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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
9 Mar 2010

There are just three more weeks for applications for the Geoffrey Roberts Award 2010, a £3,000/$4,500 travel grant in search of a potential achiever in food or drink who can convince us judges that they will spend the money wisely on a worthwhile travel project. Please spread the word. See here for more details and see here for how to apply.

Winner of the Geoffrey Roberts Award 2007 Richard Villadoniga of Florida who travelled across the United States chronicling local foods writes: 'I am still writing for a few publications and blogging at But most of my efforts and energy are directed at leading the Slow Food First Coast chapter I founded. We are entering our third year and really making an impact locally supporting small family farms, connecting consumers to sustainable foods, educating the public on food issues, and most recently, awarding three teachers with school garden grants so that the next generation of eaters will make healthier, more informed, decisions about what to eat and why it matters. You can read more about our activities at I wouldn't be doing what I am doing without the Geoffrey Roberts Award and I thank you!

Last night at a reception at the Goring Hotel in London the winners of the André Simon Book Awards 2009 were announced and won £2,000 each. As usual there were far more food books than drink books, so food book assessor Jill Norman had much more work to do than drink book assessor Joanna Simon. This was the shortlist, showing an admirable performance by recent Masters of Wine, and by publisher Kyle Cathie (who, incidentally, originally published Masterglass, which, updated several times, has become my book How to Taste (Wine):

Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A Young (Kyle Cathie)

Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham (Profile Books)

Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen (Kyle Cathie)

The Italian Cookery Course by Katie Caldesi (Kyle Cathie)

The Song of Sapa by Luke Nguyen (Murdoch Books)

The Vegetarian Option by Simon Hopkinson (Quadrille Publishing)


Asian Palate by Jeannie Cho Lee MW (Asset Publishing and Research)

Collio by Carla Capalbo (Pallas Athene)

The Finest Wines of Champagne by Michael Edwards (Aurum Press)

What Price Bordeaux? by Benjamin Lewin MW (Wine Appreciation Guild/Vendange)

And the winners were…. Darina Allen of Ballymaloe in Ireland (pictured below with Jill Norman, Simon Hopkinson in the background) and Carla Capalbo, whose slim paperback, illustrated by her own photographs, captured the imagination of the judges for the engaged and comprehensive detail it offers on this centre of white wine production in Friuli.