Scenes from the IACP 2017 ConferenceThis amazing lifetime honor is the International Association of Culinary Professionals Hall of Fame. The award ceremony, which celebrates culinary teachers, cookbook writers & journalists, digital media and photographers, is an event to which we look forward all year. The conference this year was held in Louisville, KY, which was the headquarters of IACP for many years. It was such a joy reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. George Geary, once a student at a class I taught in LA, is now a recognized writer of "bibles" in his own right. One of the highlights was a party previewing and honoring the completion of the upcoming book(s) Modernist Bread. There will be 6 large volumes. Nathan Myrvold, of Modernist Cuisine fame, put together a team of 27 notable bread experts, lead by baker/author Francisco Migoya, and including Peter Reinhart. As with Myrvold's previous books, the photos are drop dead stunning. It was great to see Franscisco and the ever delightful Carla Hall, who also emceed the awards ceremony. The ceremony was held in the 'jewel box' Paradise Theater. I thought that only the palaces of King Henry VIII had ceilings like this one! I was so delighted that the amazing photo of my wonderful friend Erin McDowell, taken by photographer Mark Weinberg, won one of the Food Photography & Styling Awards. It was also wonderful to see Sam Sifton, food editor for the New York Times, running up onto the stage 4 times in his tennis shoes to receive awards for his staff on their behalf, a strong statement for the value of the printed newspaper. I was delighted to see that my fellow author and restauranteur, Rick Bayliss was also inducted into the Culinary Classics for his book, Authentic Mexican. It was also a joy to see Vivian Howard winning the Best Cookbook of the Year as well as a couple of other awards for her tome Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South--her first book. You can also see all of this year's award winners, including previous winners on the IACP's website. Another dear friend, Anna Thomas, was a finalist for her Vegan Vegetarian Ominivore, but unable to attend the conference. I asked her to write an acceptance speech as she had given me the honor to accept a possible award in her behalf. This short speech contains such an important message I will follow up this very long posting with a photo of why Anna could not attend and what she would like to have imparted.