Catching up & soundbites . . .

It’s been a busy couple of months, and as a result the blog has suffered. As a professional writer, blogging is something I only really do if I’m not busy – (the last thing I want to do after a long day writing is write more.) Anyway, with Christmas approaching, I’ve got some down time, so I’m going to post a bit more here.

To start with, here are some clips of interviews I’ve done recently that people might be interested in.

Nick Landers of the FT, on the rise of the celebrity chef

Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, on cutting his hair

Nigella Lawson, on her love of potatoes.

Like most journalists, I record as much as possible when interviewing people. This makes transcribing interview notes much easier, and also means that I can be sure I’ve represented my interview subjects properly. I’ve been doing this for years, and have enormous amounts of audio data on my main work PC. It only recently occured to me that people might be interested in hearing snippets from there. Most of these are tounge-in-cheek excerpts, but if people are interested then I will consider posting fuller versions of these interviews.

2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

gourmandSo Let’s Go Disco has been shortlisted for the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. In early December, we were told that we had picked up a couple of awards for Ireland: Best Chef Cookbook and Best Cookbook Design.

Obviously Ireland is a small country and only a handful of food books are published here each year. Internationally though, that’s another story. Gourmand says it estimates around 26,000 food books are published internationally each year.

Today, we were informed that the book goes on to the world awards in the Best Chef category. There are lots and lots of awards given out each year, but the Best Chef category is one of the biggies. Here’s who were up against:

Australia – Origin, Ben Shawry (Murdoch Books)
Colombia- Sal y Dulce, Jorge y Mark Rausch (Gamma)
Ireland – Let’s Go Disco, Martijn Kajuter, Alex Meehan (Cliff Hotel)
Netherlands – Puurst, Jonnie and Therese Boer (Princess)
USA – A Table at le Cirque, Sirio Maccioni , Pamela Fiori (Rizzoli

Take some time to take a look at these books – they all sound excellent. Worthy competition.

We didn’t make it into the final for the Design award, which is a real shame, but the books that did make it into that category are real heavyweights – Sergio Herman’s Epic Sergiology and Sat Bain’s Too Many Chiefs, Only One Indian are just two for example.

To put the awards in perspective – firstly and importantly, they’re free to enter (so you can’t ‘buy’ a prize), and this year books from 171 countries were entered, producing 389 finalists from 86 countries, spread across numerous categories.

A couple of other Irish entrants have made the shortlist in the international competition, so best of luck to them too. They are:

Best TV tie in: The Last Diet, Dr.Eva Orsmond (Gill MacMillan)
Best Asian: Saba: The Cookbook, Taweesak Trakoolwattana, Paul Cadden (Saba Dublin)
Easy Recipe: Ireland – How to feed your family on less than 10 euros a day, Elizabeth Bollard (Orpen)
Best European: Ireland – Get Cooking (Beam Services)

The awards themselves are being held at Carrousel du Louvre, 23 February 2013, in Paris, so wish us luck.