Leading food writer Diana Henry and West London community recognised on 40th anniversary of awards in a celebration of home cooking.
The Hubb Community Kitchen, a group of West London women whose community was affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, won a prestigious award for their book Together: Our Community Cookbook at the André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards 2018 on Tuesday 5 February, at the Goring Hotel in London.
Contributors of Together received a Special Commendation at the awards, which showcase the best of contemporary food and drink writing and are now in their 40th year. Other authors recognised this year include one of the UK's most respected food writers, Diana Henry, whose How to Eat a Peach: Menus, Stories and Places won the Food Award; Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay, who won the Drink Award for The Sommelier's Atlas of Taste: A Field Guide to the Great Wines of Europe; and Caroline Eden, whose book Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes – Through Darkness and Light won the John Avery Award.
The women behind Together gathered in a community kitchen in London to cook fresh meals for their families and neighbours affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. They named their group the Hubb Community Kitchen after the word hubb, which means 'love' in Arabic. The book tells their story through more than 50 recipes and includes a foreword by The Duchess of Sussex. The proceeds from the book have enabled the Hubb Community Kitchen to stay open for up to seven days a week.
In her latest book, How to Eat a Peach, Diana Henry goes back in time to remember some of her favourite dishes, from the seaside in Brittany to eating mezze in Istanbul. Food writer and Guardian columnist, Meera Sodha, was captivated: 'It blew me away. It radiates warmth and joy. It's beautifully written but most of all it's packed with delicious and genuinely cook-able food and lots of helpful tips for the home cook.'
This was definitely a celebration of home cooking. We're working our way through the recipes at tpr and favourites include Caramelised Plum Upside-Down Cake from the Together cookbook and rye bread with radish butter & the roasted tomatoes, fennel and chickpea salad from How to Eat a Peach. Go on – try it!
It was a pleasure to meet other shortlisted authors on the night: social media whizz, Ben Lebus, for his book MOB Kitchen; The Great British Bake-Off finalist, James Morton for Shetland which he co-wrote with his dad, Tom; Niki Segnit for her astonishing Lateral Cooking; Alex Maltman for Vineyards, Rocks and Soils and the inimitable Oz Clarke for Red & White. It was really lovely to meet Michael Freeman & Timothy d'Offay, the authors of The Life of Tea. Congratulations to everyone who won and who was shortlisted.