On Thursday, Lisa Dupar, owner of Pomegranate Bistro and Lisa Dupar Catering in Redmond, was honored by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) for her book “Fried Chicken and Champagne: A Romp Through the Kitchen at Pomegranate Bistro.”
The IACP Cookbook Awards Program was held at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas, where more than 600 members attended.
Dupar’s book, was a finalist in two categories: American, cookbooks that focus on ethnic, cultural or regional cooking in the United States; and First Book – The Julia Child/Kitchenaid Award, the first cookbook by a writer who has not previously authored or coauthored a food- or beverage-related book.
Dupar joined the ranks of the evening’s winners which included food luminaries Dorie Greenspan, Amanda Hesser and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Martin Yan.
The IACP Cookbook Awards program is the industry’s most respected measure of quality in the world of culinary publishing. Awards are given to books judged as the best of the year in seventeen categories. Judging is done by a Cookbook Awards Committee in two tiers by a jury of three food and beverage professionals for each category. Three finalists and ultimately one winner are chosen from the highest-ranked books in each category.
“I was absolutely flabbergasted,” Dupar said in a press release about her win. “In my wildest dreams I never even conceived of receiving an honor like this and have to say, that I share it with a stellar team of women, photographer Kathryn Barnard, creative director Callie Meyer, designer Alicia Nammacher and copy editor Miriam Bulmer. They made my dream come true.”
Dupar, a former southerner, found her passion for food while growing up in Atlanta. Her mother, not interested in cooking, offered Dupar a compromise — she would clean, if Dupar would cook.
Following high school, she started a culinary apprenticeship at the Westin Hotel’s Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta. Three years later, at age 25, Dupar continued her training in Zurich, Switzerland. While abroad, she cooked for several top-rated European restaurants before returning to the states in 1981.
Dupar was drawn to the Pacific Northwest when a position at the Westin Hotel’s Palm Court Restaurant in Seattle opened up. She became the hotel chain’s first female chef.
In 1984, Dupar left to open her first restaurant. Southern Accents focused on the food she loved from her upbringing in the South. Shortly thereafter, she started Lisa Dupar Catering with the goal of providing stylish restaurant-quality food at catered events. During the ensuing years, she cooked for Martha Stewart, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Julia Child, Bill and Melinda Gates, President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Sophia Loren.
In 2005, Dupar and her husband Jonathan Zimmer opened Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond — a neighborhood restaurant with the concept of providing locals with fresh, casual, comfort food and a hand-picked wine list.
Both of Dupar’s businesses have garnered numerous accolades and she was named one of the Top 25 National Trendsetters by Modern Bride Magazine. Pomegranate Bistro has won Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence from 2007-10, among other honors.