The Award

The Jane Grigson Trust Award for New Food and Drink Writers 2019 – Shortlist Announcement

The shortlist for the Jane Grigson Trust Award 2019 is announced today, Tuesday 19 February 2019.

The £2000 Jane Grigson Trust Award, created in memory of the distinguished British food writer Jane Grigson, is made to a first-time writer of a book about food or drink which has been commissioned but has not yet been published.

The shortlisted books are:

The Botanical Kitchen by Elly McCausland

Food blogger and literature lecturer Elly McCausland takes an in-depth look at our love affair with every part of the plant – fruits, flowers, leaves and seeds, from orchards to the tropics, tea leaves to tayberries – and shows how they enhance flavour, dramatically shifting and developing the character of a dish. (To be published by Absolute Press, March 2020) @nutmegs_seven



The Island Kitchen by Selina Periampillai

Private cook and recipe consultant Selina Periampillai, who is of Mauritian descent, celebrates the vibrant, exciting and varied home cuisines of the Indian Ocean, including recipes for dishes such as Seychellois Creole Octopus Salad and Peanut Pumpkin Stew from Madagascar. (To be published by Bloomsbury, May 2019) @selinaperiam ‏



The Ark of Taste by Dan Saladino

Radio journalist Dan Saladino takes the reader on a revelatory journey of discovery into the world’s most endangered foods and disappearing flavours, starting with the blood oranges of his family’s Sicilian roots, in order to better understand the world and our place in it. (To be published by Jonathan Cape, Spring 2020) @DanSaladinoUK



Chair of Judges, Geraldene Holt says: ‘Reading the entries for the 2019 Jane Grigson Trust Award has been an exhilarating experience. The high standard of writing across a broad range of subjects is impressive. First-time writers have made journeys of discovery to find new ingredients or new ways of cooking, or have explored the neglected cuisines of distant places. British food writing is clearly thriving and its future is very bright indeed.

‘In considering such a wide range of work, it was difficult to choose the shortlist of three. However, the judges have decided on The Botanical Kitchen by Elly McCausland, The Island Kitchen by Selina Periampillai and The Ark of Taste by Dan Saladino, all of which bring a distinctive voice and the spark of originality to their subjects.’

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony at Quo Vadis in Soho, London on Monday 18 March.  The winner will receive a cheque for £2000 and the two runners-up will receive £100 book tokens.  All three shortlisted authors will receive copies of The Best of Jane Grigson.

The judges for the 2019 Award are: Geraldene Holt (author; chair of the Jane Grigson Trust); Clarissa Hyman (Trustee of the JGT); Josceline Dimbleby (Trustee of the JGT); William Sitwell (food writer, presenter and critic) and Jeremy Lee (chef at Quo Vadis London and food writer).

For media enquiries, please contact Laura Creyke at MHM on / 07951 777407 / @MarkHMgmt




The Jane Grigson Trust launched the Award for new food and drink writers in 2015 in honour of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Jane’s death.

Jane’s observation on writing, made in the last year of her life, has been a guiding principle in this award:

Writing a book is for me an act of faith and folly. You have a plan of course, but you bluster about in the work, following blindly, one step after another, slogging it out in the early stages. Then suddenly you come across one thing, one reference, one passage, that explains to you why you are writing this particular book, that gives you the theme, that shows you the way. You have in a sense to earn this discovery. It is a reward.

Literary prizes are usually given for newly published works or for books already on sale. The Jane Grigson Trust Award is, however, given to a promising new writer ahead of publication in order to help them discover ‘one thing, one reference, one passage… that gives you the theme, that shows you the way’.

The £2000 award is made to a writer new to food and drink writing (although they may have written on other subjects) who has already received a commission from a publishing house but whose book has not yet been published. In the spirit of Jane, the Award is for a non-fiction book on food and drink in the widest sense – so it could be a cook book, memoir, travel, history or anything else for that matter, so long as the primary subject is food or drink.

The Jane Grigson Trust intends that the writer will use the Award for further travel/research to deepen their knowledge of their chosen subject in the vital time between gaining a commission and delivery of the script.

Rules of entry

Past Winners

Angela Clutton

The winner of the Jane Grigson Trust award 2018 was:

Angela Clutton: The Vinegar Cupboard

In this fascinating and unique book, food writer and historian Angela Clutton demonstrates the many great ways vinegars can be used to balance and bring flavour, which will enable modern cooks to make the most of this ancient ingredient (to be published by Absolute Press in February 2019).

The Jane Grigson Trust Award has made just the most enormous difference to the development of The Vinegar Cupboard. To anyone who has done the amazing feat of getting a first book commissioned, I can only wholeheartedly say they should - must - apply for this because it is a very, very good thing indeed.
Vicky Hayward

The winner of the Jane Grigson Trust award 2017 was:

Vicky Hayward: The New Art of Cookery: A Spanish Friar’s Kitchen Notebook

Drawing on her deep knowledge of Spanish culture, Vicky Hayward gives a modern retelling of an eighteenth-century classic cookbook, including fresh, simple and surprisingly easy to make recipes. (Published by Rowman & Littlefield in the UK in September 2017)

Vicky said of winning the Award:

My heartfelt thanks go to the Trust for the 2017 Award; it has drawn me back to Jane’s scholarly, inclusive, independent writing and, in so doing, it has given me inspiration for the years to come.
Alex Andreou

The winner of the Jane Grigson Trust award 2016 was:

Alex Andreou: The Magic Bay Leaf

In an evocative mix of memoir and recipes, Alex Andreou writes about the food of the Greek islands. (To be published by Chatto & Windus – awaiting publication)

At precisely the point when the project looked far too titanic to tackle, when I had begun to doubt myself – as every writer must – the Jane Grigson Trust Award put the wind back in my sails. It gave me the boost, focus and breathing space to break through my barriers. I will be ever grateful for Jane Grigson’s vision and the Trust’s faith.