Josh Niland's Latest Cookbook Has Won One of the Top Gongs at the 2024 James Beard Awards

Chinese Australian food writer Hetty Lui McKinnon was also named among this year's top cookbook authors, illustrators, designers and food journalists.
Maxim Boon
Published on June 12, 2024

Sydney restaurateur and pioneering chef Josh Niland is adding yet another gong to his award-laden mantelpiece after winning one of the world's most prestigious laurels for cookbooks. Announced on Saturday, June 8, at an awards ceremony in Chicago, Niland's Fish Butchery: Mastering the Catch, Cut and Craft was recognised as the Best Restaurant and Professional Cookbook at the James Beard Awards.

The book is Niland's third to focus on revealing the innovative techniques behind his revolutionary no-to-low waste approach to seafood, including his radical practice of dry-ageing of fish. Niland beat out fellow Australian chef-authors Mat Lindsay and Pat Nourse, whose book Ester: Australian Cooking was also nominated.

Saint Peter - the best restaurant in Sydney.

Rob Palmer, from Josh Niland's The Whole Fish Cookbook

Niland is no stranger to the James Beard Awards, which celebrates the world's best cookbook authors, food illustrators, book designers, publishers and food journalists. This most recent win is his third to date, having already scooped the coveted Book of the Year Award in 2020 for his in-print debut The Whole Fish Cookbook, which also took out the Best Restaurant and Professional Cookbook category that same year.

Another Aussie was also celebrating a win from this year's James Beard honours. Chinese Australian food writer Hetty Lui McKinnon, who currently lives in New York, won the top prize for Vegetable-Focused Cooking for Tenderheart: A Cookbook About Vegetables and Unbreakable Family Bonds — her fifth published cookbook.

McKinnon underlines the poignancy of her work's title in an Instagram post:

Niland can boast about many award wins during his career, but the past year has been a particularly decorated period for the Sydney-based chef. In May, Niland's fine diner, Saint Peter — which is migrating from its Paddington address to a new home at the Grand National Hotel next month — was named as the only Australian venue to make it onto the 100-strong longlist of the annual World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards, ranking 98th.

Also in April, American publication Food & Wine declared Niland's St Leonards restaurant Peterman as the second-best place to eat on the planet — and before that, in October 2023, Niland was named Chef of the Year at the 2024 Good Food Guide Awards.

Rob Palmer

Find the full list of 2024's James Beard Award-winners on the accolades' website.

Top image: Allen Benson.

Published on June 12, 2024 by Maxim Boon
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