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Canadians in the running for James Beard cookbook awards

Detail of the cover of Burma, Rivers of Flavor, a cookbook by Naomi Duguid.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

One of Canada's leading chefs and a peripatetic, Toronto-based cook and photographer have both been shortlisted for prestigious James Beard Foundation cookbook awards.

The Montreal chef Normand Laprise's lush and beautifully photographed book Toqué! Creators of a New Quebec Gastronomy is a finalist in the photography and "cooking from a professional point of view" categories.

Naomi Duguid's Burma: Rivers of Flavor, one of the most widely acclaimed cookbooks published in 2012, is a finalist in the international cookbook category.

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Laprise's 20-year-old Montreal restaurant, called Toqué!, is one of Canada's most influential kitchens; the chef has been a mentor to many of the country's top cooks. (Martin Picard, of Au Pied de Cochon, is just one of them.)

The book, like Laprise's cooking, is a love note to Quebec's fish, meat and produce. The recipes are both complex (one plate combines lobster butter, lobster caramel, lobster sabayon, lobster coral, lobster "couscous" and lobster coral powder) and playful (the inside-out BLT inspired by a video game). Dominique Malaterre is the photographer.

Duguid is a perennial favourite at the awards. Both Flatbreads and Flavors and Hot Sour Salty Sweet, which she co-authored with her former partner Jeffrey Alford, won the organization's award for cookbook of the year. Alford and Duguid's Mangoes and Curry Leaves, about Indian cooking, and Beyond the Great Wall, on regional Chinese food, both won in the Beards' international cookbook category.

The James Beard winners will be announced in New York in May.

Burma has also been shortlisted in the International Association of Culinary Professionals's cookbook awards in the culinary travel and international categories.

The IACP winners will be announced in San Francisco next month.

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Chris More

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