The Guild of Food Writers Awards 2024 Winners Announced : A look at the women who won

The Guild of Food Writers announced the winners for its annual Awards on 12th June 2024 at a glittering ceremony. One of the longest running awards in food writing and broadcasting the winners featured emerging talents such as Felicity Souter and Molly Codyre. Also some of the industry’s best-known female food writers and broadcasters, including Bee Wilson and Prue Leith gained great recognition for their achievements. Our co-founder Mex Ibrahim is a member of The Guild of Food Writers  (was also one of the judges this year) and attended the ceremony at the Royal Institution in Mayfair.  She highlights the women who took home awards  for 2024.

Prue Leith and Ken Hom - Guild of Food Writers Awards 2024

Lifetime Achievement

Prue Leith’s career has included her own restaurants, catering and cookery school businesses; but did you also know that she’s been a board director of companies such as British Rail, Halifax, Safeway, Whitbread, Woolworths, and Belmond (ex-Orient Express) Hotels.

Along with 14 cookbooks, she has published eight novels, and a memoir, “I’ll Do Anything Once” (formerly, “Relish”). In the last decade, Prue is probably best known as a judge on the “The Great British Bake Off”, however, last year she also presented a gardening programme, “Prue’s Great Garden Plot” with her husband, and this coming year will judge the American equivalent of Bake Off.

She has also been a judge on “The Great British Menu” and “My Kitchen Rules” and is also seen on TV in her latest series is “Prue Leith’s Cotswold Garden.”

Prue has had a deep involvement with education and the arts: she chaired the first of the companies charged with turning round failing state schools, and was Chair of the School Food Trust, responsible for the improvement of school food and food education. She was an advisor for the Government’s Hospital Food Review.

Sandi Toksvig at The Guild of Food Writers Awards 2024

At the awards she was genuinely surprised to see Sandi Toksvig present her with the award. Although Prue has been a member of The Guild of Food Writers for decades, she admitted that she hasn’t been one of the most engaged members, but she acknowledged the great role The Guild plays in supporters new writers with grants and mentorships and also The Guild of Food Writers Fellowship Fund set up to provide assistance to members in need.

First Book Award

Felicity Souter - Best First Book - Guild of Food Writers Award 2024

Painting the Plate: 52 Recipes Inspired by Great Works of Art from Mark Rothko, Frida Kahlo, and Many More by Felicity Souter won the award for Best First Book. The judges said “Painting the Plate” is eye-catching and clever, complete with stunning photography and tempting recipes. It’s a book to dip in and out of, reading anecdotes about great artists, their work, and passion for the food of their time. Much like visiting a great art exhibition, this book leaves us ravenous for more.”

Food Podcast

Natasha Miller - Winner of Best Food Podcast The Guild of Food Writers Awards 2024

Bitter/Sweet by Miller Libertine presented by Natasha Miller won the award for best Food Podcast. The judges said “Original and memorable, the pleasures and joys of cooking and eating together are explored through the deeply-evocative food-memories of a successful restaurateur. The podcast is revealing and modest in scope as well as technically well organised. Miller does a fantastic job facilitating the conversation while letting her subject do the talking.”

General Cookbook Award

Mex Ibrahim and Bee Wilson winner of General Cookbook Award - The Guild of Food Writers Award 2024

The overall prize went to The Secret of Cooking: Recipes for an Easier Life in the Kitchen by Bee Wilson.

Mex caught up with Bee during the drinks after the ceremony and they had a talk about women in food writing. Although a number of women were shortlisted, her category was the only one where the three three  were written by women. (The other finalists were A Table Full of Love: Recipes to Comfort, Seduce, Celebrate & Everything Else in Between by Skye McAlpine; andWinter Wellness: Nourishing Recipes to Keep you Healthy When it’s Cold by Rachel de Thample.

Bee’s body of food writing is impressive and it was a pleasure to hear that she supported the work we do in highlighting the achievements of women not only in food writing but across the entire food industry.

Of Bee’s winning book the judges said “The recipes in this book are beautiful, mouth-watering and inspirational. But this book is not just a cookbook; each recipe comes with its own story about love and friendship. The emphasis on stripping away conventions so that cooking is fun and stress-free is wonderful. Original and beautifully written, it’s a book to read from cover to cover.”

Investigative Food Work

Louise Grey - winner of Investigative Food Work - Guild of Food Writers Awards 2024

Avocado Anxiety: and Other Stories About Where Your Food Comes From by Louise Gray won the award for Best Investigative Food Work. Louise said “I feel so grateful to the people who read and appreciated my efforts to make the complex food system we all live in a little easier to navigate by explaining the work of farmers, scientists and chefs to cut food waste, promote pulses, maintain soil, diversify crops, grow and distribute food locally, cut carbon, protect wildlife and generally work bloody hard to produce the food we eat.”

The judges said “A charming, interestingly-written book that takes readers on a journey from seed to fruit, making an excellent case for us all to consider what we eat. Gray’s well-judged level of referencing reassures without overwhelming. Her journalistic instinct to question even the figures and facts which support her arguments furthers this sense of rigour.”

Specialist or Single Subject Cookbook Award

Amy Newsome - Winner of Best Single Subject Book - Guild of Food Writers awards 2024 The Guild of Food Writers Awards Shortlist 2024 - Honey - Amy Newsome

Honey: Recipes from a Beekeeper’s Kitchen by Amy Newsome was the only woman shortlisted in this Specialist and Single Subject Cookbook category and we were delighted when she won the award. When Amy was shortlisted she said “Pinch me. My debut book ‘Honey’ has been shortlisted for the 2024 Guild of Food Writers Awards in the specialist subject category. Thank you very much to the Guild of Food Writers Judging Committee; it’s a huge honour to be recognised by people I admire and especially as a new writer.”

The judges said “With love and gusto, Newsome explodes the longstanding myth that honey is a generic sweetener while also explaining the importance of eschewing processed honey. The recipes, which were written with personality and warmth, really engaged the judges. Its ability to demonstrate how honey varietals affect finished flavour marked the Basque cheesecake as exceptional. A recipe for oak honey madeleines was as equally well-received.

Drinks Writing Award

Molly Codyre - Best Drinks Writer - The Guild of Food Writers Awards 2024

Molly Codyre won the Drinks Writing Award for her work in Foodism and said “Ironically for someone who just won a writing award, I am really struggling to find the words…. But I am beyond excited to have won drinks writer of the year at The Guld of Food Writers awards. Big shoutout to my my time at Dunedin University sculling Smirnoff double blacks for giving me my alcohol tolerance, to my wonderful parents for raising me to like good booze and to my drinks trolley for getting me here. In all seriousness, awards can be a complicated thing but it is so nice to know my work is appreciated, especially as a young woman writing in what is still a very male-dominated space. Cheers!

Of Molly’s work the judges said “Judges enjoyed Codyre’s entertaining and informative writing style. Served up with infectious enthusiasm, Codyre tempted the judges to buy and try the drinks she writes about. On her entry, “Finding Sugarland” one judge said, ‘You could really imagine being on this humid, bustling adventure, getting to know the brand behind the rum and its island home.’

You can see the full list of finalists for the Guild of Writers Awards 2024 here.  Our co-founder Mecca Ibrahim is a member of The Guild of Food Writers and was on this year’s judging committee.

Here are some more photos that Mex took of the reception at the awards:

Mex Ibrahim and Carolyn Boyd - The Guild of Food Writers Awards 2024

Mex Ibrahim & Carolyn Boyd

Karla Zazueta, Dina Begum and Rosanna McFee - Guild of Food Writers Awards 2024

Karla Zazueta, Dina Begum and Rosana McPhee

Mex Ibrahim and Rosana McPhee - The Guild of Food Writers Awards 2024

Mex Ibrahim & Rosana McPhee

Simi Rezai-Ghassemi and Mex Ibrahim

Simi Rezai-Ghassemi and Mex Ibrahim

Mex Ibrahim, Carolyn Boyd and Sarah Mooney

Mex Ibrahim, Carolyn Boyd and Sarah Mooney

Norman Musa and Mex Guild of Food Writers Awards 2024

Check out Norman Musa’s traditional “selfie” video of many of our other friends at the Guild of Food Writers Awards 2024.

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