FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2005
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
Labensky’s textbook named `Best Book in the World for Food
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Chef Sarah Labensky, director of Mississippi
University for Women’s Culinary Arts Institute, has added award-winning
author to her list of many accomplishments.
Her book, “On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals,” was
named “Best Book in the World for Food Professionals.”
Labensky recently returned from Sweden, where the announcement was made
at a gala dinner.
“It was a wonderful honor to go on stage and receive the award from
Edouard Cointreau, founder of the Gourmand program. As I said in my
thank you comments, however, the award really belongs to the students I
have been privileged to work with over the year because they are the
ones who keep me researching, learning and writing.”
This was the 10th year for the awards and many past winners from various
categories were in attendance as part of the celebration. Labenksy was
seated with the Swedish Minister of Culture at the dinner.
The textbook, which was published by Pearson/Prentiss Hall, was released
in April 2004.
It is ironic that Labenksy, who is in her eighth year at MUW, has made
such great strides in the culinary world because she actually graduated
from the Vanderbilt University Law School in 1983.
Even though she practiced employment law for two years with a firm in
Phoenix, Ariz., her heart was always with culinary arts.
Prior to joining MUW, she worked as a professor in the culinary arts
program at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College from 1990 to 1997.
She worked in the restaurant and food service industry. Labensky
enrolled in the culinary arts program at Scottsdale Community College
after leaving her job as a law associate. At the same time, she began a
minimum wage job as an entry-level prep cook in a restaurant.
Labensky graduated with honors and a perfect 4.0 grade point average and
moved on to be a breakfast cook at a private country club in Scottsdale.
Eventually she apprenticed under a French pastry chef at a restaurant in
“I just worked my way up from one restaurant to the next,” she said.
Labensky said the teaching experience at MUW has been good for her
personally and professionally.
“I have expanded my administrative responsibilities beyond what I was
doing at Scottsdale Community College, and I have been able to shape the
MUW program as it has grown. MUW, Columbus and the surrounding area is
filled with people eager to learn more about food and cookery, so this
has been a wonderful opportunity to share my knowledge and help students
as they learn about food service.”