Best Latin American Weblog: The Cooking Diva

It seems, at times, that the only phenomenon growing faster than the explosion of weblogs themselves are the self-proclaimed award ceremonies that recognize their propagation and increasing cultural influence. Amid the orgie of link-seeking and back-patting however, one awards ceremony has long stood out as the sort of Nobel Prize of online diarists, even if it's selection has tended to be Anglophone-biased. More commonly referred to as “The Bloggies,” the sixth annual Weblog Awards are the creation of 23-year-old Michigan native and anime enthusiast, Nikolai Nolan.

According to Wikipedia, “The awards cover thirty categories, including eight by region … seven by subject … and awards for ‘Weblog of the Year’ and ‘Lifetime achievement’.” This year's winners were published today and we are proud to announce that Cooking Diva, the personal weblog of Global Voices contributor, chef extraordinaire, and all around good person, Melissa De Leòn Douglass, was selected as “Best Latin American Weblog.”

It is no surprise that The Cooking Diva Blog often focuses on food, but De Leòn Douglass’ content is far from mere gastronomy. Based in Panama, she has lived, worked, and studied in Mexico, California, Thailand, and around Latin America. That worldly experience often finds its way into her writing and attracts a readership from across the globe.

Whether it's meditating on mangoes, appreciating the artisanship of cheese making in Ecuador, or traveling to rural Panama in search of a cocada-making legend, her warm style of writing comes off like a written letter from a friend.

You can learn more about Melissa De Leòn Douglass by reading her biography or a fun post on “10 things you never knew about me” including her appetite for homegrown flowers.

Other finalists in the Latin America category were Bestiaria, a witty Argentine feminist's blog in Spanish, Motel de Moka, a bilingual music blog from Mexico, Ponchorama, also bilingual and also based in Mexico, and finally, Guyana-Gyal who was previously interviewed by Georgia Popplewell on Global Voices.

Congratulations to Melissa and all of the other finalists and nominees in this year's sixth annual Weblog Awards.


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