A week later it’s only just starting to sink in, but I’m thrilled to share that last Saturday night at the IACP awards in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was presented with the 2019 award for Culinary Travel Writing. I received it for the feature I wrote last year for National Geographic Traveller UK on the German passion for white asparagus.
I had a truly memorable weekend in the oldest state capital in the United States. Santa Fe is a fantastic city: small, friendly and very walkable with gorgeous adobe buildings lining its (at this time of year) remarkably empty, leafy streets. It has a relaxed, arty vibe; friendly, welcoming people; and an excellent selection of places to eat and drink. I’d highly recommend it as a travel destination.
Whilst I was in there, I spent time researching a piece on the most fundamental ingredient in New Mexican cuisine, the green chile. (I’ll update this page with the link to the story once it’s published.) I had a fascinating time exploring the city’s farmers’ market, chatting to a brilliant New Mexican native about the local cuisines, and eating lots of delicious New Mexican food, much of which was entirely new to me. I was put up in a lovely hotel by Santa Fe Tourism (I’d highly recommend the Inn & Spa at Loretto should you visit Santa Fe yourself) and thanks to them, also attended a very enjoyable cooking class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking and spent Sunday exploring some of the city’s excellent museums.
My time in Santa Fe was far too short – I’d love to explore more of New Mexico and the Southwest now – and my journey home was an absolute disaster, but all in all it was an extraordinary weekend topped off by my totally unexpected win on the Saturday night. If you’re an Instagram user, you can view the whole adventure in my Santa Fe story highlight. UPDATE: I’ve also written a piece for National Geographic Traveller on eating green chiles in Santa Fe.
The full list of IACP winners for 2019 can be found on the IACP website, and I feel truly honoured to be among them.