Ethnic Welsh recipe book nominated for prestigious international award

Although it was released only six months ago, the world recipe book which celebrates the diversity of food in the Welsh Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community, ‘The Melting Pot’ by Maggie Ogunbanwo, has been nominated for a prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Award in the migrant category for 2022.

Founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau of Spain, the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards honour the best food and wine books, printed or digital, as well as food television shows and has been likened to the Oscars of the culinary literature genre.

Past winners from the UK have included a plethora of well-known chefs such as Nigella Lawson and Raymond Blanc, and corporate giants Marks & Spencer.

‘The Melting Pot’ is the brainchild of Maggie Ogunbanwo, whose roots are in Nigeria, but lives in north Wales, and runs her own business called ‘Maggie’s An African Twist to your Everyday Dish’, making African food products, such as spices and sauces.

Talking about her book Maggie said, The book is a celebration of the diverse recipes contributed by members of the minority ethnic community in Wales. The recipes draw together flavours, inspirations and traditions from Bali to Zimbabwe and the rich stories behind each dish, recognising food as a universal language through which we can all communicate and share.

As the news sinks in about the nomination she added, “Well I cannot believe it, I’m totally shocked and truly honoured to be nominated, and to be among the best cookbooks in the world, it’s truly amazing!

“At the moment my book is at the acclaimed exhibition at the Alfred Nobel Museum in Karlskoga, Sweden, organised by the Gourmand Awards and the Hallbars Sustainability Research Institute. Next I’m going to the Paris Cookbook Fair in December and then the Gourmand Cookbook Awards 2022 will take place next spring in Paris which I will be attending. It’s a dream come true.

“My thanks goes to the Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Division for their faith and help with the book. It wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

The cookery book was launched by the Welsh Government’s Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths at a virtual book launch back in March this year. The Minister said:

“I am delighted ‘The Melting Pot’ has been nominated for such a prestigious award. With some great past winners, it is a true honour to be included in the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards.

“A huge congratulations to Maggie who has done an excellent job showcasing contemporary Wales through the eyes of those within the BAME community who are making a valuable contribution to the Welsh food and drink industry.

“This book reinforces our culture which is rich and varied, and I encourage everyone to try the recipes, read the stories and appreciate the diversity of our country.

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