Guild of Food Writers Awards 2009


Last night I was at the Guild of Food Writers Awards 2009 party at the Old Hall, London.

My blog was shortlisted for the New Media award, and I took my mum (see pic, above) along to give me support.

OK, my blog did not win. Tim Haward of the Guardian/ Observer Word of Mouth blog pipped both me and the lovely Helen Yuet Ling Pang of the World Foodie Guide to the post.

However, the judges said nice things about this blog such as: “Quirky”, “informative” and “Winkler’s writing rules should be required reading for aspiring writers online or in print.”

One of the judges, Rupert Parker, gave me some good advice, saying I should update more often. Like daily. Will give it a go. Viz.

Emma Sturgess and Diane Hendry were also winners and that meant a lot to me because I had voted for them when I was on two previous judging panels.

Being a participant – rather than an observer – took the event to another level. I was high.

And snapped away.


Here is the lovely Jane Baxter and Guy Watson happy with their award (and not knowing they are about to receive another). I love their Riverford Farm Cook Book – and I have mentioned it a few times here at this blog.

Jane said there was no danger of this going to her head. “As I was coming up the steps of the Old Hall, I got a call from my six-year-old: ‘Mum, where is my bicycle pump?”


Here is Mark Hix who is not only a winner but thouroughly helpful. When I told him my niece was a fan, he said: “Can she cook?” and said she could contact him (yippee).


Here is Jay Rayner who was warm and funny. And below is Heston Blumenthal.


As my mum said: “You were up there with the big boys.”

In fact Heston was dead impressed by my mum. She was talking about her parents (circa 1930s) who used to analyse every dish at every meal – an enduring family trait. Heston admired my mum’s energy and told her:

“I want what you’ve got.”

O it was fun. And being shortlisted is a goddamn-fine accolade. Nichola Fletcher told me her publishers put it on her book cover.

So in the words of the song: “They can’t take that away from me.”

Oh no – they can’t take that away from meeeeeeee.

19 responses to “Guild of Food Writers Awards 2009

  1. Well done E! As you quite rightly point out, the company you kept shows the importance of the award – just being there was massive! You keep writin’ and I’ll keep readin’!


  2. Well done honey! Sounds like a gorgeous night hob-nobbing with the stars – you were – are – right up there. Quirky? YES! Required reading – most definitely!


  3. Pingback: The Guild of Food Writers Awards 2009 | World Foodie Guide

  4. It was lovely to meet you and your mother last night. I hope she enjoyed herself. We both have little GFW shortlistee badges on our blogs now (the husband did mine this morning!). Congratulations to you again and see you again soon…


  5. Ruben Gonzalez Sanchez

    Wow! Bien hecho por tus resultados en el certamen para escritores de comida. Me alegro mucho por ti de que hayas sido nominada y de que hayas tenido la oportunidad de disfrutar de tal estupenda experiencia.


  6. Do an update daily???

    Don’t they know you have a life πŸ™‚

    Seriously, well done for being short-listed!


  7. πŸ™‚ I can feel your excitement, well deserved it is tooo!


  8. realfoodlover

    Thank you to Paul, for being there pretty much from the start, and to Roz, my enduring champion and believing-mirror.

    Helen, it was lovely meeting you and your husband. I admire the way you have done your shortlisted button too!

    Ruben, muchos gracias por los commentarios en my blog – agridecimiento. (Ruben’s mother by the way is a wonderful cook – her traditional Spanish/Canarian dishes are spicy, tasty and I-have-to-have-more).

    Meemalee, ha ha, your response made me laugh. Indeed. The attempt to update daily has already fallen by the wayside. However Rupert’s advice did at least get me in the internet cafe post-awards and that quick response meant I could capture my excitement.

    Which, Kavey, you picked up! And now I am back home, the elation has settled into feeling just really really g.o.o.d.


  9. Richard Ehrlich

    I was one of the judges in another category of these awards, and I can report that the competition this year was as fierce as any judge can remember. In all categories. Elisabeth did well to get on the shortlist in hers, and it is no shame to lose to someone who is now regarded as one of the rising stars of UK food writing.


  10. Hearty congratulations. And your writing tips are extremely useful. I wonder what Jay Rayner would think about being described as ‘warm'(!)


  11. realfoodlover

    No shame at all, Richard. In fact – the opposite. I am still preening…

    Hi Douglas. So ‘warm’ is not the adjective that springs to mind? I too have taken issue with some of Jay Rayner’s acerbic reviews (good controversialist that he is) but as always this has little bearing on the actual person.

    Love your blog. Stylish. Intriguing. Beautifully written.


  12. Rupert Parker

    I am the “Rupert Palmer” who was one of the judges and can confirm that the competition was intense and it was a very close run thing. Any of the last five could have won it. So don’t be disheartened and keep up the good work.


  13. realfoodlover

    Hi Rupert. Ah the beauty of the web…I have just corrected your surname. And I am not disheartened. Indeed I am greatly heartened by the pure joy of being shortlisted!


  14. Hugely late in the day Elisabeth but congratulations! Just stopped by your blog, which is looking great and I’m delighted to see you were on the shortlist.

    Are you tweeting these days? It would be good to keep up with your blog, it’s great.

    Talk soon I hope



  15. Belated congrats!! It is indeed an honor to be up there with the toppermost of the poppermost.


  16. hi
    food for young food lovers!
    I would like to create a TV programme where the most inventive, healthy kids’ food is prepared with child friendly utensils; cooking environment. Would you be interested in developing this idea further with us at the Media International Foundation as this concept could have so much advertising potential for the broadcasters; as well as reap immediate rewards for elinating the obese foods available-
    I look forward to hearing from you soon
    yours sincerely
    About: The Media International Foundation has been setup to provide a system of networking between members and to provide opportunities between all media-related groups such as Journalists, Photographers and people within the Film/Theatre and Audio-Visual sphere. Apart from sharing their professional experiences, members may benefit from training and seminars, held by the Foundation, which will provide continuous updates and guidelines in order to promote improvement and enhance professionalism within the field.


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