Now I’m up against the best in the world in a competition labelled the Oscars of the food industry. It’s daunting but exciting as I stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of South Africa's first Michelin-star chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen who, from his roots in Mpumalanga, is now running his own restaurant in France. For me it will be a long wait for the annual Gourmand Awards Ceremony to be staged in China at the end of May, 2017.
This competition was founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau who is the president of the jury for the awards. His objectives were to reward and honour those who "cook with words"; to help readers find the best out of all the food and wine books produced every year; to help publishers with international rights to translate and distribute food and wine books; to help book retailers find the 50 food and wine books that, each year, should be offered to clients; to create an opportunity to access the major markets in English, Chinese, German, Spanish or French for books originated in other languages; to increase knowledge and respect for food and wine culture.
Other books from the Struik Lifestyle stable that won national awards were Giving Back Childhood (Best Charity- Fundraising); Simply Delicious (Best TV – English); Jan – A Breath of French Air (Best French Cuisine).
My first book, Jackie Cameron Cooks at Home (Penguin Random House) won a national Gourmand award. I’m hoping for international status this time around!