Food and Drink

2 Alaska journalists win James Beard Media Awards

A pair of Alaska journalists have won James Beard Media Awards for their work covering food-related issues in the state.

Laureli Ivanoff, an Inupiaq writer from Unalakleet, was honored in the Columns and Newsletters category for her work in the Western-based independent magazine High Country News.

Her piece “A meal of many seasons” describes the culinary customs of a Native supper. “Subsistence abundance” tackles the reverberations of the loss of salmon runs in Native communities.

Good ice” explored the importance of sea ice on the food ecosystem in Western Alaska.

Ivanoff, a freelance writer, has contributed to the Anchorage Daily News and won an Alaska Governor’s Arts & Humanities Award in 2019.

Julia O’Malley, an Anchorage-based journalist, won in the Foodways category for nonprofit media organization Grist in collaboration with the Food and Environment Reporting Network.

Her winning piece was “Billions of snow crabs are missing. A remote Alaskan village depends on the harvest to survive.” It reported on the effects of the crash of the snow crab fishery on residents of St. Paul Island, a mostly Indigenous population.


O’Malley won a James Beard Media Award in 2018 for a story on a young whaler from Gambell published in High Country News. She has previously worked as a writer, editor and columnist at the Anchorage Daily News and an editor at Alaska Public Media.

Her book “The Whale and the Cupcake,” on Alaska culinary traditions, was published in 2019.

The James Beard Media Awards were announced Saturday, while the Restaurant and Chef Awards were released Monday.