The Sportsman wins the André Simon prize for food writing
Judge Rachel Cooke singled out Stephen Harris’s book for its practical, hopeful and distinctly British outlook
What sets The Sportsman apart? Perhaps it is the way patron chef and Phaidon author Stephen Harris manages, via an out-of-the-way, unassuming restaurant, to say something profound about Britain. Certainly, Harris’s sense of time and place helped him win at the André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards 2017 in London last night.
These annual awards, founded in 1978, honour André Louis Simon, the 20th century, French-born, UK-based author, wine merchant and co-founder of the International Food and Wine Society. They are the only awards in the UK to exclusively recognise the achievements of food and drink writers, and are the longest continuous running prizes of their kind.
Michel Roux, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Nigel Slater and Rick Stein have all received these accolades in the past. Harris now joins this list, after The Sportsman – a practical and distinctly British book, according to the judges – was awarded the 2017 prize for food writing.
“The kind of book you want to win a prize like this must capture a moment, say something about where we are, as well as being inspirational, well-written, useful and expert,” explained Rachel Cooke, British food writer and judge of this year’s food books.
“The Sportsman does that. Its interest in, and passion for, provenance is going to seem ever more relevant in the years to come, post Brexit. It's a singularly British book, and yet it looks outward, with hope. Stephen Harris, who has worked with such dedication and commitment to make his restaurant one of our truly great places, couldn’t deserve this award more.’’
To understand what Cooke and co. like about Stephen’s writing and restaurant, order a copy of The Sportsman here.