Books

Ann Hui & Joe Thottungal among Taste Canada award winners, which recognize cookbooks and food writing

Hui won the culinary narrative category for Chop Suey Nation, while Thottungal won the regional/cultural cookbook category for Coconut Lagoon.
Ann Hui (left) and Joe Thottungal are among the 2020 Taste Canada award winners. (Amanda Palmer, Figure 1 Publishing)

The Taste Canada Awards annually celebrate the year's best in Canadian food writing.

Gold and silver medal winners were awarded across five English-language and five French-language categories.

Globe and Mail journalist Ann Hui won gold in the culinary narrative category for Chop Suey Nation.

In Chop Suey Nation, Ann Hui drives to small towns across Canada and visits the family-run Chinese restaurants that dot the country. She also discovers her own family's secrets of working in the industry. 

"As I travelled to all of these restaurants and learned about the stories and the struggles behind this food — the opportunities and barriers that the first Chinese cooks had to overcome in building these restaurants and creating the cuisine — it gave me this appreciation for it," Hui told CBC Books in an interview.

Ann Hui talks to Shelagh Rogers about her book, Chop Suey Nation, The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada's Chinese Restaurants 12:01

Lost Feast by Lenore Newman, which looks at food that has gone extinct, was awarded silver in the culinary narrative category.

Joe Thottungal's cookbook Coconut Lagoon won gold in the regional/cultural cookbook category.

Thottungal, who owns the restaurant Coconut Lagoon in Ottawa, hails originally from Kerala in southwestern India, a region famous for its lush scenery and delicious cuisine. The restaurant was damaged by a fire in the spring.

Coconut Lagoon  collects 80 recipes for home cooks, featuring authentic southern Indian dishes like mango pickle, dosa and malabar parathas.

Burdock & Co by Andrea Carlson won silver in the regional/cultural cookbook category.

Rosie Daykin's cookbook Let Me Feed You won gold in the general cookbook category.

Daykin is the chef behind the Vancouver bakery Butter Baked Goods. Let Me Feed You is her third cookbook, which focuses on the everyday meals she prepares for her friends and family.

Duchess at Home by Giselle Courteau won silver in the general cookbook category.

Oven to Table by Jan Scott won gold in the single-subject cookbook category.

Oven to Table has more than 100 single-pot or single-pan recipes for easy home cooking. Scott writes Family Bites, a food blog that shares the easy recipes she creates for her husband and three sons.

Modern Lunch by Allison Day won silver in the single-subject cookbook category.

Desiree Nielsen's Eat More Plants won gold in the health and special diet cookbook category.

Nielsen, a registered dietitian, shares healthy plant-based recipes in Eat More Plants.

Lianne Phillipson's Sprout Right Family Food won silver in  the health and special diet cookbook category.

You can see the French-language category winners at the Taste Canada website.

The Taste Canada Awards have been recognizing Canadian food writing since 1998.

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