Since 1995, the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards have been recognizing the best books by and for cooks – for those who “cook with words,” as their website proclaims. The 2010 ceremony took place on February 11 in Paris, where entries competed for recognition in more than 40 different categories. Nominations for the awards are accepted from authors, publishers and even readers. There is no entry fee and thousands of cookbooks vie for the prestigious honors.
Entries came from all over the world and winners were were equally international in scope. Some of the books from the United States capturing prizes included the following:
Best Wine Atlas/Tourism Book
South-West France: The Wines and Winemakers – by Paul Strang.
France has had a long history of wine making. Paul Strang gives us an insight into its history, the decline that almost destroyed the industry and it’s renaissance. This book gives an honest view into this wine making region learn about its wine, food and traditions.
Best Fund Raising Cookbook
Big Taste of Little Rock – by the Junior League of Little Rock.
“The fourth cookbook from the Junior League of Little Rock includes menus for special occasions with numerous wine pairings. Enjoy full-color photography, slices of life, and insights into the places that make Little Rock one of the most livable, historic, and interesting cities in America”
Best Bread Book
How to Bake Bread - Michael Kalanty.
Bread may just be the ultimate comfort food, warm, crusty and completely satisfying. If you are a fan of bread, this book is an essential for your kitchen. It will give you all the basic techniques to make perfect bread every time and tons of variations that will keep you excited.
Best Culinary History Book
Food Culture in Scandinavia - by Henry Notaker.
Notaker’s book is a fresh look into the culinary history of Scandinavia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. If you have never been there you will be calling your travel agent when you’ve just gotten to the halfway point of the book.
Best Book on Wine and Health
Age gets better with Wine – by Richard A. Baxter.
We’ve all heard about the benefits of wine: lowering cholesterol, keeping you younger, and possibly preventing heart attacks and cancer. Baxter explores the many benefits of the nectar of the gods.
Best Wine Book of the Year
Been Doon so Long – byRandall Grahm.
Randall Grahm, California winemaker and founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard created one of the most entertaining books out there. You will love it if you are a lit geek or a wine geek. If you are both you’ll rave about the book to everyone you know, it’s a great way to enjoy Grahm’s sense of humor while sipping on a glass of his award winning wines.
Best Entertaining Cookbook
Memorable Recipes – by Renée Behnke.
Entertaining can be one of the most daunting tasks one can undertake. Behnke makes it simple by sharing experiences, advice, tips, menu ideas and tons of delicious recipes. The book is color coded to make this essential for those who love to entertain.
Best Vegetarian Book
Clean Food - by Terry Walters.
Eating today is contaminated by complicated issues that can make dining uncomfortable and guilt ridden. Terry Walters puts everything you need to know about eating in this book in order to help us to make the right choices: eating seasonal, unprocessed, and locally-grown foods that are good for us and the environment.
Best Barbecue Book
Seven Fires - by Kaminsky and Mallmann.
One of the best experiences ever had is barbecuing in Argentina. This book captures the feeling of such experience. Chef Francis Mallmann who was born in Patagonia and trained in France’s top restaurants decided to leave the fine dining scene to go back to basics. This book will make you want to drop the laptop and head to the hills.
Best Food Literature Book
Food Matters – by Mark Bittman.
Bittman has taken on a great cause, getting people to think about what they eat, the effects they have on our world and giving them a way to change their habits for the better. We consider him to be a true bonafide foodie. Bittman’s book is full of advice that just makes sense. Highly recommended.
Best Cookbook Series
Sandra Lee’s Semi Homemade – by Sandra Lee.
This is a great book for busy moms and dads, students, people with heavy work loads and pretty much anyone who does not have hours to spend in the kitchen. Sandra Lee shows her readers how to create delicious meals by combining store bought and fresh ingredients to cut down on time without losing flavor.
Gourmet Rhapsody - by Muriel Barbery.
A fantastic translation of “The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which is relates the life of the French food critic Pierre Arthen, who is on his death bed reflecting on his life and career and hoping to grasp that perfect flavor for one last time.
Best Television Chef Book
Cook Yourself Thin - by Lifetime Television.
We’ve all seen the show Cook Yourself Thin FASTER. This book delivers exactly what the show does, realistic results by sneaking unhealthy ingredients out of traditional comfort foods and replacing them with other ingredients that deliver a health punch and result in a thinner waistline.
Best Latino Cuisine Book
Estefan Kitchen - by Gloria and Emilio Estefan.
Gloria and Emilio Estefan are vanguards of the Latin Music scene and are now expanding into the culinary arena. Their book gives us a look into their restaurant: Bongos Cuban Café, home of authentic Cuban cuisine à la 1950s Havana. Estefan Kitchen is a great way to add a little Latin heat to your kitchen and bring a little spice to your home.
Best Book on French Wine
What Price Bordeaux? - by Benjamin Lewin.
French wine is perhaps one of the most intimidating in the category. This book gives readers an outline on what exactly made the region what it is today. It discusses role of terroir on quality and flavor, the effects of phylloxera and global warming on the structure of Bordeaux, how the region has been affected by critics and globalization and really helps us to understand the reasons behind the pricing of these incredible wines.
Best Cookbook Illustrations
Chocolate, A Love Story - Max Brenner.
Chocolate: A Love Story is a book I can certainly relate to. It is a gorgeous new cookbook with 65 recipes that the chocoholic in your life will love. The recipes are incredibly easy to follow and are accompanied by gorgeous Art Deco illustrations and photographs that will make you drool as you turn the page.
Best Chinese Cuisine Book
Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking - by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo.
Yin-Fei Lo’s, born in China has put together a cookbook for anyone who wants to try out Chinese cooking. I’d buy the book just for the photographs and artwork. The book is an easy to follow guide into learning the basics of Chinese cooking. It also includes bits of regional history so that you will end up with a good understanding of why Chinese cooking is so amazing.
Best Arab Cuisine Book
Nile Style - by Amy Riolo.
We were very interested in why they had this category. Were other countries represented? That being said, this is a great cookbook. It includes traditional recipes like fava bean puree and Egyptian whole-wheat pita, to lamb-filled phyllo triangles and raisin
Best French Cuisine Book
The Sweet life in Paris - by David Leibovitz.
If you have never been to Paris you must pick up this book and start planning your trip. Leibovitz shares his life since he moved to Paris. the book is entertaining and easy to read. David’s book will have you laughing, it will make you thankful that you live in the US and then make you desperately want to move to Paris.
Best Chocolate Book
Chocolate in Mesoamerica – by Cameron L. McNeil.
This is a great book for foodies and history geeks. Similar to “Salt”, McNeil’s book reaches out to interdisciplinary scholars (archaeology, history, art history, linguistics, epigraphy, botany, chemistry, and cultural anthropology) to fully get a grasp on the domestication, preparation, representation, and significance of cacao in ancient and modern communities of the Americas, with a concentration on its use in Mesoamerica. We’d love to see a follow-up book on cacao use today.
This book is what you get if you put together some of the strongest chefs and an amazing editor. The recipes are easily tackled by the average cook and clearly written. If you are a true foodie and enjoy every step of the process this little gem is for you.
Best Drinks Photography and Illustrations Book
Gone with the Wine – The Wine Cartoons of Doug Pike – by Doug Pike.
We could not help thinking of “The New Yorker” as we leafed through this book. Doug Pike, the acclaimed cartoonist of RobertParker.com, tackles the comedic side of wine (the industry, us winos, producers…all of it). You’ll be chuckling the entire time through.
Best Beer Book
Froth! The Science of Beer - by Mark Denny.
In a world that is becoming quickly dominated by wine it is easy to forget about beer. Home-brewer and physicist Mark Denny has crafted a scientifically sound and witty investigation of the physics and chemistry of beer. He relates the history of beer and the newest technology in its productions. Better still, he gives great instructions on how to make your own.
Best Cocktails Book
Vintage Cocktails - by Brian Van Flandern.
Vintage Cocktails delves into the art of creating the perfect cocktail. Simplicity is key when mixing ingredients. If you are new to mixology, this book is highly recommended as a start in understanding why cocktails work. The book is regaled with photographs of classic cocktails taken at the Carlyle Hotel.
The following books received special recognition:
Hall of Fame- Wine book
Windows on the world complete wine course - by Kevin Zraly.
This is a must have for any wine novice. It was one of the first books that helped us to embark in our love affair with wine. Kevin keeps things simple and fun making it even easier to learn your vino speak.
Special Award of the Jury
Dining at Delmonico’s – by James Canora and Judith Choate.
If you are a bit of a history buff, this is most definitely the book for you. It follows America’s oldest restaurant from its opening in 1837 and shares some of its most successful and popular recipes so the home cook can experience Delmonico’s at home.
Special Award of the Jury
Au Revoir to All That - by Michael Steinberger.
An enlightening book that examines the past, present and future of French Cuisine. The book discusses everything that made the French dining scene what it is and also the things that threaten to knock this country off its throne (globalization, government, red tape).
Special Award of the Jury
Life is short… Cooking is Fun - by Joseph Poon
This book really makes the art of cooking fun. Joseph Poon creates lively narrative and tips with stunning step by step instructions to demystify cooking. Better still he puts a focus on Asian cooking and makes it accessible to the most timid cook.
Special Award of the Jury
New American Table - by Marcus Samuelsson
From one of our favorite Chefs, The New American Table celebrates American food and all that it has come to be. Sammuelsson chronicles his travels throughout the US and then shares his interpretation of the recipes he picks up along the way.
Special Award of the Jury
The Pleasures of Cooking for One - by Judith Jones
Because sometimes it’s just great to cook for one, to indulge in those sinful little treats. Jones makes cooking fun, gives great tips and makes you save money in the kitchen. Is there anything else you can ask for?
Some of these cookbooks may be a bit obscure, but they are all worthy of a place on any foodie’s bookwhelf. Almost every one of them is available through Amazon.com, although because of high demand, there may be a short wait before an order can be filled.
As you can see, cookbooks from every genre and all price points are part of this prestigious competition. Perhaps next year might be the time for your cookbook to win!
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