Food & Drink
Sunday, 18 March 2012 02:31
By caribarena news
Antigua St John's - Tablemanners, A Culinary Review of Hospitality in Antigua & Barbuda, has won first prize in the category of Best Publisher and Best Design for 2011 by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards organisation.
The award was announced at the 17th International Gourmand World Cookbook Awards ceremony at Les Folies Bergere theatre in Paris, France on March 6, 2012.
TABLEMANNERS was authored and published by Gulliver Johnson and Janie Conley-Johnson, edited by Madeleine Jardim McComas, and graphic design was by Takumi Media.
The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards was established by Edouard Cointreau in 1995, and is an annual event of great prestige and honour in the international world of food and wine. The Cointreau family has been influential in this elite world for many generations.
Cointreau is descended on his father’s side from the family that produces Cointreau liqueur, and on his mother’s side from Rémy Martin and Frapin Cognacs. He is president of the Paris Cookbook Fair, president of the World Association of Food TV, and president of honour of China Food Television.
As Cointreau said, “It does not matter who they are, all winners do share one aspect. You can feel the same spirit in a good cookbook or wine book, as you do in good literature. The author shines through. In fiction, it is usually a single author while in most cookbooks or wine books the final result is very much a team effort.”
TABLEMANNERS: A Culinary Review of Hospitality in Antigua & Barbuda, reflects Cointreau’s vision. The book was truly a collaborative project which brought to fruition the dreams, ideas and desires of many people. The small Food & Drink team took those aspirations and developed them into a glorious book brimming with the talents and tastes of the people of Antigua & Barbuda.
The generous contributions of chefs, student chefs, bartenders, culinary, and beverage professionals set the tone for a book we can all be immensely proud of. "No recipe should be lost, for they are a staple of our culture. Tastefully prepared and presented, they are to be shared by all."
The name TABLEMANNERS was chosen for this ambitious project because it was the name of the first magazine published by the Food & Drink Guide team in 2002. The concept for the book was to create a showcase exposé of Antigua & Barbuda’s culinary industry by expanding on the format of the annual Food & Drink Guide.
It is much more than a cookbook. It is a vibrant and comprehensive guide through the culinary scene of the twin-island state, which showcases the islands’ bars, restaurants, hotels, talent, indigenous products, and produce.
Over one-third of the content of the book came from a collaboration between Dr Anthony Richards and Madeleine Jardim McComas, who organised the first Magic Mango Menu Competition for professional chefs and bartenders in 2005 as part of the annual Mango Festival.
The competition has evolved into an eagerly contested series of events for professionals, with a separate pastry chef’s competition introduced in 2011.
Coverage of the event has been a feature of Food & Drink Guide every year. The recipes from the competition, together with other recipes and articles on local delicacies such as spiny lobster, conch, black fruitcake, and agro-processing products, written by local experts, represented a body of work that begged to be published in a book.
The sponsors for the TABLEMANNERS project are the islands’ resorts, restaurants, and bars, the Antigua Distillery Limited, Quin Farara and Co Ltd, Best Cellars Wines & Spirits, Best of Books, and the Government of Antigua & Barbuda. Thanks were extended to Edouard Cointreau and his Gourmand team, along with Tourism Minister John Maginley, Finance Minister Harold Lovell, and Agriculture Minister Hilson Baptiste, who were all proud advocates of this book and supported it whole-heartedly.
The kind support and backing of the Ministry of Tourism’s team made it possible for the authors/publishers, Gulliver Johnson and Janie Conley-Johnson, to attend the Paris Cookbook Fair and to accept the prestigious award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards ceremony.
Upon being called to take the stage to receive the first place award in the publishers category for "Best Cookbook Design in the World," the couple proudly flew the Antigua & Barbuda flag. With 162 countries present, and a theatre at full capacity, they thanked the judges and invited all guests and countries to visit Antigua & Barbuda and experience the food, culture, and hospitality firsthand.
The twin islands were quickly dubbed "the champagne of destinations". Armed with promotional goodies from the Tourism Authority, copies of the 2012 Food & Drink Guide, Food & Drink TV DVD’s, tasty agro-processed samples from Granma Aki, Susie’s Hot Sauce, Cavalier Antigua Rum samples provided by Quin Farara & Co Ltd, and USB flash drives from Best Cellars Wines & Spirits, they continued to introduce the delicious flavours of Antigua & Barbuda at the Paris Cookbook Fair over the next few days.
Within a short period, everyone knew the flag and the destination of Antigua & Barbuda, and raved about the islands’ culinary talents. The Food & Drink team has been invited by Academy Director of Le Cordon Bleu Paris Damien Julia to make a presentation at the academy on the culinary-hospitality industry of Antigua & Barbuda, giving even greater exposure as a culinary destination.
The international impact of such a win cannot be underestimated. TABLEMANNERS is the second cookbook from Antigua & Barbuda to be recognised at the Gourmand Awards. Local artist Gilly Gobinet won in 2008 with the Cool Caribbean Cookery Book, bringing home the award for the "Best Illustrated Cookbook in the World".
Food unites and transcends all boundaries – political, racial, and class. This impressive award will win important worldwide recognition for the hospitality industry of Antigua & Barbuda. "We should celebrate our culinary creativity and actively make the most of this opportunity for positive PR," a release said.