Rebanks and Dent win at Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards

Rebanks and Dent win at Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards

James Rebanks, Grace Dent and Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley are among the winning authors of the annual Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards.

The awards celebrate the best writers and publishers working in food and drink. They are now in their ninth year and judged by an independent panel of expert judges, chaired by chef proprietor of Murano, Angela Harnett. 

Cumbrian farmer Rebanks was awarded the Food Book for English Pastoral: An Inheritance (Allen Lane), praised for his "insightful and honest account" of how he decided to farm in a more sustainable way. 

The winner of the Debut Food Book went to fellow Cumbrian, and Guardian food writer and restaurant critic, Dent. Hungry (Mudlark) charts her journey from 1980s Carlisle to the world of London restaurants, taking in family, food and chip butties along the way.

The Cookery Book award went to Tamimi and Wigley for Falastin (Ebury) — a "lavish compendium celebrating the recipes, stories and people of Palestinian food". In the Debut Cookery Book category, pâtissier and chef at the Holborn Dining Room, Calum Franklin, collected the award for The Pie Room (Bloomsbury Absolute), a celebration of British pie classics, including both sweet and savoury recipes.

Victoria James is America’s youngest sommelier, and her memoir, Wine Girl (Fleet), won the Drink Book award. It was described as an "unflinching account of life in New York’s glamourous, yet toxic, fine dining world". The Debut Drink Book was won by bartender Cas Oh for his book Co-Specs (Cazerac), an A-Z guide to classic cocktails.

Digital Creator of the Year went to recipe site Pinch of Nom, a category voted for by the public. The Pinch of Nom duo, Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone will release a new recipe book Pinch of Nom Comfort Food: 100 Slimming, Satisfying Meals (Bluebird) on 9th December.

Also on the judging panel were Asma Khan, author, chef and restaurateur; Olly Smith, wine columnist and TV presenter; Rosie Birkett, food and cookery writer for the Sunday Times; Miguel Barclay, chef and author; Sandrae Lawrence, editor of the Cocktail Lovers Magazine; and Peter McCombie, wine consultant and writer.

Tom Athron, c.e.o. of Fortnum & Mason, said of the winners: “Fortnum & Mason has been an innovator in the world of food and drink for over 300 years, and we’re proud to play our part in supporting the unparalleled food and drink scene here in the UK. This year’s entries displayed an encyclopaedic depth of knowledge and the shortlist was particularly impressive for its dazzling diversity and reassuring quality. The winners are a testament to the strength of the writing and broadcasting on the subjects of food and drink in this country and it is our privilege to encourage such distinction in these media disciplines.”