food encompasses the world, its many cultures, languages and history. It is both essential and sensual. I also have my fingers on the pulse of classical music in Sonoma County, from student mariachi bands to jazz crossover and symphonic sounds. It’s all a rich gumbo, redolent of the many cultures that make up our country and the world.

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