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The crisis is quickly chan¬ging the world, and has surprising and profound consequences. There is a clear shift in cookbook quality from the West to the East, and the South. It is more due to the fast progress of the emerging powers than to stagnation of the traditional leaders. The Gourmand Awards can give an excellent view on the changes and trends in culinary books. The Awards focus on quality, not sales and quantity.


We have only one new category, for Apps, showing the importance of e-cookbooks for the future. We have 19 fewer categories, and 5 fewer Special Awards. So the competition has been much more intense and difficult, with more parti¬cipating books for fewer categories. We will have a maximum of 79 Podium, at Theatre Folies Bergère, against 102 last year, a reduction of 20%. The event should last one half hour less.


We have 162 countries participating in 2011, against 156 in 2010, and 136 in 2009. The increase in quality is very strong worldwide. There are a to¬tal of 71 countries among the finalists in 2011, with fewer categories, against 78 in 2010.
The quality started si¬gnificantly improving two years ago in the East and South, when the West started to be hit by the cri¬sis. The change is accele¬rating, thanks to the new digital techniques, and the rise of demand for high value culinary books. Pu¬blishers can invest more than ever in this sector.


For cookbooks and wine books, the total of finalists is 283 in 2011, against 339 in 2010, because of the reduction of 20% in categories. Two cate¬gories have 12 finalists each.
Europe (135) is clearly losing to the rest of the world (148) in 2011, while it was still ahead (195 to 143) in 2010.


Latin America is becoming a world leader for quality in the sector. The US and France still have a clear quality edge over other countries. China and Africa are progressing quicker than most realize. The quality in Australia is outstanding. Professionals have to see the books exhibition at “Paris Cookbook Fair”, it is essential for their un¬derstanding of the current situation, and to plan for the future.

country FINALISTS 2010 FINALISTS 2011
U.S.A 57 34
FRANCE 28 29
UK 21 16
CHINA 8 14

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The Gourmand Awards are the major Food Culture event in the world.

They started in 1995 for cookbooks and wine books, at Frankfurt Book Fair. They now include all Food Culture content. The Gourmand Awards are open to all, big or small, print or digital, for sale or for free, with or without ISBN, trade or self published, private or public, in any language. It is free to participate, anyone can send entries. There is no comparable international cultural event in the world, except the Olympics. We are inspired by the Olympic spirit.

1- The countries

This year we had entries from 215 countries and regions. There are 193 countries in the United Nations. For the Finalists, we have considerably reduced from the entries the number of countries, and entries. There are now Finalists for Food from a total of 134 countries (116 UN members) and regions. There are 40 countries and regions for Drinks.

2- Categories

There are 100 categories for Food, 30 for Drinks. This is necessary to reflect the wide diversity of world food culture. It gives a chance to many countries to win in a category. In the Olympic games, they have 303 competitions/categories for 202 countries. On our list our finalists, we have 130 categories for 134 countries and regions. In total, there are 1372 entries now finalist, 1144 for food, and 228 for drinks. This represents less than 3% of the total of similar books and other formats published and available every year. It is a major achievement to be on this list of Finalists. There are 67% of the categories with 12 or less finalists, 26% with 13 to 19 finalists, and 7% with 20 to 30 finalists.

3- Trends

Food Culture is now taken very seriously by most governments and individuals. Food is at the heart of the issues of our future, collectively and individually.Trends in Food and Drinks culture are now global, everywhere in the world, which this list of finalists makes very clear. We see six major trends, combining or competing at a different pace in different countries, with change accelerating:

  • Tourism is becoming the force driving food culture. Food is the first positive criteria and motivation generally, for 35%, up from 25% fifteen years ago. We have 160 entries for tourism (12%). See our categories B15, B17, B21, W1-8, W1-12.
  • Social media and television continue to expand the food culture market, helping print. See our categories A07, A08, A09, A13, B18, B19.
  • Health and Nutrition have joined with Ethics and Environmental concerns, spreading the same issues worldwide. For instance Vegan has become mainstream in very few years, everywhere. See our categories D01, D02, D08, D09, E06, E13.
  • Local has become the key word. There is a major effort everywhere to save local food culture, and transmit it. It is helped by tourism and the locavore trends. Slow Food has won. See our categories C01, D05, D07.
  • Quick and easy comfort food is still very important, especially in Asia. See our category E01. In 1995, when we started, this was the leading category.
  • Children and Family food books are rapidly expanding. See categories D03, D11.
  • There are minor new trends starting now Sports and Food, see D13.
  • Seniors and food, see D12 Breakfast, see E15.
  • Embassies and Gastro Diplomacy, see F08.

4- Digital

We have 19 categories (15%) exclusively for digital, with 195 digital entries now finalists (15%). You can find in the list of Finalists approximately 50 free Food and Wine PDF to download, selected for their quality, nearly all produced by public institutions. Unfortunately, they tend to disappear quickly, so do not be surprised if you cannot find them. We cannot help. See categories A06 for FAO, UN-IOM, UNDEP-Canada, UNESCO, UNWTO or B17, W1-12. For cookbook professional online newsletters, see B03.

5- The next step

The Best in the World will be announced in Yantai, China at the Gourmand Awards annual event May 25-28, 2018. The top 3 in each category will have the right to Best in the World. We do not announce results before the event. It is not necessary to attend to win. Apart from the honors at the event, the major opportunity is meeting the other participants, for business and pleasure. As previous participants have written, it may be the best four days of your life if you participate. Guests from over 60 countries had already indicated they wanted to come as of January 12, 2018. There are among them 81 guests who have already been at our events in Yantai. They come back even if they have no entry in the competition, it is so important for networking, business, and food culture.