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Awards 2015 Shortlists Announced

Jane Gifford (12/05/2015)

Photographer Idil Sukan for Draw HQ

Photograph of 2013 Trophy by Idil SukanThe Guild of Food Writers today announces the shortlists for its annual Awards, the most prestigious in food writing and broadcasting. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 9 June at a ceremony at Opera Holland Park in London. They will be presented with a beautifully engraved glass trophy and a prize of £500.

The shortlists highlight emerging talent as well as featuring some of our best-known food writers and broadcasters, including Hattie Ellis, Diana Henry, Yotam Ottolenghi, Tom Parker Bowles and Ruby Tandoh. The Guild of Food Writers Awards celebrate the breadth of knowledge and expertise at work in a thriving creative field.

This year’s Awards sponsors are Scotch Beef PGI (Quality Meat Scotland) (main sponsor of the Awards Ceremony); Aspall (sponsor of the Michael Smith Award for Work on British Food); Encona (sponsor of the Food Blog of the Year Award); Gold Top (sponsor of the Evelyn Rose Award for Cookery Journalist of the Year); Hillfarm Oils (sponsor of the Cookery Book of the Year Award); SuperFast Thermapen® (sponsor of the Food Journalist of the Year Award); Tebay Services and Gloucester Services (sponsor of the Kate Whiteman Award for Work on Food and Travel); Tenderstem® (sponsor of the Food Magazine or Section of the Year Award); Thompson’s Family Teas (sponsor of the Restaurant Reviewer of the Year Award); Nyetimber (sparkling wine sponsor); and Château Ksara and IXSIR (wine sponsors).

Places are now on sale for the Awards event, so if you would like to book please contact Jonathan Woods by emailing or by telephone on 020 8659 0422. Places cost £25 for members of the Guild and £50 for guests. Payment can be made using online banking or cheques, which should be made payable to the Guild of Food Writers and sent to Jonathan Woods, The Guild of Food Writers, 255 Kent House Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 1JQ.

The Guild of Food Writers 2015 Awards Shortlists:

Restaurant Reviewer of the Year Award
(Sponsored by Thompson’s Family Teas)

Marina O’Loughlin for work published in The Guardian’s Weekend magazine
Tom Parker Bowles for work published in olive magazine
Emma Sturgess for work published in Metro

Miriam Polunin Award for Work on Healthy Eating
Healthy Food Guide magazine
The Natural Food Kitchen by Jordan Bourke (Ryland Peters & Small)
The Medicinal Chef: Healthy Every Day by Dale Pinnock (Quadrille Publishing)

Michael Smith Award for Work on British Food
(Sponsored by Aspall)

A Year at Otter Farm by Mark Diacono (Bloomsbury Publishing)
The Shed: The Cookbook by Richard, Oliver and Gregory Gladwin (Kyle Books)
Great British Sweets: And How to Make Them at Home by Adele Nozedar (Square Peg)

Kate Whiteman Award for Work on Food and Travel
(Sponsored by Tebay Services and Gloucester Services)

Fuchsia Dunlop for work published in FT Weekend magazine
Kevin Gould for work published in Jamie magazine
Roast Lamb in the Olive Groves: A Mediterranean Cookbook by Belinda Harley (Hardie Grant Books)

Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book
Honey & Co.: Food from the Middle East by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich (Saltyard Books)
Made in India: Cooked in Britain: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen by Meera Sodha (Fig Tree)
Crumb: The Baking Book by Ruby Tandoh (Chatto & Windus)

Food Magazine or Section of the Year Award
(Sponsored by Tenderstem®)

delicious. magazine
FT Weekend magazine
Market Life magazine

Food Journalist of the Year Award
(Sponsored by SuperFast Thermapen®)

Amy Grier for work published in Women's Health magazine
Tim Hayward for work published in FT Weekend magazine
Sybil Kapoor for work published in Red magazine, Saturday Telegraph magazine,, Toast and Preferred Lifestyles

Food Broadcast of the Year Award
The Food Programme: Food is MAD presented and produced by Dan Saladino (BBC Radio 4)
The Kitchen Cabinet (series 9) presented by Jay Rayner and produced by Robert Abel, Miranda Hinkley and Victoria Shepherd (A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4)
Food Unwrapped Diet Special presented by Jimmy Doherty, Kate Quilton and Matt Tebbutt, executive producer Simon Knight and series producer Claire Cadman (Ricochet for Channel 4)

Food Book of the Year Award
The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy and its Citrus Fruit by Helena Attlee (Particular Books)
Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef by Massimo Bottura (Phaidon Press)
Beyond Bratwurst: A History of Food in Germany by Ursula Heinzelmann (Reaktion Books)

Food Blog of the Year Award
(Sponsored by Encona) by Thom Archer by Karen Burns-Booth by Laura Donohue

Evelyn Rose Award for Cookery Journalist of the Year
(Sponsored by Gold Top)

Sarah Beattie for work published in Vegetarian Living Magazine
Diana Henry for work published in The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine
Yotam Ottolenghi for work published in The Guardian Weekend magazine

Derek Cooper Award for Campaigning and Investigative Food Writing
Felicity Lawrence, Andrew Wasley and Radu Ciorniciuc for work published in The Guardian by Geoff Tansey
Faith in Food: Changing the world one meal at a time by Susie Weldon and Sue Campbell (Bene Factum Publishing)

Cookery Book of the Year Award
(Sponsored by Hillfarm Oils)

Salmagundi by Sally Butcher (Pavilion Books)
Spoonfuls of Honey by Hattie Ellis (Pavilion Books)
A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley)
Honey & Co.: Food from the Middle East by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich (Saltyard Books)



Guild president Xanthe Clay will be the presenter at this year's Guild of Food Writers Awards, the UK's biggest food book, writing and media awards.

The 2015 Awards party will be on Tuesday 9 June at Opera Holland Park.

Registration will start at 6.00pm and guests will be welcomed with canapés and Nyetimber, England’s renowned sparkling wine. The Awards ceremony will take place in the Theatre at 7.15pm, compered by broadcaster, writer and Guild member Bill Buckley. The ceremony will be followed by drinks, including a selection of wines from the Lebanese vineyards of Château Ksara and IXSIR, and canapés showcasing Scotch Beef and Lamb provided by our main sponsors Quality Meat Scotland and ingredients from some of our category sponsors Aspall cyder and vinegar, Encona sauces and marinades, Gold Top milk, Hillfarm Oil and Tenderstem®. The evening will end at 10pm and guests will be given a goody bag that will include gifts from many of our sponsors.

The Holland Park Theatre is situated in the middle of Holland Park. Entrance to the park is via Ilchester Place Gate, Abbotsbury Road Gate, The Duchess of Bedford Gate or from Holland Walk and Holland Park Avenue. Timetables and further travel information for tubes, buses and trains to Holland Park are available at

Places are now on sale, so if you would like to book please contact Jonathan Woods as soon as possible by emailing or by telephone on 020 8659 0422. Places cost £25 for members of the Guild and £50 for guests. Payment can be made using online banking or cheques, which should be made payable to the Guild of Food Writers and sent to Jonathan Woods, The Guild of Food Writers, 255 Kent House Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 1JQ.


SCOTCH BEEF PGI (Quality Meat Scotland)
(Sponsor of the Awards Ceremony)
Logo of Scotch Beef PGI (Quality Meat Scotland)Scotch Beef PGI is delighted to be supporting the Guild of Food Writers awards event during 2015, Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.

The year 2015 is also the 25th anniversary of the quality assurance schemes which underpin the iconic Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork brands.

Scotch Beef PGI, which has earned a global reputation for taste and quality, is sourced from Scottish farms which must adopt best practice regarding animal welfare and production methods. Farms and processors are independently audited and Scotch Beef PGI is fully traceable back to farms of origin.

Family farming remains at the heart of sheep and cattle production in Scotland and sustains rural communities throughout the country. Livestock production also plays an important part in the biodiversity of upland habitats and the focus is on beef breeds farmed to produce beef, rather than milk.

Scotland’s livestock production systems are based on free-ranging animals grazing at low stocking densities. Permanent grass and rough grazing account for 71% of Scottish agricultural area – this is largely unsuitable for vegetable or cereal production but ideal for cattle and sheep grazing.

Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb were also among the first European red meat products to be granted the coveted PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status in recognition of their quality standards and unique regional taste.

You can find out more about Scotch Beef PGI at; on Twitter @scotchkitchen and @qmscotland; on Facebook: Enjoy Quality Meat.

(Sponsor of the Michael Smith Award for Work on British Food)
Logo of AspallOur family cyder-making business was established in 1728 by Clement Chevallier from Jersey. He planted the orchards at Aspall Hall in Suffolk and imported a granite wheel from the Isles de Chaussée off the Normandy coast to crush the apples.

The Chevallier family still live and work among Clement’s orchards and today Aspall is run by the eighth generation of the family, Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild. Aspall is the tenth oldest family businesses in the UK.

Generations of Chevalliers used Clement’s method of pressing until 1947, when the last horse pulling the wheel around the trough passed away. Although our production has moved with the times, our cyder is still pressed, fermented and blended and bottled on site in Suffolk to the same exacting standards set by Clement nearly 300 years ago.

Today our very British world-class cyders, cyder vinegars and apple juice enjoy increasingly global acclaim for quality and excellence.

We’re delighted to support the Guild of Food Writers Michael Smith Award for Work on British Food.

You can find out more about Aspall at; on Twitter @aspall; on Facebook: AspallUK; by email:; by telephone: 01728 860510.

(Sponsor of the Food Blog of the Year Award)
Logo of EnconaBanish the Bland with the UK’s number one hot pepper sauce brand!

Encona, the UK’s number one hot pepper sauce range has expanded and now has 19 delicious sauces to enjoy with family and friends. Alongside the Original Hot Pepper Sauce, you can enjoy a variety of authentic flavours from across the globe, which now also includes Peruvian Amarillo and Mexican Smokey Jalapeno Sauce. Ranging from mild to extra hot, there’s something for everyone.

Encona Sauces are wonderfully versatile. Great as a dipping sauce, a marinade, a cooking ingredient or as a delicious, everyday table sauce for all your favourite foods! Drizzle on to stir-fries, rice dishes, dips and salad dressings. Brush onto food during grilling or barbecuing, and stir into soups and stews.

Encona has also introduced a spicy and fragrant marinade range consisting of Jamaican Jerk, Korean BBQ and Moroccan Harissa.

Try the flavours and banish the bland!

For more info about the sauces and marinades, go to the website Twitter @EnconaOfficial. Facebook:

(Sponsor of the Evelyn Rose Award for Cookery Journalist of the Year)
Logo of Gold TopGold Top with Cream at the Top

Established in Buckinghamshire in 1954, QMP was set up in association with milk producers throughout the country to market and promote their new brand, Gold Top.

The Gold Top selection stands for premium quality and superior taste, it is this quality, alongside our high end service, which makes us stand out from our competitors.

The original Gold Top Milk is made the traditional Guernsey and Jersey way with the cream on the top, and tastes delicious, the luxurious Gold Top Smooth is a variation whereby the indulgent cream is blended evenly throughout the entire bottle. The Gold Top family includes, butter, cream, ice cream amongst others.

QMP are set to make an even greater impact through increased promotion. Sponsoring several shows throughout the year, such as The Dairy Event, Royal Cornwall, The Great Yorkshire Show amongst others and regionalised smaller We are looking into doing food shows over the next 18 months by undertaking joint ventures with Grahams Dairy our current licence holder. We are also sponsoring The Jersey Society World Tour in 2016, which will tour around the UK and Ireland.

(Sponsor of the Cookery Book of the Year Award)
Logo of Hillfarm OilsHillfarm produce a delicious premium extra virgin oil made from British rapeseed grown and pressed on their farm in Suffolk. 

When Sam and Clare Fairs began to explore the idea of turning the rapeseed they grew on their farm into a premium culinary oil in 2004, they became the first farm in the UK to grow, press and bottle their own cold-press rapeseed oil. In 2014 they celebrated their 10th anniversary and people are now hooked on its nutty flavour, versatility in the kitchen as well as its nutritional benefits. 

Fans include Mark Hix, who says ‘I'm still a big fan of the Hillfarm as its flavour has an appealing freshness and, of course, that fantastically bright yellow colour, so evocative of the fields of rapeseed flowers that we see in the British countryside each summer.’

As well as the oil Hillfarm produce mayonnaise, garlic mayonnaise and in 2014 launched a hand-wash and hand-cream making the most of rapeseed oil’s high Omega 3, 6 and Vitamin E content to soothe and rehydrate your hands.

Sam and Clare Fairs say ‘We’re delighted to support the Guild of Food Writers Awards for the first time this year and excited to be part of this great celebration of food writing.’

You can find out more about Hillfarm Oils at; on Twitter@hillfarmoils.

(Sponsor of the Food Journalist of the Year Award)
Logo of SuperFast Thermapen®
A favourite kitchen essential of many celebrity chefs and professional cooks, the SuperFast Thermapen® is made in Britain by ETI Ltd, the UK’s leader in the manufacture and design of electronic thermometers and temperature probes and recipients of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade in both 2012 and 2014.

The Thermapen has an easy to read digital display that gives an accurate temperature reading in just three seconds.  Stylish and easy to use and available in a range of stunning colours it is a must-have for all kitchens; whether you are a professional chef, technical baker, or just want to enjoy meat that is both succulent and cooked safely at home.

The Thermapen case is washable and includes `Biomaster’ additive that reduces bacterial growth.  The ergonomic rubber seal meanwhile minimises the risk of the ingress of water, dust or food.

A Backlit version of the Thermapen is also available with the added benefit of an intelligent low-light sensor that will automatically illuminate the digital display when ambient light is low. Perfect for evening catering events, or where light is poor.

You can find out more about Thermapen at; on Twitter@thermapen_; on Facebook

(Sponsor of the Kate Whiteman Award for Work on Food and Travel)

Logo of Tebay ServicesThe Westmorland story began in 1972 when the Dunnings, local farmers, set up Tebay Services after the M6 cut through their farm. It was the first family-run motorway service station on the UK road network. Forty years on the business is still family owned, still farming and still with a fierce passion for, and a pride in, the landscape, people, environment and its products. Gloucester Services Northbound opened last spring with the Southbound services due to complete early summer 2015.

In essence, Tebay and Gloucester Services are food businesses, with quality, locally-sourced food at the very heart of the enterprise. Tebay and Gloucester Services are a refreshingly different breed of motorway services – no chains, no franchises, no fast food on the forecourt. Instead, Logo of Gloucester Servicesfarm shops stocked with locally produced food, a butchery featuring local meat, kitchens (cafés) serving homemade dishes created from locally-sourced produce every day. Gloucester Services works with over 130 local suppliers within 30 miles of the services and 70 producers from across the South West. Tebay works with a similar number of suppliers in addition to using lamb and beef from the Dunning family farm in the fells surrounding the services.

Proper food matters, so we serve it where you least expect it, on the motorway. 

You can find out more about Tebay and Gloucester Services at; on Twitter @tebayservices and @glouc_services.

(Sponsor of the Food Magazine or Section of the Year Award)
Logo of Tenderstem®Tenderstem® is a cross between Chinese kale and regular broccoli. It’s quick to cook, full of flavour and incredibly versatile. Perfect for everything from stir fries to salads and sushi to spring rolls, Tenderstem® adds colour and flavour to a huge range of dishes. It has a mild, distinctive flavour and a texture more akin to asparagus than traditional broccoli and it's deliciously succulent. As the name suggests, Tenderstem® is tender from floret to stem so you can eat the whole vegetable, unlike ordinary broccoli, which tends to have a thicker, and sometimes woody, stem, so there’s no waste.

A study by Warwick University’s Horticultural Research Institute has shown Tenderstem® contains twice the vitamin C content of the equivalent fresh weight of oranges and has a higher concentration of vitamin C than both cauliflower and cabbage. It also contains one of the highest levels of folic acid compared to other members of the brassica family. The study also revealed Tenderstem® is 25-30% more tender than purple sprouting broccoli and the most tender variety of broccoli on the market, meaning it requires less cooking than any other form of broccoli, which means it retains a higher proportion of nutrients when cooked.

You can find out more about Tenderstem® at; on Twitter@tenderstem; on Facebook; on

(Sponsor of the Restaurant Reviewer of the Year Award)

Logo of Thompson's Family TeasFor over 100 years our family has been buying and blending the world’s finest teas.

In 1896, from a tea warehouse near Belfast docks, founder Robert S Thompson trained in the art of tea tasting and soon became known for his uncompromising devotion to quality.

Today, as third generation Thompsons, we share that passion for quality and take great pleasure in selecting teas from only the very finest gardens in Assam, Kenya and beyond. 

Alongside a range of exclusive loose teas, our company holds an unmatched tally of Great Taste Gold awards for our hero tea bag brand ‘Punjana’, currently Northern Ireland’s brand leader and now enjoying success with listings throughout mainland UK.

The same care and attention has been paid to more recent offerings such as Thompson’s Irish Breakfast and Thompson’s Signature blends, which have also enjoyed multiple awards with the Guild of Fine Foods, Great Taste Awards.

To this day, every blend we ever produce is first tasted and then approved by a member of the Thompson family.

Ross and David Thompson

You can find out more about Thompson’s Family Teas at; on Twitter @PunjanaTea; on Facebook; on YouTube

Logo of NyetimberFor over 25 years Nyetimber has had a single aim: to make the finest English sparkling wine, one to rival the very best in the world, including Champagne. A true pioneer, Nyetimber was the first producer of English sparkling wine to exclusively grow the three celebrated grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Each bottle of Nyetimber is made from one hundred percent estate-grown grapes. In 1988, Nyetimber planted its first vines and today, the House is regarded as one of England’s finest wine producers. Owner Eric Heerema and winemaker Cherie Spriggs are committed to producing wines of a Grande Marque standard.

You can find out more about Nyetimber at:; on Twitter @Nyetimber; on Facebook; and Instagram @Nyetimber_wines.

As one of the oldest regions of wine production, Lebanon’s wine culture stretches as far back as 7000BC.

Logo of Château KsaraChâteau Ksara
Château Ksara is the country’s oldest winery and something of a household name in Lebanon. The winery can be traced back to 1857 when a determined group of Jesuit monks acquired the property. They applied their knowledge of science and agriculture to plant French vines as well as developing two kilometres of Roman caves that proved ideal for the storage of wine. The Jesuits sold the winery to its current owners in 1973 after the Vatican ordered its monasteries to sell off any commercial activities.

Logo of IXSIRBy contrast, IXSIR, based in Batroun in the Northern region of Lebanon is one of the country’s newest producers. Vineyards are selected to reveal the best terroirs at high altitudes – from Batroun to Jezzine – and culminate at an altitude of 1,800m, making it the highest major vineyard in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Built underground, with Lebanon’s biggest planted roof, the winery is built on different levels allowing wine to be made using the method of ‘gravity fermentation’, meaning that very little pumping is used during the process as grapes and wine free-flow one level to the next. The wine cellar is built 12 meters underground thus taking advantage of the soil’s thermal consistency instead of mechanical refrigeration.

You can find out more about Château Ksara at; on Twitter@chateauksara; on Facebook

You can find out more about IXSIR at; on Twitter @IXSIRWine; on Facebook


Author: Jane Gifford Email:

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