Don't forget that the closing date for this year's Geoffrey Roberts travel bursary is 31 Mar, two weeks on Monday.
The trustees of the international Geoffrey Roberts Award are now seeking applications for their annual travel award worth £3,000 or $6,000. Who do you know with an inspiring (not just self-induglent) plan to spend that amount on a journey that will make a difference to the worlds of food and/or drink?
Applicants can be any age or nationality and can go anywhere, just so long as their plan impresses the judges. One of last year's joint winners, for example, was Florida geography teacher Richard Villadoniga, who went on a road trip around the United States on a mission to raise awareness of endangered American foodstuffs. His tour and subsequent writings on such delights as Bloody Butcher pre-colonial corn can be followed at www.eat-american.com. He now writes on traditional American foods for no fewer than four publications and adds: "I have also started a local chapter of Slow Food, the international organization that protects biodiversity in the food supply and promotes food education and traditional methods of food production that are good, clean, and fair. We already have over 80 people on our email list in just a few months and there is great interest on a number of local projects to help protect the agricultural fabric of our community. My project (along with the Geoffrey Roberts Award) will be featured in this year's Florida Society of Geographers conference".
The other winner, Jock Brandis, is also American, by coincidence, and his money has been spent in rural communities in Southern Sudan where the Universal Nut Sheller, a simple machine designed by Jock's Full Belly Project that needs no energy other than manpower, has helped villagers there to add value to their most significant crop. See this great video clip from CNN who chose Jock as one of their Heroes - Ordinary People Making Extraordinary Impact'.
To apply for the 2008 Award, visit www.geoffreyrobertsaward.com, fill in the online application form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 March 2008. The winner will be chosen by the usual distinguished panel of judges including Neville Abraham CBE, Sally Clarke of Clarke's restaurant in London, food writer Jill Dupleix, wine merchant Willie Lebus, Nick and me, Jancis Robinson. The winners will be informed by the end of May 2008.
The Award is financed by a charitable trust established in 1996 in memory of the UK's pioneer importer of non European wines. For more information contact email@example.com