André Simon Awards 2019

The Chair and Trustees of the prestigious annual André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards have announced the shortlist for 2019. The nominated books celebrate the best of contemporary food and drink writing and were selected from over 150 submissions. The panel was guided by this year’s independent assessors: award-winning author and Guild member Niki Segnit for the food books and wine expert Dan Jago for the drink books.

There are four Guild members on the shortlist for the Food Book Award:

  • The Way We Eat Now, by former André Simon winner Bee Wilson, is about the good, the terrible and the avocado toast. Her book explores how modern food, in all its complexity, has transformed our lives and our world.
  • From lettuce and herbs, through cabbages and even tea, Catherine Phipps explores the world of culinary leaves through meticulous research, evocative writing and foolproof recipes in Leaf.
  • Food writer and historian Angela Clutton’s The Vinegar Cupboard demonstrates the many great ways vinegars can be used to balance and enhance flavours and enable modern cooks to make the most of this ancient ingredient.
  • Burma: Food, Family & Conflict by Bridget Anderson and Stephen Anderson combines original historical research, family stories, and distinctive regional recipes to give a flavour of life and struggles from colonial Burma to contemporary Myanmar.

Food assessor Niki Segnit said: ‘One of the key tasks for the André Simon food assessor is to look for works that shine new light on the subject. This year has been nothing short of incandescent. Among the shortlisted books there is a fascinating culinary history of Burma and a vertiginous tour of the food and drink of Tokyo. There is a deep dive into vinegar and a study of Turkish cuisine that, at 511 pages, is described by its author as ‘only a glimpse’. A sobering exploration of modern eating habits is joined by a happier account of British cheesemaking. Finally, the possibilities for a greener, healthier approach to food are laid out in a book dedicated to leaves, a nose-to-fin celebration of fish, and an accessible guide to foraging.’

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in central London on Monday 20 January.