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André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards announced

27th March, 2014

André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards announced

Our own David Gleave is a trustee of the highly regarded André Simon Memorial Fund annual food and drink book awards, which were presented last night at the Goring Hotel in London.

‘The World of Sicilian Wine‘ by Bill Nesto & Frances Di Savino (published by University of California Press) scooped the Drink Book Award, while ‘Master It‘ by Rory O‘Connell (Fourth Estate) took the Food Book Award.

There was a special commendation for Maria Elia for her book ‘Smashing Plates‘ (Kyle Books) and Simon Hopkinson won The John Avery Award for ‘Simon Hopkinson Cooks‘ (Ebury Press).

This year‘s drink category assessor was Simon Loftus, who felt that Bill Nesto and Frances Di Savino ‘had illuminated the little known world of Sicilian wine and also put the wines in their full historical and cultural context‘. 

Caroline Conran, winner of the 2012 award and this year’s food category assessor, commented that ‘everything that Rory O’Connell had learnt over his extensive career had been poured into his book and it was beautifully written‘.

Also on the shortlist in the drink section were ‘Monty Waldin‘s Best Biodynamic Wines‘ by Monty Waldin (Floris Books), ‘The Curious Bartender‘ by Tristan Stephenson (Ryland, Peters & Small), ‘The New California Wine‘ by Jon Bonné (Ten Speed Press) and ‘The World Atlas of Wine, 7th Edition‘ by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson.

The shortlist in the food section included ‘Brilliant Bread‘ by James Morton (Ebury Press), ‘The Gentle Art of Preserving‘ by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi (Kyle Books), ‘The Modern Art Cookbook‘ by Mary Ann Caws (Reaktion Books) and ‘The Modern Peasant‘ by Jojo Tulloh (Chatto & Windus).

The André Simon Memorial Awards commemorate the charismatic ‘bon viveur‘ who was one of London’s leading champagne shippers and was the active president of the Wine & Food Society.  The books must contain original research, be educational, pleasurable to read and well produced.  The awards have been presented every year since 1978.