Guild of Food Writers awards 2008

Guild of Food Writers awardsJill Dupliex accepting her awardKatie Stewart and Elisabeth WinklerKatie Stewart and HughCookbook

The Guild of Food Writers’s annual awards party is a glittering must-go, this year held at Tamesa in the Oxo tower on the South Bank of the Thames. I was a judge of one of the awards but, shhhh, that’s all I can say about it.

Sustainability was a strong theme, from sponsors, the Alaska Seafood marketing institute and Bonterra organic wines, to the winners.

Listen, I rate the Observer’s ethical eco-hero, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for his animal welfare work. But he endeared himself further by making sure (see pic 1) that his fellow author, Nick Fisher, shared the award for The River Cottage fish book. (If you click on that link, read the Amazon review by Henrietta Green of Food Lovers Britain.)

I loved Jill Dupleix‘s wise words on accepting (pic 2) the Miriam Polunin prize for Work on healthy eating. She said: “I look forward to the time when there isn’t a special category for healthy eating and all food writing is healthy.” Yeah, sister, bring it on!

The sustainability theme continued with Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook, which addressed food miles and provenance.

It’s always nice when you agree with the judges. Hattie Ellis won for Planet Chicken. It is a beautifully-written easy-read on a hard subject: how we treat intensively-reared chickens.

Then Bill Buckley announced that the winner (taratara) of the Lifetime achievement award was…Katie Stewart. I took this award personally (again) – The Times calendar cookbook with its seasonal recipes has been a favourite for decades. (See my beat-up food-stained version in pic 5).

An awards ceremony is such an emotional event, I was starving by the end. My hunt for food took me to a quiet part of the room where Katie stood with friends. I am afraid I could not resist asking to be photographed with her (pic 3). She said the Times cookbook was her daughter-in-law’s favourite too because people nowadays want the classics, like toad in the hole.

Then Hugh approached – clearly another Stewart devotee. (I must admit Katie looks happier with Hugh than with me but hey, that’s show biz).

Prue Leith OBE presented the awards. She explained how she gave up cooking to campaign. A champion of real food in schools, she is a woman after my own heart.

This became more evident later. There was a queue for the ladies’ and on Prue’s advice, I used the (empty) gents’ while she stood guard. I liked that – the way she encouraged an unconventional route to get results.

7 responses to “Guild of Food Writers awards 2008

  1. Pingback: Guild of Food Writers awards 2008 | 30 Minute Meal Ideas

  2. Cool ):- Life is good man!


  3. I also am a big fan of Hugh FW professionally although when I met him once he was very rude to me. I shall try not to hold that against him – perhaps he is shy? However, even if he just is a rude b*****d to anyone who’s not famous/very successful, he is definitely good for the world as a whole, and maybe he just prefers chickens to people. And who could blame him for that? So I remain a supporter.
    Anyway, good work on hob nobbing with the upper echelons. Maybe next time you’ll invite me along…just a suggestion(I promise not to pull Hugh FW up on his previous rudeness….as long as I havent had too many organic wines….)….


  4. Sounds wonderful and looks like you had a very glamorous evening hobnobbing with real food stars! I have Sarah Raven’s cookbook and I highly recommend it to everyone.


  5. Pingback: Misses2U » Blog Archive » Guild of <b>Food</b> Writers awards 2008

  6. Pingback: Winning summer snack « Real Food Lover

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