Some rather exciting news was just announced by the nonprofit Tucson City of Gastronomy (TCoG): a new annual award program that will recognize Southern Arizona’s Food Heroes.
Right now, TCoG is looking for local heroes in two categories, the “Food Visionary Award” and the “Jim Griffith Foodways Keeper Award,” and the submission deadline is Monday, February 20. The 2023 awardees will be selected through a nomination process and receive cash prizes of $1,500 each.
“These awards created in partnership with Si Charro!, the Southwest Folklife Alliance, and the University of Arizona Southwest Center will recognize people who are quietly sustaining traditional food knowledge and skills important to our sense of place and shared identity, and others who are helping us think in new ways about the roles of food in our lives,” said Jonathan Mabry, TCoG’s Executive Director.
The awardees will be announced in April and an event to honor the recipients will happen near the beginning of May.
“If you know someone who deserves the appreciation of Southern Arizonans in one of these areas, we hope you will nominate them so their valuable contribution becomes more widely known and they will feel our respect,” he said.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the two categories and who you’d like to nominate.
Food Visionary Award
The 2023 Food Visionary Award will focus attention on artists from Southern Arizona working in the visual, performing, film, media, and written word fields who are creatively reimagining new relationships with food, in any of its dimensions. Carlotta Flores of Si Charro! is partnering with TCoG for this award, and the artist’s work will be highlighted by TCoG at other events during the year. This award is funded by Si Charro!
Jim Griffith Foodways Keeper Award
The Foodways Keeper Award will recognize Southern Arizona home cooks and food artisans who are helping to keep Tucson’s food traditions alive through the continued use of heritage ingredients and techniques unique to this region. This award is in honor of anthropologists and folklorists who furthered the food heritage and culinary traditions of the Arizona-Sonora Borderlands. The Southwest Folklife Alliance is partnering with TCoG for this award, and it is funded by the University of Arizona Southwest Center.
As mentioned earlier, the submission deadline is Monday, February 20 and the awardees will receive cash prizes of $1,500 each.
For more information on the Southern Arizona Food Heroes Awards, visit tucson.cityofgastronomy.org.