Back in December we received the news that our book BBQ Makes Everything Better had been selected as the USA winner in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards “Best Barbecue Book” category. As part of that honor, our book advanced to the next level in the competition as the USA representative for “The Best Barbecue Book in the World” award. There were 12 total barbecue books representing their respective countries, of which the top 4 finalists (including us) were invited to Paris to take part in the formal awards ceremony on the first day of the Paris Cookbook Fair. And on the evening of March 3rd, 2011 at the historical Theatre des Folies Bergère in Paris, France in front of over 1,200 publishers, authors, chefs, journalists, foodies and spectators, BBQ Makes Everything Better was officially named “The Best Barbecue Book in the World”!!!
Immediately following the ceremony, the crowd gathered in the great hall of the theater for a celebratory champagne toast…although we found a table giving out free shots of Dragon Bleu Vodka, so we quickly kicked our celebrating into full gear with some new found friends from Australia and Panama!
In all seriousness though, accepting this award was a huge honor for us. There were world renowned chefs and authors being recognized that night, so it’s extremely humbling experience to be mentioned in the same breath. Some of the more recognizable names that were nominated this year were Jaime Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Eric Ripert. Huge thanks go out to our publisher, as well as our friends and family, for all of the support and trust you’ve had in us throughout this entire process. And an even bigger thanks goes out to everyone who’s purchased the book!
Okay, now back to details of the event. The awards ceremony was held in conjunction with the Paris Cookbook Fair. As part of the fair, they had a display section that featured all of the books that the Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards had recognized. It didn’t take long for us to track down the barbecue section:
Each of these books won their respective country, and the “Best in the World” finalists are denoted with the circular red sticker. For some reason two of the books weren’t on display (could be thievery, as our book also disappeared after the second day), but here is a rundown of all the finalists:
Argentina: Parrillas de Buenos Aires – Pierto Sorba
Australia: Fired Up – Ross Dobson
Belgium: Op de Barbecue – Dominique Wynter
Canada: Napoleon’s Everyday Gourmet Burgers – Ted Reader
China: Delicious Homemade Barbecue – Chi Xianjun
Columbia: Secretos de la Parrilla – Bernardo Gomez Cortazar
Denmark: Brug “laget” nar du giller – pletskud & cowboytricks – Miriam Glaesel and Jan Glaesel
Germany: Steak Pur! – Steffen Eichhorn, Stefan Marquard and Stephan Otto
Russia: Grilling, Barbecue. The Complete Encyclopedia – Paul Y. Pershin and E. Poletayev
Sweden: Paul Grillar – Paul Svensson
Switzerland: Grill-Ueli – Ulrich Bernold
USA: BBQ Makes Everything Better – Aaron Chronister and Jason Day
I flipped through all of them to check out the competition, but Ted Readers’ book was the only other one printed in English (and by the way, I own a copy of Napoleon’s Everyday Gourmet Burgers, and it’s definitely a must-have for any BBQ library). Judging by the pictures, each of these books look to be jam-packed full of delicious recipes. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some of them translated for the US markets in the future.
The Cookbook Fair also had demo kitchens that featured a non-stop barrage of gourmet foods being prepared by world-renowned chefs. We sat in on countless cooks and photographed every bit of food we sampled, which ranged from foie gras torchons to rose marshmallows. Unfortunately, the SD card from our digital camera magically “disappeared” while our room was being cleaned on our second to last day in Paris. By that time the fair had already ended, and we had moved on to site seeing. So…you’re just going to have to take our word that the food looked amazing, and tasted even better. Or just head over to the official Facebook fan page for the Gourmand Magazine and check out the steam of video and pictures they took during the festival.
Luckily we spent our last day tooling around the Eiffel Tower, so we got a few shots to prove we were there!
Special shot outs go to everyone we met while in Paris, as this was a rare opportunity to mingle amongst fellow foodies of the world. We look forward to staying in touch with all of you, and hopefully we can meet again!