Although it wasn’t my top Christmas present this year, the message that landed in my inbox a couple of days ago made my heart sing with joy. Here is what it said:
‘The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards are delighted to announce that A Taste of Slovakia is the winner selected to represent Slovakia in the Eastern Europe as well as the Self Published Categories. Your book will now compete in its category against other countries for The Best in the World. The results will be announced on May 26, 2018 at the annual Gourmand Awards Ceremony in Yantai, China.’
It took years of research, travel and collecting material for this first book on Slovak cuisine in English to start taking shape. When I finally managed to finish the manuscript, I could find no publisher willing to put it out in the world. In order to save money I did most of the food photography myself, and was fortunate enough to find Jana Kollárová and Andrea Leitnerová, both of whom put their artistic touch on the final layout of the book. The Tlačiareň P+M printing house helped me with the self-publishing task, and when A Taste of Slovakia saw the light of day towards the end of 2016, it was a dream come true. But it never occurred to me, not in my wildest dreams, that the book could reach more than a few hundred interested readers outside Slovakia. Now that it has managed to attract recognition from professionals, I feel honoured and extremely grateful to all those who have contributed to the book’s success.
The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau. Every year, they honour the best food and wine books from around the world. More than 200 countries participate in these prestigious awards, which have been compared to the ‘Oscars’ by journalists.
With the huge network created around the Gourmand Awards, Edouard Cointreau decided to launch the Paris Cookbook Fair in 2010. After three years at Le Centquatre, the fair moved to the Carrousel du Louvre in 2013, and Beijing in 2014. Since then, the World Cookbook Fair takes place at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The results of 2018 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for all countries will be published on http://www.cookbookfair.com in the coming weeks.