Sun food writer honored


Charlyne Varkonyi, food and home writer for The Sun, has received seven awards in three writing contests.

The National Federation of Press Women honored her with a first place for food specialty writing and third place for reviews on any subject at the group's annual conference yesterday in Orlando, Fla.

Her winning food entries included a three-story package: "Bringing Up Baby," a story on how baby food manufacturers were exaggerating the results of a medical study so they could gain an exemption from proposed federal legislation requiring full nutritional labeling; "Singapore's Happy Marriage of Cuisines," one of a four-part series on foods of the Pacific Rim based on her 18-day culinary tour of Southeast Asia; and "Back to Basics with Meals Like Mom Used to Make," a trend story illustrating the fact that Americans are tired of froufrou food and crave old-fashioned foods like meatloaf.

The three-story package of book reviews included: "60s Dogma for Counterculture Foodies," "Fictional Replay of Messy Real-Life Divorce," and "Seatbelts, Warning Labels Advised for This Twisty, Hypnotic Plot."

She also won four first-place awards in the NFPW Maryland state affiliate contest for food specialty writing, home specialty writing, feature writing and reviews. First-place winners from each state compete for the national awards.

Ms. Varkonyi was also honored recently for agriculture writing by the Brock Center for Agricultural Communication at California Polytechnic State University. She received a third-place award and $200 for her story "A Lean Approach to Beef," an explanation of how the new beef may not be as lean as the beef industry makes it look.

During her 21 years in the newspaper business, Ms. Varkonyi has received a total of 44 awards for food, home, consumer and investigative reporting. She joined The Sun in 1987. She is vice president of the Newspaper Food Editors and Writers Association, an international group of 274 food journalists, and her "Fastlane Feast" column is nationally syndicated by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

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