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A look at the South African cookbooks nominated at this year’s Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Jan, a breath of French air.

Jan, a breath of French air.

Published Mar 6, 2022


What is your favourite cookbook?

Sixteen of South Africa’s cookbooks have been nominated at this year’s Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

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The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau. Every year, they honour the best food and wine books, printed or digital, as well as food television. The awards are a unique opportunity to build the image of the food culture in a country and show the world its spirit.

Let’s take a look at the SA cookbooks nominated at this year’s Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

A Book about Bread

Category: Photography and Bread

In the book, author and master-baker Adam Robinson teamed up with local photographer Roger Jardine to produce a good-looking volume that takes a deep dive into the dough and its making and baking. If you are already comfortable in the kitchen or have at least dabbled in bread, this is the book for you. And you’ll find plenty to get your teeth into.

Dinner at Matloha’s

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Category: Entertaining

Dinner at Matloha’s is about bringing family and friends together around the table. As dishes are passed around and plates are piled high, it is not only food that is shared.

Food journey with Josh

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Category: Manuscript

One of SA’s youngest publishers, Josh Thirion, has achieved more than some of the world’s top chefs and culinary wizards could dream of. Thirion won a revered Gourmand Cookbook Award in 2013 for his first book, titled Cook with Josh, and now waits to hear the outcome of the 2022 awards.

Somizi’s I am not a chef

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Category: Self-published and Celebrity chef

The cookbook is inspired by his family’s cooking and celebrates food that is proudly South Africa.

The Flexitarian Foodie

Category: First cookbook

The Flexitarian Foodie is a collection of proudly South African, budget-approved, family-friendly recipes that show how achievable it is to eat delicious real food and live consciously and mindfully, no matter the situation.

Simply Personal

Category: Blogger

Simply Seasonal is a vibrant, visual recipe guide inspired by nature’s endless bounties. Choosing to cook and eat seasonally places a fresh spotlight on what’s being produced in our immediate surroundings.

A Handful of Earth

Category: Series

This is a plant-based book that was inspired by an urge she had during lockdown to return to her farming roots and get her hands dirty.

Made with love and plants

Category: Corporate books

Made With Love & Plants presents plant-based recipes, all beautifully photographed and styled, and also provides detailed yet easy-to-follow guidance on living the plant-based lifestyle.

Everyday Traybakes

Category: Digital

Traybakes exemplifies the art of easy, everyday cooking. Minimal preparation, easily adaptable to your own taste, and a lot less washing up. The aim of the book is to spark fresh cooking inspiration with new ideas and interesting flavour combinations.

Jan, a breath of French air

Category: French

JAN a Breath of French Air is a memoir and celebration of food and Jan Hendrik’s Michelin Star establishment JAN in the south of France. JAN is proof that dreams can be lived and how a love for what you do can transform humble mosbolletjies into a masterpiece.

Our Italian legacy of love

Category: Italian

What do you get when you add a little Italian, a little South African, and a whole lot of love? A legacy of classic yet contemporary dishes from the Café del Sol family kitchen. Chiara and Ryan have transferred the treasured memories of both their Nonnas, as well as their Mama Luciana, to the tables of Café del Sol, and now this cookbook.

Eat Glocal, Kamini Pather

Category: India

Eat Glocal is a concise collection of South African Indian home-cooking recipes that Kamini Pather developed over lockdown. Each recipe was developed for small-batch cooking with ingredients that you can find at most grocery stores.

Fatima Sydow Cooks

Category: Africa

Fatima Sydow Cooks is an ode to Fatima Sydow’s authentic self and the delicious, flavoursome family food she loves to cook. Think mussel curry, home-baked bread to mop up the creamy sauce, slow-braised, soft-as-butter short ribs, a real-deal masala steak sandwich, and a hearty, wholesome oxtail stew.

At my wheat’s end

Category: Single subject

At My Wheat’s End is filled with gluten-free recipes for you to try out at home. It also comes with the most beautiful photography – it is a cookbook that truly makes me want to do a happy dance. Think beetroot roulade with horseradish and orange zest, chocolate, fig and almond cake, spicy apple cake, luxury home-made granola, and more.

Mynie plays with fire

Category: BBQ

As the author Mynie Steffens admits herself, she is a self-confessed braai addict and has been cooking over fire since the age of 10! She says: "Everything tastes so much better when it's cooked over the fire. I find any reason possible to organise an epic, all-day braai." Using her experience gained on a travel and braai-cooking television show called 'Speel Met Vuur' and catering for private braai events, often with a braai-tasting menu, Steffens decided to play with these ideas even further, resulting in this cookbook of braai-tasting menus as the best braai entertainment ever.

Isabella’s Mussels Feast

Category: Seafood and Meat

Isabella’s Mussels Feast is a collection of fifteen recipes with fresh mussels by renowned food writer, Isabella Niehaus. Mouthwatering with a beautiful and interesting palette of flavours with photography by Hein van Tonder.

This article first appeared in Sunday Insider, March 6, 2022