Translated Spanish cookbook from 1745 wins Jane Grigson Award

Translated Spanish cookbook from 1745 wins Jane Grigson Award

An “unusual” influential recipe book originally published in 1745 by a Spanish Franciscan friar and translated into English has won the 2017 Jane Grigson Trust Award.

Vicky Hayward (pictured) won the £2,000 prize for The New Art of Cooking: A Spanish Friar’s Kitchen Notebook, which will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in June this year.

Hayward translated the influential recipe book, originally published in 1745 by the Spanish Franciscan friar Juan Altamiras, and interweaved with it a new narrative which helps the reader to encourage eighteenth-century Spain, its everyday life and food culture.

The judges were made up of Geraldene Holt author and chair of the Jane Grigson Trust (JGT); Henrietta Green, food writer and broadcaster and trustee of the JGT; Felicity Cloake, Guardian food writer and New Statesman columnist, trustee of the JGT; Matthew Fort, food critic and author, and Diana Henry, Sunday Telegraph food writer and author.

They said of the winner: “The judges considered this unusual book to be in the spirit of Jane Grigson, carrying its scholarship lightly. The biggest surprise was how delicious the food of an eighteenth-century Spanish monastery actually was.”

Winner Vicky Hayward with chair of the judges, Geraldene Holt

The two runners-up were husband and wife team Bronwen and Francis Percival for Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes and the Fight for Real Cheese (to be published by the University of California Press in September 2017) and artisan ice cream maker Kitty Travers for La Grotta Ices, to be published by Square Peg in Spring 2018.

Created in memory of the distinguished British food writer Jane Grigson, the £2,000 award 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 two runners-up receive £100 of book tokens and all shortlisted authors receive copies of The Best of Jane Grigson.

Holt said: “Towards the end of her life, Jane Grigson wrote ‘it is this association of food ... with every aspect of existence that makes me happy to be a food writer.' Each short-listed writer tells a fascinating story of their chosen area of the food landscape. Yet there are intriguing links between them that illustrate the shared common ground of our food. The writers also reveal new facts and insights that shed a welcome light on their subjects: the nature of real cheese, the cooking of an eighteenth-century Spanish monk, and a practical guide to making superb and unusual ice-creams. Jane would be smiling. Following a careful consideration of the work of all three finalists, the judges decided that the winner of the award for 2017 is Vicky Hayward for the The New Art of Cooking.”

The winner was announced at an award ceremony at Quo Vadis restaurant in Soho on Monday 20th March.