Kitty and Alex Tait, Claire Finney and Gurdeep Loyal (pictured) have made the shortlist for the Jane Grigson Trust Award 2021.
Created in memory of the distinguished British food writer Jane Grigson, the award is made to a first-time writer of a book about food or drink, from any non-fiction genre, which has been commissioned but not yet published.
Finney is shortlisted for Hungry Heart: A Story of Food and Love, to be published by Aurum in February 2023. “From the totemic value of Christmas dinner to the Krispy Kremes in the staff kitchen via the solace of chicken soup to the silliness of ice cream, this book uses Clare’s own life – and the recipes that shaped it –as a leitmotif in an honest account of humans breaking bread together and what, in a world of Deliveroo and digital communication, that really means,” the blurb explains.
Finney’s first food article, about her divorced parents and their new spouses coming together for Christmas dinner, was published in a local magazine when she was 18. Named Food Writer of the Year in Fortnum & Mason’s Food and Drink writing awards 2019, she now writes for a variety of national and regional magazines.
Loyal makes the list with Mother Tongue: Flavours of a Second Generation to be released by Fourth Estate in April 2022. The synopsis states: “Using his own experience as a second-generation British Indian as a starting point, through recipes and text Gurdeep explores the popular traditions of second-generation food writers who both celebrate their parents’ legacy and see themselves as cultural inbetweeners. With recipes for everything from chat paneer hot dogs to coconut crab crumpets, Gurdeep shows how the blended cuisines of second generation children around the world today should be celebrated in their own right.”
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.
Kitty and Alex Tait feature with Breadsong: How Bread Changed our Lives, coming from Bloomsbury in May 2022. The father and daughter duo began baking two years ago, opening the Orange Bakery in Watlington, Oxfordshire, in May 2019. Their book “charts Alex and Kitty’s journey from that first loaf, merging lots of delicious recipes and the story of creating a successful small bakery with their experiences of how doing something as simple as baking bread can bring a family together”.
Chair of Judges Geraldene Holt said: "From the launch six years ago of the trust's award for new writing we have encouraged entries from a broad spectrum of food writing. The standard of entry was exceptionally high this year, so it was very hard to come up with a shortlist of just three. The three shortlisted books all contain wonderful recipes but they are also memoirs in which the authors explore their identities and place in the world through food. Deciding the winner will be a fascinating though difficult task.”
The winning book will be announced on 22nd March, with a £2,000 cheque for its author.