I am honored and humbled to be a recipient of not one but TWO Lowell Thomas Awards. I'm especially proud to say that my book, Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves, received the TOP award for best travel book. Anyone who knows me knows that France long ago seduced my traveler's spirit. But the Dordogne region, the setting of my book, captured my true heart and soul. I'll avoid the labor of love cliché (but it's true).
Here is what the judges had to say:
“Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves” has everything one could want in a travel book: a deep appreciation of the culture of the Dordogne region of France, insight into how the people live and think, fascinating information about history and geography, practical tips for visiting there and outstanding photographs by Lou Lesko. And then there’s the bonus: chef Laura Schmalhorst’s recipes for re-creating the exquisite dishes Lovato sampled on her culinary adventures. The reader does not have to be a chef or even try the recipes to enjoy this book. Lovato uses food as the unifying theme for her exploration because food is so important to the culture — food, and a lifestyle that suspends time in order to fully appreciate the bounties of nature, the culinary arts and the human society that gathers at the table.
While I am beyond grateful my work was recognized and my peers at SATW saw the region through my eyes and experiences, I am more thrilled that a spotlight has been aimed at the gracious people of this glorious corner of France. It's to them that I am indebted and it's to them that I owe this award. Mille fois merci. My story, Lost and Liberated, about an encounter in the Dordogne also won an award. It is featured in this year's Best Women's Travel Writing 2012, but first appeared here, at gadling.com
Click here to see a list of all the talented winners.