A husband and wife team who tasked themselves with answering the "deceptively simple" question 'what is cheese?' have been shortlisted for the Jane Grigson Trust Award 2017, alongside other first-time authors whose books include unusual ice cream recipes and a modern retelling of an 18th-century classic cookbook.
The £2,000 Jane Grigson Trust Award, created in memory of the distinguished British food writer Jane Grigson, aims to support food writing "in the widest sense", with entries accepted from any genre, including cookbook, memoir, travel and history. It is made to a first-time writer of a book about food or drink which has been commissioned but has yet to be published.
This year’s shortlist was praised by the judges as "particularly exciting and revelatory", each taking a fresh perspective on their particular subject. It comprises Vicky Hayward's The New Art of Cooking: A Spanish Friar’s Kitchen Notebook (publishing with Rowman and Littlefield in June 2017), a book that draws on the author's deep knowledge of Spanish culture to provide a retelling of an 18th-century cookbook; Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes and the Fight for Real Cheese (publishing with University of California Press in September 2017) by husband and wife team of Francis and Bronwen Percival, the latter of which is the buyer at Neals Yard Dairy; and Kitty Travers' La Grotta Ices (publishing with Square Peg in spring 2018), sharing "unusual but delicious" ice cream recipes, from Blackcurrant Leaf Water Ice to Chocolate and Caper Ice Cream.
Chair of the judges, and chair of the Jane Grigson Trust, Geraldene Holt, was joined on the judging panel by food writers Henrietta Green, Felicity Cloake, Matthew Fort and Diana Henry. Speaking for the judges, she said: “The shortlist for this year's Jane Grigson Trust Award for new food writers is particularly exciting and revelatory. All the authors have conducted painstaking and careful research into their chosen fields. As a result, they have made new discoveries that shed a fresh light into established areas to produce welcome and sometimes unexpected insights into the world of food and cooking. Jane Grigson would have been delighted.”
The winner will receive a cheque for £2,000 and the two runners-up receive £100 book tokens. All three shortlisted authors receive copies of The Best of Jane Grigson (Grub Street Publishing).
The winner will be announced at an award ceremony at Quo Vadis in Soho, London on Monday 20th March.