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Shortlist announced for 2024 Jane Grigson Trust Award

Shortlisted authors: Anna Ansari, Nicola Lamb and Chris Newens

19th February 2024

The Oxford Cultural Collective is proud to support the prestigious Jane Grigson Trust Award for first-time authors of books about food or drink. 


The shortlist for the Jane Grigson Trust Award 2024 is announced today, Monday 19 February 2024. The three shortlisted books are:



Created in memory of the distinguished British food writer Jane Grigson, the Jane Grigson Trust Award is made to a first-time writer of a book about food or drink which has been commissioned but not yet published. In the spirit of Jane Grigson and her writing, the Award is for a non-fiction book on food and drink in the widest sense, from any genre – cookbook, memoir, travel, history – as long as the primary subject is food or drink.

The Jane Grigson Trust Award 2024 Shortlist

(visit the Jane Grigson Trust website)

The Silk Roads Cookbook: Recipes from Baku to Beijing is inspired by Anna Ansari’s father’s childhood in Iran, his travels through Central Asia and Anna’s time living and working in China in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  She draws on the historical, cultural and economic factors that link the foods, flavours and ingredients of the pan-Turkic world, from Baku to Beijing, across generations and continents.

Anna Ansari is an Iranian-American living in London, who has a background in Asian studies, with a BA in Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a MA in East Asian Studies from Yale University, as well as a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. Anna is the London City and Community Lead for the #CookforIran campaign, which aims to bring attention to rights issues in Iran through the sharing of food and culture. @thisplacetastesdelicious


Sift: The Elements of Great Baking is a science-meets-art reference book for cooks seeking a fundamental understanding of their bakes. Imagine a detective’s investigation board with strings connecting all the different elements of pastry, showing how choux buns are connected to bagels, how brioche relates to ganache, and what jam and ice cream have in common – this book will teach the reader the defining factors of successful baking with technique-driven recipes that clearly show the skills in action.

Nicola Lamb is the author of Kitchen Projects, a weekly newsletter that shares the highs and lows of recipe developing. She trained in some of New York’s and London’s top bakeries, including Ottolenghi, Dominique Ansel and Little Bread Pedlar, and has run a number of sell-out pop-ups. Her recipes and writing have been featured in the Guardian, Vogue, the London Evening Standard and Olive magazine and she has been selected as one of Instagram’s ‘Chefs to Watch’ as part of an ongoing incubator programme. @nicolaalamb


Moveable Feasts: Paris in Twenty Meals gives a whole new flavour profile to Paris, using food to present the city like never before. Structured around the author’s quest to learn the recipes for a different representative dish of each of Paris’s twenty arrondissements, the book exposes the epicurean interests of Paris’s diverse subcultures, from Congolese exiles to fifth-generation Algerians, from the modern heirs of Hemingway to sex club-going libertines.

Chris Newens is an award-winning writer originally from south-west London, where his family ran the same bakery and tea rooms for six generations. After graduating in anthropology from the London School of Economics, he moved to Paris, where he has now lived for more than a decade. In that time, he has held numerous jobs both in and outside of writing, from editor of erotic fiction to Segway tour guide. @Chris_Newens


Chair of Judges, Donald Sloan says: “This year’s entries have been more diverse than ever before, encompassing personal memoirs, culinary travelogues, works of historical enquiry and traditional cookbooks. There is no doubt that many of the nominees will go on to find great success as respected writers who will enrich our understanding of food, drink and culture.”

Joining Donald Sloan, chair of the Jane Grigson Trust and of the Oxford Cultural Collective on the judging panel are: Georgina Hayden, food writer, stylist and presenter; Diana Henry, food writer, journalist and trustee of the Jane Grigson Trust; Jill Norman, food writer, publisher and trustee of the Jane Grigson Trust: and Sami Tamimi, chef, restaurateur and food writer.

The winning author will be announced at an event at Quo Vadis on Tuesday 19 March. The author of the winning book will receive a cheque for £2000 and the runners-up will receive £100 book tokens. All shortlisted authors will receive a copy of The Best of Jane Grigson.



Now in its ninth year, the Jane Grigson Trust Award has supported and celebrated many debut food and drink writers whose books have subsequently been published to great acclaim.

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