Category Archive: Judges

In Remembrance of our Friend, Founder of the French Culinary Institute & Real Food Films Judge Dorothy Cann Hamilton

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We celebrate the life and mourn the loss of Dorothy Cann Hamilton, a Real Food Films judge and advisor. Following this tragic news we want to honor Dorothy’s sound advice, her passion and knowledge of food, culture and cooking she generously shared not only with us, but with generations of chefs, students and TV audiences.

We would like to share the NY Times tribute that was published as a reflection and a remembrance of an extraordinary woman.

With deepest condolences,

Anna Lappé and our Real Food Films team

Originally posted in The New York Times
Sept. 19, 2016
By Sam Roberts

Dorothy Cann Hamilton, a food aficionado who started a vocational course that evolved into one of the world’s leading culinary schools, died on Friday on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. She was 67.

She died of injuries sustained in an automobile collision, said Bruce McCann, her cousin and the president of the International Culinary Center in California, the West Coast branch of the school that she founded in New York City in 1984 as the French Culinary Institute. She was the chief executive there.

The police said her SUV and a truck hauling a camper collided.

Ms. Hamilton, who lived in Manhattan, had a home in a remote corner of Cape Breton Island, in Fourchu, which she described in a blog post as “my family’s home village.” She was there to close her home for the winter and to meet with local educators.

The International Culinary Center is an outgrowth of her father’s training institute in the mechanical trades. Located in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, it counts more than 15,000 chefs as graduates, among them, Bobby Flay, Dan Barber, Wylie Dufresne, Christina Tosi, David Chang and Zak Pelaccio.

The center’s deans and teachers have included professional chefs like Jacques Pepin, Andre Soltner, Jacques Torres, Alain Sailhac, Jose Andres, Nils Noren and Cesare Casella.

Ms. Hamilton was also the host of “Chef’s Story,” a PBS television and Heritage Radio Network series that profiled chefs. Last year she became one of only four Americans (the others were Julia Child, Thomas Keller and Alice Waters) to receive the Legion of Honor from the French government for promoting French cuisine in the United States.

Read the full tribute here.

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Category Archive: Judges

Judge Spotlight: Maria Rodale

| Contest News, Judges

We’re thrilled to welcome Maria Rodale to the judges panel for this year’s Real Food Media Contest!

Maria_Rodale_square_grayMaria is the CEO and Chairman of Rodale Inc., the global voice for health and wellness with a mission to inspire and enable people to improve their lives and the world around them. Reaching more than 100 million people worldwide, Rodale publishes some of the best-known health and wellness magazines, including Men’s Health, Prevention, Runner’s World, Women’s Health, and Organic Gardening (which will relaunch as Rodale’s Organic Life in Spring 2015). The company is also one of the largest independent booksellers in the United States with a collection of bestselling titles that include An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore and The Honest Life, by Jessica Alba.

organicmanifesto_011550_700x700Maria is an activist and a businesswoman who has made promoting the benefits of an organic lifestyle both her personal mission and her business. In 2013, she created and launched Rodale’s, an online shopping destination that offers healthy solutions for a happy life.  She also started Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen, a blog that offers a digital experience of the contemporary kitchen table: a place to exchange recipes, entertain visits from friends, and discuss timely ideas.

The author of several books, Maria is known for her 2010 title Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe.

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Category Archive: Judges

Three Cheers For Our 2014 Judges

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Big thanks are in order for the incredible panel of judges who helped us launch the first year of the Real Food Media Contest. We truly appreciate the insight and vision you brought to the table. Glad to be grounded by such an inspiring group of storytellers and changemakers.

Get involved with the 2014 Real Food Media Contest Judges’ projects:




Mom and organic farmer are the most important of Emily’s many titles and hats she wears on a daily basis. Emily and her husband co-own and operate a fourth generation organic dairy farm with her in-laws. The Zwebers are Organic Valley farmer owners. The Zweber Farm is nestled in the rolling hills of South East Minnesota where it is home to the family farm, lush pastures, and ample natural wildlife. The Zwebers have three children ages 6, 4, and 2 that keep Emily quite busy. In addition to the farm, Emily serves as the executive director of the AgChat Foundation, an organization that empowers farmers and ranchers to use social media. You can find Emily’s blog at



PhD, Norman Lear Center, University of Southern California

Johanna Blakley, PhD, is the managing director and director of research at the Norman Lear Center, a media think tank at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Johanna has two talks on as well as a TEDx talk about measuring the impact of the documentary film Food, Inc. In partnership with the Gates Foundation and the Knight Foundation, she has just launched the Media Impact Project, a major effort to improve methods for evaluating the social impact of media.



Academy Award-nominated director, Food Inc.

Director Robert Kenner has won an array of awards and garnered rave reviews for his documentary work exposing some of today’s least talked of, but most impactful, social and environmental issues. His documentary, Food Inc., was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Emmy for Best Documentary. After Food Inc., Kenner launched FixFood, a social media action project. He is currently at work on a new documentary for Participant Media that examines a playbook of tactics used to sow doubt about public safety issues.



Director and producer, Soul Food Junkies

Byron Hurt is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, and anti-sexist activist. Hurt is also the former host of the Emmy-nominated series, Reel Works with Byron Hurt. His documentary, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and broadcast nationally on PBS’ Emmy-award winning series Independent Lens. Byron’s latest film, Soul Food Junkies, won the CNN Best Documentary Award at the American Black Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City. Soul Food Junkies aired nationally on PBS’s Emmy-Award winning series Independent Lens in January and April 2013.



Cookbook author, actress, model and television host

Padma Parvati Lakshmi’s debut cookbook Easy Exotic won her the “Best First Book” award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She has been the host of the U.S. reality television program Top Chef since 2006, for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. In 2010, Top Chef won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program.



Chez Panisse and The Edible Schoolyard Project

Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant, has championed local, sustainable farms for over four decades. She is also the founder of The Edible Schoolyard at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, a model public education program that integrates edible education into the core curriculum, and brings children into a new relationship to food with hands-on planting, harvesting, and cooking. The mission of her non-profit organization, The Edible Schoolyard Project, is to gather and share the lessons and best practices of school gardens, kitchens, and edible education programs worldwide. Waters is also the author of ten books including 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, The Art of Simple Food: Notes and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution and The Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea.



Executive director of the Sundance Institute

Keri Putnam is the Executive Director of the non-profit Sundance Institute, overseeing the Institute’s annual Sundance Film Festival, as well as the Feature Film, Documentary, Film Music, Theatre and Native & Indigenous Programs. Before joining Sundance, Putnam served as President of Production, Miramax Films and Executive Vice President, HBO Films.



Journalist and author, Omnivore’s Dilemma

Michael Pollan is the author of five books: Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and In Defense of Food. A contributing writer to The New York Times Magazinesince 1987, Pollan is also the James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and the director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism. His writing on food and agriculture has won numerous awards, including the Reuters/World Conservation Union Global Award in Environmental Journalism, the James Beard Award, and the Genesis Award from the American Humane Association.



Journalist and author, Fast Food Nation

Eric Schlosser is an award-winning journalist and a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly. His work has also appeared in Rolling StoneVanity FairThe Nation, and The New Yorker, among others. He is the author of Fast Food Nation, Reefer Madness, and Command and Control.



The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that works to bring food education to schools and youth groups, businesses and communities through raising awareness and hands-on training. We raise awareness through the media to galvanize policy changes at a local and national level. |

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Category Archive: Judges

156 entries to the first-ever Real Food Media Contest

| Contest News, Judges

Wow, you all brought your A game.

Our team is overwhelmed, touched, and INSPIRED by the stories you all have sent in. Incredible accounts of the on-the-ground, real deal work, sacrifice, victories, innovation and conviction that represent the heart and soul of this growing movement.

You put your lens on farmworkers in the fields, struggles against consolidation, food incubators, youth flexing leadership muscle, the role of community in supporting local agriculture, the importance of beekeepers, meat production with integrity, food education for all ages, urban agriculture models that are healing the planet, and indigenous traditions that are being honored and revived, whoa. (WHOA.)

We laughed, we cried. (No, really. We did.)  We learned a lot along the way and are more affirmed than ever that we are shifting the tide to more sustainable and meaningful relationships – with our food systems, this planet, and each other. THANK YOU for sharing your stories for this contest, for bringing to life the people and projects that drive you and letting us into your world.

Real Food Media Contest posts


From here, we’re sending them off to the judges and will be uploading the top films live to the website on February 12 to open online voting and determine the People’s Choice award. Voting closes March 2, so get your friends, family and farmers together to watch the entries and get inspired.



Just add friends

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Category Archive: Judges

UC Berkeley Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship

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Attention all early and mid-career journalists interested in reporting on food and farming!

The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism is offering eight $10,000 postgraduate Food and Farming Journalism Fellowships:

In a new program established by Michael Pollan (also a Real Food Media Contest judge), the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley, the Fellowship is aimed at early and mid career journalists and presents an opportunity to report ambitious long form stories on the full range of subjects under the rubric of food systems: agricultural and nutritional policy, the food industry, food science, technology and culture, rural and urban farming, agriculture and the environment (including climate change), global trade and supply chains, consolidation and securitization of the food system and public health as it relates to food and farming. The Fellowship is a project of the Knight Center in Science and Environmental Journalism, and is supported by a grant from The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation.


  • $10,000 Fellowship
  • Applications Due March 1, 2014
  • Open to print and radio journalists for 2014 (to expand to multi-media and video in the future)
  • Eight journalists will receive $10,000 to travel and report these stories
  • Preference to U.S. focused stories


Online applications are due March 1, 2014, and should include a one-page pitch with a clearly defined story idea, not just a subject. The pitch should reflect some preliminary research, providing a clear sense of place, characters, narrative and reporting strategy. The application also requires a CV, two letters of recommendation and published clips. UC Berkeley will announce this year’s fellows by May 1, 2014.

Those interested in applying will need to be available the week of June 24-28, 2014 for a 4-day workshop at UC Berkeley with the 2014 cohort of fellows, fellowship director Michael Pollan, guest editors from national publications and managing editor Malia Wollan. Travel, lodging and meals for the meeting will be covered by the fellowship. During the first session, fellows will refine their story pitches with the help of the editors, and develop a reporting and publishing or broadcast strategy. Fellows will also have opportunities to meet with and interview faculty members and researchers doing work relevant to their stories at UC Berkeley.


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Category Archive: Judges

Join the Conversation with Keri Putnam of Sundance Institute

| Contest News, Judges


Join Anna Lappé of the Real Food Media Contest for a conversation with Sundance Institute’s Keri Putnam, one of the judges for the Real Food Media Contest. We’ll talk about breaking into the film business, Keri’s experience working in the industry, and how to connect your passion to your work.

Contact us at info @ to share your questions.

Date: November 6, 2013 at 1:00pm to 1:30pm PST
How to Register: Register at by 11/4.
Call-in information will be made available after registering.

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