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The history of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards is parallel to the history of cookbook publishing in the past 15 years. The years correspond to the year of the publishing of the books involved in a competition, while the awards event takes place between December and the following May

1995

Frankfurt

Cookbooks are difficult to find at the Frankfurt Book Fair. To give them respect and honours, Edouard Cointreau decides with a small group of friends and international publishers to create the World Cookbook Awards. It is sponsored by ICR-The International Cookbook Revue, launched with a printing of 15000 at the 1995 Frankfurt Book Fair. It follows the “Le Cordon Bleu Book of Cookbooks”, international bibliographies of cookbooks in 4 languages.

1996

Frankfurt

The Australian Murdoch Books is our cookbook publisher of the year, starting a revolution in the design and the concept of books worldwide. Our book of the year is the “Vineyards of Saint Colombe”, by french best selling author Christian Signol. It is a “terroir” book, by big french publisher Albin Michel. Our international book is “Tukka”, by Jean Paul Bruneteau (Harper Collins Australia). The awards are proclaimed at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

1997

Paris

Thanks to the sponsoring of Cognac Frapin, the awards take place at the “Astor” restaurant in Paris, advised by Joel Robuchon. It is our first Awards Gala, with Baronesses Nadine and Ariane de Rothschild, star publisher Pierre Marchand, Anne Willan, Philip Clark, Allison Cathie, Wini Brugger from Hong Kong, NHK Books from Japan, Monique Janet Hooker from the US and many others. The Awards become a world event

1998

Perigueux

The event takes place for the first time in parallel with the Perigueux Salon International du Livre Gourmand. It is presided by Alain Ducasse, with guest of honour Chuck Williams. Albert Àdria is the star with his pastry book and his chocolate limited edition gift to the guests. We also reward Anneke Ammerlaan, Vefa Alexiadou, Margaret Dickenson and others. The Awards are not only an international event, but also a meeting place and a food discovery. We start the concept of linking international and local, through a “Tasting Perigord” tour.

1999

Versailles

It is the year of Claudia Roden, Ruth Ozeki, Michael Ginor, and the French Laundry. We have the first American Foie Gras tasting in France, at the INRA French National Agricultural Research Institute, with Andre Daguin. And the day of the Gala Dinner in this Royal setting, there is a national strike of waiters and firemen in all Republican France = international star chefs led by Andrés Madrigal of Spain volunteer to serve as waiters to help.

2000

Perigueux

On November 11, 2000 the German Dieter Müller receives the top international award, and Alain Dutournier the French one. This is quite a peaceful symbol. Anne Dolamore of Grub Street is there as best publisher of the year. The Special Award of the Millenium is given for his wine book “Les Vins du Siècle” to Philippe Faure Brac. Chef Wan of Malaysia is the star, with his show of a royal wedding banquet at the Malay Court.The guest of honour is Richard Grausman, of the US C-CAP organization, Carreers for the Culinary Arts Professionals

2001

Sorges

The event takes place for the first time in Sorges – Capital of the Truffles of Perigord. We organize a dinner with 22 kilogs of black truffles du Perigord, a World Record. The Awards are renamed “The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards”, and the Gala Dinner becomes a music and lights show like the “oscars”. Several televisions film. The stars are Elisabeth Luard, Anne Willan, Emi Kazuko, Dr. Miguel Sánchez Romera, Gilles and Laurence Laurendon, Julie Biuso and many others. The wine stars are Richard Juhlin, and Bruno Boidron of Feret. Until 2001, the event is for books published the same year. The next event from 2003 are for books published the year before. For instance in 2003 for books from 2002.

2003

Loire Valley, Angers

Chateau de Brissac, Loire Valley . The Marquis de Brissac hosted the event, with many star chefs and friends, including Edouard Carlier of Beauvilliers in Paris. Chef Wan was back, following a new trend of past event stars coming back to a yearly event of friendship, fun and business. The book of the year was “Essential Cuisine” by Michel Bras. The wine star was Rene Renou, President of INAO and member of the Gourmand French jury. This was a very elegant and glamorous event that set the awards apart from all other events of the sector. The Australian Ambassador to France was there, with Maurice de Rohan, Agent General for South Australia, the perfect gentleman and friend, who did not miss any Gourmand events.

2004

Barcelona, Spain

Gourmand comes to the new capital of innovative cuisine. Star chefs come from everywhere: Heston Blumenthal gets his Third Michelin Star the same week as he is rewarded for the Best Book of the Year. Some of the other chefs are Fatema Hal, Lea Linster, Roland Mazère, Le Divellec, Paco Torreblanca. The wine stars are Michael Broadbent, Miguel Torres, the Marqués de Vargas. The guest of honour is Dun Gifford, of Oldways. There are twelve Ambassadors, plus chef Wan, the food ambassador of Malaysia.

2005

Grythyttan, Sweden

Grythyttan, Province of Orebro, Sweden. Sweden is the country that buys the highest number of cookbooks per person. Gourmand guests visited the best cookbook Museum and Library in Europe, in Grythyttan, and the food sites of this region, 200 kilometres west of Stockholm. The star was Harumi Kurihara of Japan, who won Best Cookbook of the Year. The Award ceremony was celebrated with a Symphony Orchestra in the Orebro theater. The Award Dinner was “The new Swedish Smörgåsbord” by star chefs Mathias Dahlgren, and Stefan Karlsson. Leif Pagrotsky, Minister of Culture and Education of Sweden, presided the event. There were eight televisions filming, including shows for BBC, Fuji, Gambero Rosso, etc. Photo: Harumi Kurihara and Husband.

2006

Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia.

After 10 years in Europe, Gourmand went to Asia. The focus in Malaysia was food media and tourism: food is one of the keys to tourism today. Malaysia is “truly Asia”, with Malay, Chinese, Indian, Arab, Thai and Western cuisine. The Prime Minister hosted a dinner feast for 500 guests at his private residence. The awards event was very glamorous. Tom Victor Gausdal of Norway won Best Book of the Year, and Young Mo Kim, President of the Bakers Association of Korea won “Best Pastry Book”. Twenty six ambassadors came to dinner, plus chef Wan, the food ambassador of Malaysia. Photo: Young Mo Kim from Korea.

2007

Beijing, China

Beijing, China, Dragon Springs Hotel. The focus in Beijing is professional, with conferences by printers, Chinese publishers, superb diners, and much entertaining. There is much Dragon Seals Chinese wine, and even Tibetan wine. The Chinese Food Network filmed all the event, with a special show broadcast all over China. There were many stars, including Chef Ramzi filming for Future Television. Chef Wan, Vefa Alexiadou, Julie Biuso, Annabel Langbein, Art Smith with family and friends, Marlena Spieler, Vangelis Driskas, Mrs. Jigyasa Giri and Dr. Pratibha Jain from India, Edmon Ho from Singapore. Our friend Chef Du was present everywhere, as well as our friends from Hainan. The awards show was the most glamorous ever, with fashion show, Kung fu, Chinese singing, filmed live for television.

2008

London, United-Kingdom

On April 13, 2008 at the “Gourmand Awards” in the Olympia Theatre in London, there were over 400 guests from 47 countries. The Awards Ceremony included the awards and the presentation of the 19 Celebrity Chefs from 16 countries who gave cooking demonstrations at the London Book Fair. At the party after the Awards there was much celebrating, music by the 18 pieces Jazz Big Band of James O’Carroll, and dancing. There was also much business in foreign rights. Photo: Edouard Cointreau.

2009

Paris, France

On July 1, 2009, La Comédie-Française was the host of the Gourmand Family for the Best in the World event. The theater of Molière was full with 800 guests from 45 countries. After the Awards, the magnificient buffet was due to Le Cordon Bleu® with Champagne Gosset, Cognac Frapin and the wines of Château Maison-Blanche. A special gift package for the event was given to all guests by Valrhona Chocolate. Photo: © Cosimo Mirco Magliocca / Coll. Comédie-Française

2010

Paris, France

On February 11, 2010, we had two consecutive Awards celebrations at Le104, the new Artistic Centre of The City of Paris. The first was for the cookbooks, the second for the wine books. The stars were Claudia Roden and Harumi Kurihara. The Awards launched the first Paris Cookbook Fair. Poster: Le 104, by Alberto Bali.