James Beard Foundation honors Austinite Raj Patel for food activism work

rajpatelThe James Beard Foundation announced today the recipients of the sixth annual JBF Leadership Awards, an honor the organization gives out every year to acknowledge the important work that happens outside the restaurant world.

(The Beard Foundation, you’ll remember, honors the country’s top chefs in a ceremony every May. In recent years, Aaron Franklin, Paul Qui and Tyson Cole have all taken top honors in the Best Chef Southwest category.)

This fall, Austinite Raj Patel, who teaches at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, will be one of six people to win a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award, which spotlight the important and complex realms of sustainability, food access, and public health.

The other winners this year are Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez, Co-founders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, National Black Farmers Association president John Boyd, Jr., Small Planet Institute founder Anna Lappé and Massachusetts congressman Jim McGovern. The honorees will be featured at a dinner ceremony on Oct. 17 in New York City.

Patel co-hosts a food podcast called The Secret Ingredient, but he is best known for authoring several books on inequities around the globe, including “Stuffed and Starved” and “He moved to Austin with his family two years ago.

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