First introduced in 1995 at the Frankfurt Book Fair, GOURMAND Cookbook Award is now one of the most prestigious in the field. The awards are open to all content about Food and Drink culture, big or small, public or private, trade-published, or self-published, free or paid, print or digital, with or without ISBN, and in all languages.
Bangladeshi culinary artist Alpana Habib’s first cookbook, Alpana’s Cooking, received the top award at the 24th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2019, held in Macao. Hundreds of publishers, authors, chefs, and journalists took part in the event held at Macao International Book Fair, and organised by the Institute of Culture of Macao.
The focus of the fair was ‘Gastronomy,’ as Macao is part of the UNESCO world network of Creative Cities of Gastronomy. The fair continued till 7 July, 2019 at the Venetian Congress Center.
This year, there were entries from 216 countries and regions in different categories. Of the twelve finalists under the category of ‘First Book,’ Alpana’s cookbook was one of the five that were nominated, and was eventually the winner. The other four nominees under this category were from South Africa, Panama, Sweden and Turkey.
According to Edouard Cointreau, the president of Gourmand International based in Madrid, objective of the GOURMAND World Cookbook Award is to honour those who “cook with words,” “to give an overview of cuisines and beverages in all its rich diversity and trends,” and to help “promote the best authors and publishers across the world.”
The book Alpana’s Cooking, published in 2018, is a compilation of 250 most popular recipes by the renowned cuisine specialist, Alpana Habib. From traditional Bengali dishes like ‘bhartas’ or ‘shukto,’ to a regal ‘kachchi biriyani;’ Thai salad, or a US-style carrot cake — this cookbook has it all, and then some.
Alpana Habib is one of the few culinary experts in this country who are comfortable on all platforms now at our disposal. She has hosted immensely popular cooking shows on DeshTV, NTV, ATN, DiptoTV.
Today, her YouTube channel has over 82,000 subscribers from all over the world. She has also written for the press, including The Daily Star, ProthomAlo, ANANYA, Canvas, RosuiGhar and West Bengal’s HanglaHeshel.