The shortlist of food and drinks books for the 2019 André Simon Awards has been announced, featuring tomes on lager, tea, Burmese cooking and wines of the French Alps.
A total of 150 submissions were whittled down to 16 with this year’s independent assessors being Niki Segnit for the food books and former BBR CEO Dan Jago for the drinks books. Nicholas Lander, chairman of the André Simon Memorial Fund said that this year’s books, “are deliciously wide-ranging in theme and approach”.
In the drinks category the shortlist is:
- A Brief History of Lager: 500 Years of the World’s Favourite Beer by Mark Dredge
- Christie’s Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine (4th edition) by Tom Stevenson and Essi Avellan MW
- Drinkology: The Science of What We Drink and What It Does to Us, from Milks to Martinis by Alexis Willett
- Tales of the Tea Trade: The Secret to Sourcing and Enjoying the World’s Favourite Drink by Michelle and Rob Comins
- Wines of the French Alps: Savoie, Bugey and Beyond with Local Food and Travel Tips by Wink Lorch
- The World Atlas of Wine (8th edition) by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson MW
- Wine Simple: A Totally Approachable Guide from a World-Class Sommelier by Aldo Sohm with Christine Muhlke
Jago said: “I was delighted and very honoured to be asked to be the drinks books assessor for the André Simon Awards this year. On offer has been a plethora of talent and knowledge from around the world, north to south and coast to coast, the authors display a huge breath of research. We looked for great works that will remain on your shelf for many years to come, giving pleasure and value time after time. Every book on the shortlist will give readers huge pleasure.”
Segnit added for the food books: “This year has been nothing short of incandescent. Among the shortlisted books there is a fascinating culinary history of Burma and a vertiginous tour of the food and drink of Tokyo. There is a deep dive into vinegar and a study of Turkish cuisine that, at 511 pages, is described by its author as ‘only a glimpse’.
“A sobering exploration of modern eating habits is joined by a happier account of British cheesemaking. Finally, the possibilities for a greener, healthier approach to food are laid out in a book dedicated to leaves, a nose-to-fin celebration of fish, and an accessible guide to foraging.”