“To be second to none other than the most popular French chef Alain Ducasse’s book is very thrilling. This award has rekindled an interest in Ayurveda at the Paris Book fair this year,” says Jigyasa Giri on receiving the Goumand Award in the Best Health & Nutrition Category – Second place. Girija Duggal writes an article titled ‘Cooking up a storm’.
HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE ARTICLE:
Indian cookbooks have come of age. On february 11, three cookbooks from India beat competition from 36 countries to come out on top at the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, considered to be the culinary world’s equivalent of the Oscars.
The event, held in Paris, saw The Moti Mahal Cookbook – On The Butter Chicken Trial (Peguin India) by Delhi-based Monish Gujral win in the Best Easy Recipe category. Sukham Ayu: Cooking at Home with Ayurvedin Insights (Pritya) by Chennai-based Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain bagged second position in the Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook category. The third book – Sangria – A recipe for Love – though penned by Australian Manuela Requena, was published by Indian publishing house Undercover Utopia. It was declared the Best Culinary Literature Book in in the world.
“It was an amazing event. I had tough competition from Australia, Costa Rica and the US. I thought i had a bleak chance,” says Gujral who has since been invited to demonstrate Butter chicken at the World Book Fair in London.
“To be second to none other than the most popular French chef Alain Ducasse’s book is very thrilling. This award has rekindled an interest in Ayurveda at the Paris Book fair this year,” says Giri. In the past, author Nita Mehta, Asha Khatau, Viji Varadarajan and Salma have won Gourmand awards.
Rupa and co publishes Kapish Mehra agrees that the scenario has improved “in the last 5-10 years”. “Both the quality of production and of content has improved. Our cookbooks demand a higher positioning abroad. There is also a branching out into newer flavours and topics,” he says. “The quality of books from India is improving fast. They compete well on a world level,” said Gourmand World Cookbook Awards’ founder and President Edouard Cointreau in a december interview to HT City.
Publishers are optimistic. Abhigyan Jha, co-founder, Undercover Utopia says “We aim to put Indian books on the global map… this is a step in that direction.
(As featured in Hindustan Times, 20 February, 2010)