The Award

The Jane Grigson Trust Award for New Food and Drink Writers

2018 Shortlist Announcement (19th February 2018)

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:

Nargisse Benkabbou: Casablanca: My Moroccan Food 

Chef and food blogger Nargisse Benkabbou blends traditional Moroccan home cooking learnt from her family with more contemporary dishes, including Western recipes given a uniquely Moroccan twist, to create over 100 accessible and delicious recipes for everyday cooking. (To be published by Mitchell Beazley in May 2018) @mymoroccanfood

Angela Clutton:  The Vinegar Cupboard

Food writer and historian Angela Clutton takes a larder staple, vinegar, and not only shows how it has affected our culinary and medical history for thousands of years but how, in its many manifestations from aged Balsamic to rice vinegar, it can be used to magically enhance both sweet and savoury dishes. (To be published by Absolute Press in February 2019) @angela_clutton

Skye McAlpine:  A Table in Venice: Recipes from My Home

Home cook and From My Dining Table blogger Skye McAlpine explores the food and lifestyle of her adopted city Venice, using a wide range of recipes from old Venetian cookbooks as well as those inspired by the produce of local markets or the exotic ingredients that are a legacy of the city’s past as a maritime republic. (To be published by Bloomsbury in Spring 2018) @skyemcalpine


Geraldene Holt, chair of the judges, commented:‘Jane Grigson’s food writing was not only distinguished by the breadth of her cultural references but also by her sound advice on ingredients and cooking illustrated with hundreds of recipes. So it is appropriate that this year’s short list for the award is for three exceptional books each devoted to home cooking. Each author reveals the distinctive history and origin of their food: there are secret family recipes from Morocco, and beautiful celebration dishes from Venice, plus forgotten and delicious ways of enhancing the flavour of food with a wide range of vinegars.’

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony at Quo Vadis in Soho, London on Monday 12 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 2018 Award are: Geraldene Holt (author, chair of the Jane Grigson Trust); Professor Linda Challis (Board director, University of Cumbria; Trustee of the JGT); Lucy Hambidge (Jane Grigson’s niece; Trustee of the JGT);  Sheila Dillon (presenter of Radio 4’sThe Food Programme) ; and Shaun Hill (food writer and chef, The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny).

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



The closing date for entries for the 2018 Award was 31 October 2017!

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

The judges for the 2018 Award are:

  • Geraldene Holt (author, chair of the Jane Grigson Trust)
  • Professor Linda Challis (Board director, University of Cumbria; Trustee of the JGT)
  • Lucy Hambidge (Jane Grigson’s niece; Trustee of the JGT)
  • Sheila Dillon (presenter of Radio 4’s The Food Programme)
  • Shaun Hill (food writer and chef, The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny)

Past Winners

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 in spring 2018)

Alex said of winning the Award:

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.