Jane Grigson TRUST Award 2017
Altamiras would have enjoyed a conversation with Jane Grigson. Both shared a flair for frugal living, relished cosmopolitan culture, and peppered their writing with easy-flowing wit. At the 2017 party celebrating the Award, JGT trustees’ president Geraldene Holt cited one of Grigson’s well-known comments: “ …it is this association of food … with every aspect of existence that makes me happy to be a food writer,” an idea which sits comfortably alongside Spanish Franciscan holistic thinking. From the 2017 party I also keep a second valued phrase encapsulating New Art as “a modern retelling of an 18th-century classic cookbook … carrying its scholarship lightly”, a lodestone to which I return when thinking through projects to remain true to the spirit of the book. Since 2017 the Award has flourished, embracing writing on botany and threatened foods, on vinegar, on a seafood café viewed in its community context, and, in 2021, on the second-generation cooking of the Indian diaspora described by Michael Ondaatje as a “supranational” culture of millions of families who may nonetheless feel like “cultural in-betweeners”. Here’s a link to all the winning authors, 2016-2021 – Alex Andreou, Angela Clutton, Dan Saladino, Elly McCausland, Kirsty Scobie with Fenella Renwick and Gurdeep Loyal. Their work is well worth surveying for a feel of where cutting-edge food writing is going today. And my continuing gratitude goes to the JGT Award for their guidance and unfailing inspiration at key moments.
Photo: courtesy of Sally Holloway