Page turners: UK restaurant industry wins big at Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cooking, Restaurant, Culinary art

Books by UK chefs and restaurateurs dominated a number of categories in this year's Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris
Books by UK chefs and restaurateurs dominated a number of categories in this year's Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris
UK chefs and restaurateurs are celebrating after winning a number of prizes at this year's Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris with Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains among the winners.

Too Many Chiefs, Only One Indian, the legendary Nottingham chef’s tribute to the restaurant industry published by Face Publications, scooped Best Design at the 18th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards which were held at the Paris Cookbook Fair over the weekend.

Other UK winners included Madalene Bonvini-Hamel, co-founder of The British Larder, whose book of the same name was named the best by a female chef beating a strong field of titles including April Bloomfield’s book.

Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts) was named Best Italian Cookbook and Nicholas Lander’s The Art of the Restaurateur took the prize for Best Professional book.


Sat Bains, chef and author of Too Many Chiefs, Only One Indian

"It was one of the proudest moments, hearing the news. I was on the pass and I thought this is so fitting - I should be in my kitchen.

"It has been incredible, obviously it (the book) was geared at chefs and those in the industry but each recipe has been tested by a home economist. It feels like a tasting menu with lots of layers we wanted it to be quite bold and ambitious but also very creative.

"It is a snapshot of what is happening in Britain - some serious guys out there doing brilliant stuff.

"We are a very un-traditional restaurant, so why would we go down a traditional two-Michelin-star restaurant cookbook route? I had no qualms about not getting an advance and I risked my own money."


Madalene Bonvini-Hamel, co-founder of The British Larder and author of The British Larder: A Cookbook For All Seasons

"The competition was particularly tough.

"I am honoured to have my book recognised amongst such celebrated and influential industry notaries.

"I would like to congratulate my colleagues who made it into the finals and in particular the chefs from Belgium and the UAE who were chosen as runners-up."

Russell Norman, restaurateur and author of Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts)

"It was a complete surprise. For a very long time, Venetian cooking has been hiding in the shadows or has been ignored. The restaurants of Venice don't really do the city any great favours.

"There is definitely a charge, not just from cookery writers and chefs, but from people with actual restaurants. These are books that have a physical place within their DNA where you can sit down and have the food.

"People have said the book makes them want to do three things - go to Polpo, get in the kitchen and book a flight to Venice. It is the book that keeps on giving. I am having detailed conversations with my publishers about a second book so watch this space."

Nicholas Lander, restaurant consultant and author of The Art of the Restaurateur

"I am thrilled, it is my first book and I am just delighted that restaurateurs are beginning to get the attention they deserve. The book seems to be having a very positive effect on people who are absolutely in love with the business - there seems to be a growing number every day.


"They are leaders, a lot of them are learning how to adapt their businesses to national characteristics and the best are actually quite humble.

"Everyone always says restaurants go bust faster than any other business but people are actually now realising there are very many successful restaurateurs. Now, finally, the spotlight is beginning to turn on restaurateurs."

Also winning awards were UK blogger Leemei Tan and Yotam Ottolenghi who won Best Blog Cookbook and best Mediterranean Cookbook respectively for Lemongrass & Ginger and Jerusalem. 

Ken Hom’s book Ken & Ching: Exploring China was awarded the Best Culinary Travel award, while Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals reached the final in the English Language TV Cookbook category.

The awards represent a significant breakthrough of the UK restaurant industry into the saturated cookbook market with books on chefs and the industry, as opposed to just home cooking titles, gaining widespread attention and recognition.

For a special feature, Restaurant magazine recently investigated the economics and dynamics of the cookbook world for any chefs eyeing up a move to become an author.

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