Elly McCausland and Dan Saladino have won the Jane Grigson Trust prize, marking the first time the judges have decided to award the prize to two shortlisted authors.
Food blogger and literature lecturer McCausland won for The Botanical Kitchen (Absolute Press) and radio journalist Saladino for The Ark of Taste (Jonathan Cape).
In The Botanical Kitchen, McCausland takes an in-depth look at our love affair with every part of the plant – fruits, flowers, leaves and seeds, from orchards to the tropics, tea leaves to tayberries – and shows how they enhance flavour, dramatically shifting and developing the character of a dish. The book will be published in March 2020.
In The Ark of Taste, to be published in Spring 2020, Saladino takes the reader on a journey of discovery into the world’s most endangered foods and disappearing flavours, starting with the blood oranges of his family’s Sicilian roots, in order to better understand the world and our place in it.
Selina Periampillai was named runner-up for The Island Kitchen which will be published by Bloomsbury in May 2019. In The Island Kitchen, the private cook and recipe consultant, who is of Mauritian descent, celebrates the cuisines of the Indian Ocean, including recipes for dishes such as Seychellois Creole Octopus Salad and Peanut Pumpkin Stew from Madagascar.
Chair of judges of the Jane Grigson Trust Award, Geraldene Holt, said: “The field of applications was the strongest we’ve yet received, with an amazingly wide variety of subjects and treatments, and the decision of who should be the final winner was incredibly difficult to make. The judges have therefore decided that, with such talented entrants, the award should be made to two authors who between them exemplify the best of modern food writing.
“Elly’s is a very well-researched book taking a refreshing view of cooking with seeds and spices, leaves and flowers of familiar and also little-known ingredients. She brings these flavours into focus in a totally delicious way. Dan Saladino’s book examines the quiet tragedy of endangered foods. He asks important questions about how and why this is happening and inspires us to act. His book is an eloquent cry for action.”
Created in memory of the distinguished British food writer Jane Grigson, the £2000 award – which will be shared between McCausland and Saladino – is made to a first-time writer of a book on food or drink which has been commissioned but has not yet been published. The runners-up receive £100 of book tokens.
The winners were announced at an award ceremony at Quo Vadis restaurant in Soho on Monday 18th March.