The Yan Kit So Memorial Award


The Yan Kit So Memorial Award for Asian Food Writers was established in 2009 to assist first time cookery writers who are interested in writing about Asian cuisine.  The award provides a bursary to support travel and research expenses during the time when a proposal is being written and before a publishing contract has been awarded.

This award is offered in memory of Yan Kit So (1933-2001) – Britain’s leading authority on Chinese cuisine. A tireless promoter of food in Asia, her first book The Classic Chinese Cookbook went on to win major awards such as the prestigious Andre Simon award and Glenfiddich best cookbook of the year award.

The maximum bursary available is £2500 and will vary respectively, depending on proposals and budgets. It will be awarded to those who show significant contributions to the knowledge of Asian food, encouraging the next generation of cookery writers. Applicants must reside in the UK and must not have already published a cookery book.

Applications for the award are judged by a panel of all-star culinary experts. The 2013 panel included:

David Thompson, author and expert on Thai cooking, currently chef of the award-winning nahm restaurant in Bangkok
Fuchsia Dunlop, cookery writer
Carol Michaelson, art curator and former member of the Gastronomes – introduced to it by Yan Kit So

The recipient of the 2013 award was Mirabelle Ly Eliot who travelled to Vietnam to research her book Tales from the Jade Cave, focused on Vietnamese vegetarian cookery.

Information regarding the next award will be announced in Summer 2014, please check back for further details.


For more information about the award, please contact Betty Yao at