André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards 2020

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Ahead of the announcement on 3 March 2021 of the André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards 2020, cookbookreview.blog are delighted to bring you a special feature that includes reviews of all the shortlisted food books along with a selection of recipes from some of the books and an interview with this year’s Food Book Award Assessor, Lisa Markwell. To find out more about the awards and keep up with all the latest news head to the website and follow the awards on Twitter @andresimonaward.

The Food Book Shortlist 

Jikoni, Ravinder Bhogal (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Read the review 

Summer Kitchens, Olia Hercules (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Read the review 

Falastin: A Cookbook, Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley (Ebury Press)
Read the review 

Nose Dive, Harold McGee (John Murray)
Read the review

Parwana, Durkhanai Ayubi (Murdoch Books)
Read the review

Salmon, Mark Kurlansky (Oneworld)
Read the review 

Red Sands, Caroline Eden (Quadrille)
Read the review 

Cook from the shortlisted books
Tokhme Banjanromi by by Durkhanai Ayubi
Narenj Palaw by Durkhanai Ayubi
Curd Cake with Caramelised Apples by Olia Hercules
Lamb and Aubergine Fatteh by Ravinder Bhogal
Lemongrass Poussin with Green Mango and Peanut Salad by Ravinder Bhogal 
Banana Cake with Miso Butterscotch and Ovaltine Kulfi by Ravinder Bhogal 
Sweet tahini rolls (Kubez el tahineh) by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley
Chicken musakhan by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley
Labneh cheesecake with roasted apricots, honey and cardamom by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley

Although we won’t be covering the Drink Award, you can discover what books have been shortlisted here and read our review of one of the shortlisted books here: Wine From Another Galaxy: Noble Rot by Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew.

Read an interview with Food Book Award Assessor Lisa Markwell
AS Shortlist Food Books - Andre Simon assessor Lisa Markwell
Click here

About the awards
Founded in 1978, the André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards are the only awards in the UK to exclusively recognise the achievements of food and drink writers and are the longest continuous running awards of their kind. The first two awards were given to Elizabeth David and Rosemary Hume for their outstanding contribution in the fields of food and cooking. Other winners include Michel Roux, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Nigel Slater, Rick Stein, Hugh Johnson and Oz Clarke.

There are two categories: food, and wine, drinks and beverages. For the winner of each category there will be an award of £2,000. In addition, there will be an award of £1,500 in honour of John Avery and the Special Commendation Award of £1,500 – both of these are awarded at the discretion of the judges.

The main criteria against which the works are judged are:

  • The work shall contain a substantial proportion of original research and not simply be a re-arrangement of existing material.
  • Great importance will be attached to the educational value of the work.
  • The books chosen are likely to be ones that are pleasurable to read and not just professional textbooks.
  • The book should be well produced.

When judging the books, the Trustees have the help and advice of two independent assessors. In 2020 Lisa Markwell has kindly agreed to assess the food books and John Hoskins is assessing the drink books. Judging will be in the hands of the Trustees. Their decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into. The André Simon Food & Drink Book Award Trustees are Nicholas Lander (Chair), Sarah Jane Evans MW, David Gleave MW and Xanthe Clay.