South Australia’s success at this week’s prestigious Gourmand Best in the World gongs for food and wine books has prompted winning photographer Milton Wordley to urge that the state host a future awards event.
Wordley was presented with the international prize for best winebook photography for A Year in the Life of Grange (which includes text by InDaily wine scribe Philip White), while a cookbook produced to help save the Keith Hospital was named best charity/fundraising cookbook in the Pacific region and chef Dorinda Hafner’s Honey I Shrunk the Chef won a special jury award.
A total of 187 countries participated in the awards, with international winners announced this week at the Beijing International Cookbook Fair.
Wordley, who is in China for the presentation, said he was thrilled to receive the award “on behalf of a group of fine crafts people all based in South Australia”.
“These awards have been a fantastic experience – hundreds of people from all over the world with a passion for food and wine, all representing their country,” he told InDaily. “It’s a bit like a Foodies’ Olympic Games.
“Being here in Beijing for these awards has reinforced a long-held view of mine – that is, the story of food and wine is the story of a nation’s people.
“With Tourism Australia’s new theme based on food and wine, we should bring the Gourmand Awards to Tasting Australia one year soon.”
The Gourmand prize won by A Year in the Life of Grange comes on top of recognition at the international Independent Publisher Book Awards in America earlier this month, where it received a silver award in the coffee-table book category.
Wordley originally had the idea for a photo essay on Grange back in 2011, but after gaining support from Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago and the company’s brand director, it turned into a much larger project that resulted in a 132-page hardback-cover book. It was designed by John Nowland and published by Finsbury Green at the end of last year.
Also part of the SA contingent in Beijing is Robyn Verrall, who accepted the award for the Keith Hospital fundraising cookbook Limestone, which judges said set a benchmark for other fundraising publications.
“I thought we needed to make it interesting to a wider community,” she said of her vision for the book. “At the time, MasterChef was on, so I thought we could ask MasterChef people to contribute, or different celebrity chefs from around South Australia as well as the local community.
“I’m overwhelmed that some little idea that little old me came up with and produced has gone so far. It’s far surpassed what I expected the book to achieve.”
Limestone features around 150 recipes from well-known chefs such as Kylie Kwong, George Calombaris, Maggie Beer, Simon Bryant, Stephanie Alexander and Rosa Matto, as well as from members of the Keith community.
The cookbook has sold more than 2500 copies, raising $75,000 to improve facilities at the hospital, which now has a funding agreement with Country Health SA.
Hannemann said it was nominated for the Gourmand award by a German man who bought a copy at the hospital.
In this article last year, InDaily wine writer Philip White wrote about the process of bringing A Year in the Life of Grange to fruition.