Laura Santtini wins Guild of Food Writers BEST FIRST BOOK Award
Laura Santtini picks up Best First Book Award for Easy Tasty Italian
Last night, at this year’s Guild of Food Writers Awards at London's Design Museum, Laura Santtini won the Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book for her Easy Tasty Italian published by Quadrille. Other shortlisted titles were Pascal Aussignac’s Cuisinier Gascon: Meals from a Gascon Chef (Absolute Press) and José Pizarro with Vicky Bennison’s Seasonal Spanish Food (Kyle Cathie).
Laura’s Easy Tasty Italian was published in 2009 bringing a whole new dimension to Italian cookery writing. A brave first book, this contemporary and empowering study into transformational cooking was a complete departure for the cooking genre and earned her instant critical claim, becoming The Telegraph’s Book of the Week on the week of its release and being praised by Italy’s culinary royalty, Anna Del Conte and Giorgio Locatelli.
This sense of innovation and originality was highlighted in the judges’ citation at the Awards: “This book made the judges feel they were discovering something new. The recipes were clearly written and the layout, though novel, really worked.”
Easy Tasty Italian is about making everyday cooking taste sensational. In it Laura reveals the secrets of umami and other magical ingredients and shows how the simplest flavour combinations add magic to everyday cooking. In the first part of the book, Laura reveals the secret ingredients of her larder and gives recipes for her intense flavour combinations – the marinades such as red wine, porcini and anchovy, rubs such as pink peppercorn, rose petal and salt, and pastes like parmesan and prosciutto – that give her food sparkle. She also shows how procedures such as pounding, chopping, slicing and beating yield mouth-watering extras that can be used to transform dishes. Finally, cooking methods are described under Air, Water, Fire and Earth and, with each one, Laura gives a treasury of delectable recipes. Throughout, suggestions are given for transforming basic recipes – so a carbonara sauce might be uplifted with artichoke and saffron or a smooth vegetable soup might have scorched almonds stirred through.
Jane O’Shea, Publishing Director at Quadrille, says “Laura is a talented breath of fresh air; we are proud to have published her first book”.
In 2009, to coincide with the publication of Easy Tasty Italian, Laura launched a range of transformational cooking preparations – Laura Santtini Spellbinding Flavours - in Selfridges Food Halls. Laura’s innovative range includes the groundbreaking product, Taste No.5™ Umami Paste, which since being snapped up by Waitrose in February 2010, has become a world-wide culinary phenomenon. Laura is set to launch the range in the US later this year when the American edition of her book also comes out.
The Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book was won in 2009 by Riverford's Guy Watson and Jane Baxter and has previously been won by Rowley Leigh and Fuchsia Dunlop. The Guild of Food Writers Awards were established in 1996, to be presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievement in any area in which food writers work and have influence. They remain the only awards judged entirely by professional food writers, journalists and editors.
Praise for Easy Tasty Italian;
“It’s quite unlike other books on Italian cooking I’ve come across. It’s witty, quirky, yet earthy and practical with a scholarly undertone.”
“This is quite unlike any other book on Italian cooking I've ever come across. It's like a box of delights - quirky, witty, and full of passion backed by earthy practicality. It makes you want to get into the kitchen and start cooking, in fact.”
“In her first book Laura Santtini approaches traditional Italian cooking from a new angle. A book which is fun and inspirational.”
Anna Del Conte
“The influence of three prestigious generations of Italians comes alive through the eyes of a modern British woman, with original concise recipes, all the while holding on to her roots.”
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