On Friday, Eater Chicago received the Peter Lisagor Award for Best Food or Restaurant Coverage from the Chicago Headline Club, the country’s largest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
The winning story profiles Khmai Fine Dining, a Cambodian restaurant on Chicago’s North Side, and the emotional journey that brought chef Mona Sang and her mother Sarom Sieng to start it. In “A Daughter’s Culinary Ode to Her Mother Brings Traditional Khmer Food to Chicago,” Eater Chicago report Naomi Waxman dives into the family’s history, including their painful memories of the Cambodian genocide and settling in Chicago, home to more than 3,000 Cambodians and Cambodian Americans. Sieng brought her food traditions to the U.S., shopping at Asian markets across Chicago and cooking for the wider Cambodian community as well as her own family — including Sang, who eventually found her way into professional kitchens and Chicago’s largest restaurant group.
The story is accompanied by photographs by contributor Jack Li, and was edited by Eater Chicago editor Ashok Selvam with support from Brenna Houck.
This is Eater Chicago’s second consecutive year receiving a Peter Lisagor Award for Best Food or Restaurant Coverage.In 2022, the team was recognized for “Chicago Sues Grubhub and DoorDash for Allegedly Scamming Basically Everyone: Restaurants, Drivers, and Customers.” The article, written by Selvam with additional reporting by Waxman and photos by Li, was a part of the Chicago team’s coverage of the city’s attempt to regulate food delivery apps.