Andre Simon Memorial Funds Awards

About Us

I never fail to be excited by the arrival of a jiffy bag or parcel, and the promise each book offers of excitement, satisfaction, entertainment and education. Over the next months the books are read, and cooked from.

One satisfaction for me is that we give the every entry serious consideration. Nowadays a book gets scant attention. If an author is lucky enough to get a listing, then there's every chance his/her work will be displayed spine out. Even face out it can be easily passed over; it has only a matter of seconds to grab consumers' attention. At the André Simon, by contrast, entries are given all the time it takes.

Each year the Trustees select two assessors to works with them: a wine expert and a food expert. The assessors bring authority and a different voice to the two rounds of judging.

Our first judging meeting is in early December. This is a long session to create the shortlist, going through each book and its merits one by one. The first 50 per cent of the books is weeded out pretty quickly. That still leaves 50 per cent. Judging slows, until we reach some 16 books. At this point the judging grinds almost to a halt as each book is reconsidered and argued for. 16 is whittled down to 10 and with the greatest difficulty to 6. For the wine books the process is the same.

Then until late January we consider the shortlisted books afresh, and to read them and cook from them, where appropriate.

The final judging is a very hard fought session. We are not necessarily judging like with like; we are judging each book on its intrinsic merits.

The award has a wide remit. We are not looking just for 'Cookery Book of the Year' or 'Food Book of the Year' or 'Wine Book of the Year'. So we consider books of recipes, biographies, guides, polemical works, reference books. The list of past winners is testimony to the breadth of work that has been recognised by this award.

Every year, the Trustees call in books that have not been submitted. On occasion, these have gone on to win so if you are unsure whether your favourite newly published book or indeed your own work has been submitted by the publisher, email Katie Lander, the Secretary, with the details.

There are so many fantastic food and wine books published each year that it is a real pleasure for all the trustees to reward the months and years of hard work by the authors, and the creativity and care lavished on them by the publishers with these awards. They are in the spirit of André Simon who did so much to encourage the enjoyment of food and wine.

Sarah Jane Evans MW
Trustee, André Simon Memorial Fund.
Xanthe Clay and Nicholas Lander
Acting Chairman
Nicholas Lander
Apartment 93, 1 Canal Reach, King's Cross, London N1C 4AZ

Sarah Jane Evans MW
Crescent Wood Cottage, 6 Crescent Wood Road, London SE26 6RU

David Gleave MW
Liberty Wines, 6 Timbermill Way, London SW4 6LY

Xanthe Clay
31 Hampton Park, Bristol BS6 6LG

Food Assessor
Rachel Cooke
30 St Paul's Place, London N1 2QG

Drink Assessor
Joe Fattorini
Basement Flat, 44 Devonshire Street, London W1G 7AL

Secretary To The Fund
Katie Lander
1 Westbourne Gardens, Glasgow G12 9XE

Press and PR
Sophie Toumazis TPR MEDIA
T: 020 8347 7020