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Local cookbook receives national recognition

Ryan and Jessie Callahan

Ryan and Jessie Callahan

“Cooking for Chemo…and After” by local chef Ryan Callahan has won the “Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the U.S.” category at the 2016 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

Featured in a recent story in West Newsmagazine, the book now will compete for the world’s best cookbook in its category. Those awards will be announced in late May at Gourmand’s World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China.

The event’s founder is Gourmand International based in Madrid, Spain. Established in 1995, the awards have been described as the Oscars of culinary publishing and are designed to help readers find the best of the thousands of food- and wine-related books produced annually throughout the world.

Edouard Cointreau, from the Cointreau liquor family, is Gourmand’s chairman and president of the awards organization. He also has served as head of the World Association of Food TV Producers.

Callahan said his inspiration for the book was to help his mother, Missi Callahan, cope with cancer and her chemotherapy treatments, and avoid the fate of his best friend and both his grandfathers who died from the disease after losing weight and strength while undergoing chemo regimens.

As a trained chef, he set about developing recipes that would keep his mother eating well despite the treatments’ side effects, including loss of appetite because food doesn’t taste good, as well as the metallic taste often left in a patient’s mouth and which also discourages eating.

Callahan said he was “excited and happy” for being recognized for a book “that is helping and is going to help so many people.”

“I can’t even wrap my head around winning a title that so many other big names have won,” he said.

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