Gurdeep Loyal has won the £2,000 Jane Grigson Trust Award for new food writers for his forthcoming book Mother Tongue: Flavours of a Second Generation.
In the book, Loyal uses his own experience as a second-generation British Indian as a starting point to explore the popular traditions of second-generation food writers who both celebrate their parents’ legacy and see themselves as cultural in-betweeners. With recipes for everything from chat paneer hot dogs to coconut crab crumpets, Loyal shows how the blended cuisines of second-generation children around the world today should be celebrated in their own right. The book will be published by Fourth Estate in April 2022.
Loyal has worked in the food industry for many years and is currently head of food trends at Marks & Spencer. He curates the online platform Mother Tongue, which celebrates second-generation food stories from around the world.
The two runners up are: Claire Finney for Hungry Heart: A Story of Food and Love which will be published by Aurum in February 2023, and Kitty and Alex Tait for Breadsong: How Bread Changed our Lives, which will be published by Bloomsbury in May 2022. They will both receive £100 of book tokens, and all shortlisted authors receive copies of The Best of Jane Grigson.
Chair of judges Geraldene Holt said: "Judging for this year’s award was thoughtful and opinionated and we are delighted to announce Gurdeep Loyal as this year’s Jane Grigson Trust Award winner and look forward to reading Mother Tongue. The two other shortlisted books were extremely highly regarded by the judges and it was a very close decision.”
Joining Holt (food writer and chair of the Jane Grigson Trust) on the judging panel for the 2021 award were Angela Clutton (food writer, broadcaster, and 2018 Jane Grigson Trust Award winner), Henrietta Green (food writer and Trustee of the JGT), Gareth Grundy (deputy editor of Observer Food Monthly) and Diana Henry (food writer and Trustee of the JGT).
Now in its sixth year, the award, created in memory of the distinguished British food writer Jane Grigson, is made to a first-time writer of a book about food or drink which has been commissioned but not yet published. The criteria includes a non-fiction book on food and drink in the widest sense, from any genre – cookbook, memoir, travel, history – as long as the primary subject is food or drink.