Yorkshire's Independent Restaurant Guide

2012 Guild of Food Writers Awards

So off we went to That London and the fabulously historic Fishmongers Hall for the 16th Guild of Food Writers Awards (Jill was on the judging panel for the Michael Smith Award for Work on British Food category) with a song in our hearts and a secret hope that we might make the shortlist (Restaurant Reviewer of the Year (Jill) and Food Blog (Squidders)) but determined to make a night of it regardless. And what a night. Balmy breezes and late sunshine slanting across The Shard on London Bridge, and warm enough to spill out of the building onto the patio, all the better to catch the waiter’s eye (actually no need, since the wine and divine canapés just kept coming) and in my case to rubber-neck food writing royalty who were present in abundance. Squeaking like a teenager, I caught glimpses of Roden, Rayner and MacLeod, Parker-Bowles, Norman, Fort and Ottolenghi – folk I read every week, some of whose writing I aspire to. Speaking of which I buttonholed Jay Rayner who turns out to be a splendid chap; friendly and warm with a lovely crinkly smile which spread across his entire face, not just round the mouth (ie pretend). We had a laugh and I shamelessly banged on about Squidders, not letting him get away until he promised to subscribe to our newsletter.

No gongs for us this time but there’s always next year ..


And the winners are

Cookery Book of the Year Award: Couture Chocolate by William Curley

Derek Cooper Award for Campaigning and Investigative Food Writing or Broadcasting: Hugh’s Fish Fight

Evelyn Rose Award for Cookery Journalist of the Year: Lucas Hollweg for work published in The Sunday Times’ Style Magazine

Food Blog of the Year Award: Poires au Chocolat (www.poiresauchocolat.net) by Emma Gardner

Food Book of the Year Award: Food Britannia by Andrew Webb

Food Broadcast of the Year Award: Hugh’s Fish Fight

Food Journalist of the Year Award: Tim Hayward

Food Magazine of the Year Award: Fire & Knives edited by Tim Hayward

Best First Book Award: How to Make Bread by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou

Kate Whiteman Award for Work on Food and Travel: Jerusalem on a Plate presented by Yottam Ottolenghi

Michael Smith Award for Work on British Food: Work published in the Birmingham Post by Richard McComb

Miriam Polunin Award for Work on Healthy Eating: The Food Programme: Transfats presented by Sheila Dillon

New Media of the Year Award: thefoodiebugle.com

Restaurant Reviewer of the Year: John Walsh for work published in The Independent Magazine

Lifetime Achievement Award: Claudia Roden