Chef Alan Wong’s The Blue Tomato Wins Top Cookbook Award from Hawaii Book Publishers Association
The annual Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association’s Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards were announced Friday, May 6, 2011. The Blue Tomato: The Inspirations Behind the Cuisine of Alan Wong by Chef Alan Wong was nominated in two categories: Excellence in Cookbooks and Excellence in Design. The Hawai‘i Farmers Market Cookbook, Volume 2: The Chefs’ Guide to Fresh Island Foods by the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, also from The Blue Tomato publisher Watermark Publishing, and to which Chef Alan also contributed, was also nominated in the Cookbook category.
The Blue Tomato received the Award of Excellence in Cookbooks, the top award in the category, as well as an Honorable Mention for Design. James Beard award-winning chef Alan Wong was on hand to receive the Award of Excellence. Marisa Oshiro collected the Design award on behalf of Osaki Creative Group.
The Blue Tomato also was one of three nominees for the Samuel M. Kamakau Hawai‘i Book of the Year Award. The prestigious award is chosen from the top few books receiving the most write-in nominations from the Hawai‘i Book Academy, and the winner is then determined by final voting by members of the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association. This year, three books out of the total 51 possible choices received enough votes to become nominees — The Blue Tomato; What Maui Likes to Eat; and Polynesia: The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection of Polynesian Art. Polynesia took home the win.
This is the third consecutive year that Watermark Publishing has taken home the Award of Excellence in the Cookbook Division. Last year’s Award of Excellence went to Kau Kau: Cuisine & Culture in the Hawaiian Islands by Arnold Hiura, Chef Alan’s co-author on The Blue Tomato, and the 2009 Award of Excellence was presented to Chef Chai Chaowasaree for The Island Bistro Cookbook.
The Hawai‘i Farmers Market Cookbook was nominated in the Cookbook category, but did not receive an award. The Honorable Mention went to one of Chef Alan’s fellow contributors to the cookbook, Chef Tylun Pang, for his book, What Maui Likes to Eat.
Each year, the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association presents the Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards to recognize and honor the best of Hawai‘i book publishing from the previous year. “Ka Palapala Po‘okela ” literally translated from Hawaiian means “excellent manuscript. ”
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners! Visit the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association tent at the Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival on Saturday, May 14 to Sunday, May 13 at Honolulu Hale to see a display featuring all the nominees.
Photo Gallery from the Awards Ceremony: