Meghan Markle cookbook scoops André Simon Award

Meghan Markle cookbook scoops André Simon Award

The cookbook launched by Meghan Markle in the wake of the Grenfell Fire has won a André Simon Award. Contributors of Together: Our Community Cookbook received a Special Commendation at last night’s awards at the Goring Hotel in London, which showcase the best of contemporary food and drink writing and are now in their 40th year.

Together: Our Community Cookbook (Ebury) by The Hubb Community Kitchen, whose community was affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, made headlines earlier this year after the Duchess of Sussex launched the 50-recipe book. The women behind Together gathered in a community kitchen in London to cook fresh meals for their families and neighbours affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. They named their group the Hubb Community Kitchen after the word hubb, which means ‘love’ in Arabic. The book tells their story through more than 50 recipes and includes a foreword by The Duchess of Sussex. The proceeds from the book have enabled the Hubb Community Kitchen to stay open for up to seven days a week.

Other authors recognised this year include Diana Henry, whose How to Eat a Peach: Menus, Stories and Places (Mitchell Beazley) won the Food Award; Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay, who won the Drink Award for The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste: A Field Guide to the Great Wines of Europe (Ten Speed Press); and Caroline Eden, whose Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes – Through Darkness and Light (Quadrille Publishing) won the John Avery Award.

Meera Sodha, this year’s food-book assessor, said: “Together touched the core of my soul. These women came together after the Grenfell tragedy to cook for family and friends. Their stories are ones that are never usually heard and their food – beautiful and delicious home cooking – is not ordinarily seen. It’s a rare and beautiful book which shows the power of cooking and eating together as a way to connect, share, love – and in this case, grieve and heal.

How to Eat a Peach blew me away. It radiates warmth and joy. It’s beautifully written but most of all it’s packed with delicious and genuinely cook-able food and lots of helpful tips for the home cook. Caroline Eden’s book is a fascinating journey from Odessa in Ukraine to Trabzon in Turkey via historical menus, personal stories and hunger-stoking recipes. It’s a luminous piece of travel writing on the area.”

Drink-book assessor Victoria Moore said: “It isn't easy to produce fresh insights and fascinating commentary on some of the most well-trampled wine regions on earth, but sommelier-turned- wine producer Rajat Parr and writer Jordan Mackay have managed to do just that, and to do so with style; I expect this book to find its way on to the shelves of wine drinkers and collectors as well as those of aspiring sommeliers.”

Shortlisted Food Books 2018 

Black Sea by Caroline Eden (Quadrille Publishing)
First, Catch by Thom Eagle (Quadrille Publishing)
How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley)
Lateral Cooking by Niki Segnit (Bloomsbury Publishing)
MOB Kitchen by Ben Lebus (Pavilion Books)
Pasta, Pane, Vino by Matt Goulding (Hardie Grant Publishing)
Pie and Mash Down the Roman Road by Melanie McGrath (Two Roads)
Shetland by James & Tom Morton (Quadrille Publishing)
Together by The Hubb Community Kitchen (Ebury Press) 

Shortlisted Drink Books 2018 

Amber Revolution Flawless by Simon J Woolf (Morning Claret Productions)
Flawless by Jamie Goode (University of California Press) 
Red & White by Oz Clarke (Little Brown Book Group)
The Life of Tea by Michael Freeman & Timothy D'Offay (Mitchell Beazley)
The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste by Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay (Ten Speed Press)
Vineyards, Rocks and Soils by Alex Maltman (Oxford University Press)