The Cookbook awards were launched to recognise and highlight the wealth of talent in the country. The competition, open to cookbooks published in South Africa between September 2013 and December 2014,received an overwhelming 54 entries. “The judges were looking for cookbooks written by South Africans that reflected both the personality of the writer and the idiosyncrasies of South African food,”sa ys Sunday Times Food Weekly editor Hilary Biller.
“One of the main criteria was whether the recipes reflected and incorporated current issues such as seasonality, provenance and sustainability and crucially, was it a cookbook that made one immediately want to go out and purchase,” explained Biller.
‘Star Fish’is a cookbook with a difference that tackles the issue of overfishing and takes a fresh look at ocean-friendly South African fish. Jones shares her fascinating road trip to meet the farmers, conservationist, fishermen and scientists who are striving to protect South Africa’s top 10 sustainable fish. Jones took home a grand prize of R20000, a R5000 Pick n Pay voucher and cookware from Le Creuset.
The winners are:
BEST COOKBOOK OF THE YEAR
‘Star Fish’ by Daisy Jones published by Quivertree
‘Cook. Better’ by Nikki Werner and Brandon de Kock,published by Quivertree
‘Braai' Reuben on Fire’by Reuben Riffel, published by Quivertre
‘Another Week in the Kitchen’ by Karen Dudley, published by Jacana
‘Durban Curry – So much of Flavour’by Erica Platter, Clinton Friedman and Devi Sankaree Govender, published by Jacana
BEST INNOVATIVE NEW COMER
FIRST TIME COOK BOOK AUTHOR
‘Strandveldfood – A West Coast Odyssey’ by Kobus van der Merwe and Jac de Villiers, published by Sunbird Commenting on the overall calibre of entries, Justine Drake, editor of Pick n Pay Fresh Living magazine and a competition judge noted that, “many of the books had amazing content that was let down by poor design” and that “authors should have more input beyond the recipes, into the design and photography of their books.”
In addition to getting the thumbs-up from some of South Africa’s most highly respected chefs and experts in the food industry, the finalists each received Pick n Pay gift vouchers and Le Creuset cookware. The judging panel consisted of Justine Drake, Cass Abrahams (Cape Malay food expert and cookbook author); Hennie Fisher, chef and food writer; Shado Twala, SAfm radio presenter and TV personality and Neil Roake, co-owner and creative director of advertising and design agency Modern Museum
“We were amazed at the response from the publishers and the number of entries received,” Biller says. “We plan to make this an annual event and look forward to a new collection of inspiring cookbooks in 2015. It’s been a fabulous visual feast.”