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Food Study Distinguished Contribution Awards

by Wang Si


Spring Volume: 2019 Issue: 26(1) pages: 31 to 34

8th Asian Food Study Conference, October 2019

In alphabetical order they were:

E. N. Anderson (1941- )

Human ecologist working on how humans use plant and animal resources is concerned about conservation and sustainability, food production and consumption., and historical relations between China and Central Asia, He has worked on Chinese food and Yucatan-Mayan food, forestry, and general ethnology in Mexico. As Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California---Riverside., he received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1967, and in the1970s, joined Professor. Kwang-chih Chang’s food research group at Yale University in New Haven CT. K.C Chang (1931 – 2001), commonly known as K. C. Chang, pioneered the study of Taiwan Archeology and Chinese food history and Anderson was encouraged and influenced by him. He did six fieldwork years in Hong Kong, Malaysia, British Columbia, Southeast Mexico, Oceania, and other areas and did focus on ethnobiology, cultural ecology, political ecology, and medical anthropology. His books include The Food of China (Yale University Press, 1988), A Soup for the Qan: Chinese Dietary Medicine of the Mongol Era (Kegan Paul International, 2000), Everyone Eats: Understanding Food and Culture (2005),, and Food and Environment in Early and Medieval China (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014). Chinese readers mostly know the first of these, and his comprehensive, historical, and ethnographic account of Chinese food from the Bronze Age to the twentieth century. He has shown how food was central to Chinese governmental policies, religious rituals, and health practices from earliest times on. He says the story is one of remarkable success in feeding maximum populations over millennia. He has reported abut regional varieties in Chinese diet, food preparation, and rituals of eating and drinking; these make it a prime resource for everyone with an interest in Chinese food history; they can learn from his webpage at http://www. krazykioti.com.

Ji Hongkun (1931 – 2017)

Was a researcher and educator who specialized on Chinese culinary science and food culture, served as professor in Tourism at the Culinary College at Yangzhou University in Jiangsu, China, and before that, in 1951 became a college student in Department of Chemistry of Yangzhou University, and after graduation, worked at the same university as a teacher. There, he taught organic chemistry, general biochemistry, chemical history, scientific literature, culinary education, cooking theory and science, food culture, food research, theoretical foundations of Chinese cooking technology, and foundations of Chinese culinary higher education science systems. He was a main representative of Chinese food culture research, his direction and achievements are unique, and he was an important pioneer in Chinese food research. In 1987, he was transferred to the first institution of Chinese culinary education, became Director of the Chinese Cuisine Department of Jiangsu Business College which was founded in 1983, and then became Yangzhou University Tourism Culinary Institute, and then the Director of the Jiangsu Provincial Cuisine Research Institute. He made three major contributions to food studies; the first included combining science and history and relationships between traditional Chinese cooking and modern nutrition; the second he pioneered the scientific practice of Chinese culinary higher education, and the third, was the first to combine connotation, extension, raw materials, knife skills, heating, seasoning, staple foods and noodles from the perspective of science, technology, history, and social history eliminating the gap between Chinese culinary traditions and industrial modernizations, and the path to culinary science. His books include: Food in China: from a view of food consumption (2008); The History of Chinese Food Science and Technology (2015), and Basic Principals of Culinary Science.


A Japanese food scholar is well-known for his East Asian food studies. He spent his childhood during World War II as a boy thinking of food shortages. As a teen, he wanted to own a soba noodle restaurant, and during middle school was obsessed with archeology. In 1958, he became a student in Kyoto University, majored in history, and was attracted to archeology. He n not only went to lectures, he also participated in excavations; and after attending one in Tonga, showed great interest in Anthropology choosing it as his major for his postgraduate education. Then, he went on many fieldwork trips to Africa, and trained professionally. In 1971, employed by Konan University, by 1974 was instrumental in the founding National Museum of Ethnology which opened in Kyoto in 1977 at the Osaka Expo grounds. Then in 1986, he obtained his doctorate in agriculture, was promoted as a professor the same year, and from 1994 to 2003, he was curator of this museum.. Ever since, he worked there, organized food study seminars and other symposia, planned then, and was considered a key person gathering many food scholars with different backgrounds.. Compared with other scholars, he emphasized comparative studies and fieldwork world-wide, initiated collaborative studies, and worked, published, and edited monographs advocating, sharing, brain-storming, and advancing food research in Japan. His writings include the study of kitchens, noodles, sauces, etc. and are valued references. His books include the (Exploration of Food Life (1969), the Ethnology of A Gastronome (1978). (Eating as A Job, (996), the Culture of Kitchens (1976), a Collection About Food in twelve volumes, (2011-2013, and more.). Read about him at https://www.syokubunka.or.jp/ishige/about/

Jacqueline M. Newman (1932 – )

A Professor Emeritus at Queens College-CUNY in New York City, was the past Chairperson of the Family, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences Department teaching Experimental Food Science courses, Research Techniques, Ethnic Foods, Writing for Professionals, and many other classes. Her research, known locally, nationally and internationally, is primarily about Chinese foods and food habits lecturing about them and other dietary and historical foods in the US and on three other continents, China included, She speaks and shares knowledge, wrote eleven books and monographs, eight chapters in others, more than six hundred research and trade articles, more than two hundred book and restaurant reviews, and served as guest editor for several journals. Two of her most important ones are Food Culture in China (Greenwood Press, 2004), and Cooking form China’s Fujian Province (Hippocrene 2008). Chinese scholars and general readers know her thanks to her many contributions to the study of Chinese food, and her donation of more than six thousand English-language Chinese cookbooks to Stony Brook University, most are Chinese cookbooks in English or English and another language, herbal books, background volumes about Chinese food culture and history; several thousand food slides, some seventy CDs and DVDs, and more than twelve hundred magazines, most about food cultures. All the books she annotated and as such they are available at the Newman Chinese Cookbook Collection at https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/libspecial/collections/manuscripts/newman.php and she keeping adding to them. She has been editor-in-chief of Flavor and Fortune for 25 years; this, the only English-language magazine about Chinese food published in the US dedicated to the science and art of Chinese cuisine for more than twenty-six years. Reviewers call it “outstanding” and “exemplary”, and you can read its articles at www.flavorandfortune.com and contact her there.

Francoise Sabban (1947 - )

Sinologist and Professor at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris France researches in Anthropology and Food History, and the technology of Asia, mainly China, looking at comparative perspectives with Europe but mainly France and Italy. She is one of the few European researchers looking in-depth at efforts about Chinese Food. She went to China in the 1970s, gained speaking Mandarin skills there in language and food culture, read lots of Chinese food literature, and did fieldwork in different Chinese cities. As a major contributor to the Cambridge World History of Food, in particular the Chinese chapter., she has also published books about food history including The Story of a Universal Food with Silvano Serventi (Columbia University Press (2002), The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy with Odile Redon and Silvano Serventi (Chicago University Press (1998), and written many articles on the anthropology and history of food in China. She also has introduced contemporary Chinese food research to the European academic world community.


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