Celebrated culinary writer and actress Madhur Jaffrey gets prestigious ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’

Madhur Jaffrey. Photo: Twitter @madhurjaffrey

The James Beard Foundation announced March 29, 2023, that Madhur Jaffrey, “legendary cookbook author, writer, teacher, and actress” is its choice as the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree. Jaffrey will be recognized at the Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 5 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America, the JBF press release noted.

Jaffrey first captured attention as an actress in the film Shakespeare Wallah, winning the
Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival in 1965.

Her first cookbook, An Invitation to Indian Cooking, was published in 1973, and was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame in 2006.

Since then, Jaffrey has released more than 30 award-winning cookbooks, “cementing her status as the “Godmother of Indian Cooking,” JBG noted.

In 1982, her iconic show, Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery, premiered on the BBC.

A Padma Bhushan recipient from the Indian government in 2022, Jaffrey is credited with bringing mainstream attention to Indian cuisine, both in the U.S. and the U.K.

In 2019, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.K. Guild of Food Writers.

She becomes a nine-time James Beard Award winner with this latest Lifetime Achievement Award.

“It’s a wonderful pinnacle to my career and I’m overjoyed,” Jaffrey is quoted saying in the press release about the JBF award.

The JBF announced a slew of award nominees in categories like Chef Award, Leadership Award winners, and Humanitarian of the Year and Lifetime Achievement honorees, in advance of the James Beard Awards® ceremonies in June. The nominees were announced March 29, during a live ceremony at the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville, TN.

“The James Beard Awards celebrate outstanding achievement and exceptional culinary talent, as well as all those doing incredible work on behalf of our communities and wider food system. This year’s nominees, winners, and honorees are inspiring exemplars of that,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of James Beard Foundation. “We congratulate all those recognized today and look forward to celebrating them at another exciting Awards Weekend in Chicago this June.”

The James Beard Awards, considered among the most prestigious in the country, “recognize exceptional talent in the culinary and food media industries, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive,” the Foundation said.



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