The UK’s biggest food book, writing and media awards took place on 27 June 2019 as the Guild of Food Writers Awards Ceremony and Party celebrated all that was great in food writing and media. Guild president Orlando Murrin and vice-president Felicity Cloake were the presenters and Women in The Food Industry co-founder Mecca Ibrahim (who has recently become a member of The Guild of Food Writers herself) was delighted to attend. She summarised a night where women did exceptionally well.
Organised by the Guild of Food Writers, the UK’s professional association of food writers and broadcasters, this awards ceremony is the longest-established and largest of its kind. The Guild Awards are the only food writing awards judged by professional writers. As Orlando Murrin said "They know their pastrami from their prosciutto, and their apostrophes from their semi-colons". Over 300 people attended the ceremony to see who would take away prizes in 12 coveted categories.
Trine Hahnemann picked up best International or Regional Cookbook Award for Copenhagen Food: Stories, traditions and recipes “Immaculately researched and beautifully written, this book takes you to the heart of the city to the waterfront and the woods. ”
Bee Wilson was a very popular winner and picked up the Investigative Food Work Award for her feature Yes, Bacon Really is Killing Us, published in The Guardian. The Judges said “Wilson’s work is scholarly without a hint of pomposity” and a “must-read“. Writing about a food type that is so central to the British food scene but is now embroiled in controversy is not mean feat. The Judges found her research impressive “the science clearly explained, and Wilson’s argument persuasive and above all readable.”
The first book award when to Maryam Sinaiee for her book Nightingales and Roses: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen a beautiful evocation of Persian cooking. The judges were inspired by “well explained, evocative recipes which drew them into the kitchen. Diana Henry was awarded the Recipe Writing Award for Work published in Stella magazine, in The Sunday Telegraph.
2019’s Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Madhur Jaffrey. Presenting the Award Guild Chair Genevieve Taylor described how it was the gift of one of Madhur’s books from her granddad that expanded her own cooking horizons: ‘The words sprang out from the page, enticing my senses with exotic, exciting and colourful sounding ingredients. My cooking world was changed forever, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that.’
In the awards after-party Mecca caught up with fellow members. including with Sumayya Usmani who announced & gave the lifetime achievement award to Madhur Jaffrey.
Visit Women In the Food Industry for her full report and to see the full list of The Guild of Food Writers Awards Winners for 2019.
"The Guild Awards are the only food writing awards judged by writers. They know their pastrami from their prosciutto, and their apostrophes from their semi-colons."
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