Client: André Simon Memorial Fund
The André Simon Awards were founded in 1978 to recognise the achievements of food and drink writers and are the longest running awards of their kind. Previous winners have included: Elizabeth David and Rosemary Hume (the very first winners), Michel Roux, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Nigel Slater and Rick Stein. Each year the André Simon Trustees are guided by independent assessors. This year's 2021 assessors were Yemisi Aribisala, a Nigerian born writer and artist for the food books and Rose Murray Brown MW for the drink books. Each year the longlist is whittled down to two main winners: one for food and one for drink. Two further awards, the John Avery Award, in honour of a former trustee, and the Special Commendation Award are given out at the discretion of the judges. The 2021 winners were Dee Rettali for Baking with Fortitude (Food Award), Jasper Morris MW with Inside Burgundy (Second Edition) (Drink Award), Dan Saladino with his book Eating to Extinction (Special Commendation) and Amanda Barnes' The South America Wine Guide (John Avery Award).
Part of our long-term strategy with the André Awards is to be involved in national conversations about trends in food, drink and cooking through its judges, assessors and winners and reflect the diversity of contemporary Britain. Since 2014, we have built strong relationships with trade and consumer media including The Bookseller, The Drink's Business, the Cooking the Books Podcast and Decanter.
This year, for the 2021 awards there was extensive coverage across national radio, podcast, consumer magazines and websites as well as blogs. Times Radio's Hugo Rifkind interviewed 2021 food assessor Yemisi Aribisala on the historical and cultural relevance of food and drink writing linked to the nominated authors. After the winners were announced, Dan Saladino was also interviewed on Times Radio's Michael Portillo Show mentioning the awards. The Drinks Business published a longlist, shortlist and winner announcement article as well as publishing extracts from each of the shortlisted drinks books. We continued our close relationship with food journalist and podcaster Gilly Smith on her Cooking the Books Podcast. Gilly published a special André Simon mini series in which she interviewed nearly all of the shortlisted authors as well as food assessor Yemisi and two of the trustees.
Consumer magazines Decanter, The Bookseller, Harper's, Falstaff and The World of Fine Wine all published announcement articles on shortlisted authors and winners of the 2021 awards. Drink book assessor Rose Murray-Brown also wrote a feature on the drinks' winners for the Scotsman.