The awards for the world’s largest competition for food and drink culture publications, the Gourmand International Awards were presented in Paris at the recent World Cookbook Fair with a resounding Hungarian success. Gergely Ripka’s bilingual Tokaj Guide that earlier made it to the Top 4 in the European Wine Book category in February 2021 and thus was given the prestigious title ‘Best European Wine Book’ with the diploma being presented World Cookbook Fair.
The publicity accompanying the success of the book will also put the Tokaj wine region in the limelight, the Hungarian book’s publisher says in a statement. The location for the awards ceremony was the impressive building of Les Cordeliers and the shortlisted publications were selected from 983 contestants coming from 170 countries representing practically all corners of the world.
Wide international field
In the ‘Drink Culture’ section, 165 books were entered in 26 categories and those finishing in the Top 4 were awarded the ‘Best in the World’ certificate. The ceremony’s venue, Les Cordeliers, is located in the 6th arrondissement (that is, district) of Paris, right next to Sorbonne University. This historical building was originally a convent for monks in the Middle Ages but then it was turned into the French Revolution Club led by Danton. This is where the awards were presented to the winners of each category. Apart from the Olympic Games, there is perhaps no other competition with so many contestants representing so many nations, a fact which makes the victory of Tokaj Guide even more precious.
The Gourmand International Awards was established in 1995 and celebrated its 25th anniversary last year in Paris. Since the beginnings it has evaluated over 45,000 food and drink publications from 225 countries.
Cherishing the riches of Tokaj
“I never thought and never expected that one day I would be applauded for my book. Tonight, in Paris I will celebrate with a glass of Champagne, but as soon as I get home, I’m going to open a bottle of Tokaj Aszú as these two wines are the most fitting to celebrate special occasions! I’m feeling grateful for those who gave me reason to celebrate at this beautiful, historical place,” Gergely Ripka said in his speech. “Tokaj had important messages for all ages and for all people and that is no different today. Tokaj is there for everyone to explore and cherish its riches and my responsibility is to provide assistance in this journey to as many people around the world as possible.”
Tokaj Guide is a self-published biennial book that is available in all major bookstores in Hungary. The bilingual (Hungarian and English) publication covers 150 wineries in Tokaj-Hegyalja and gives an unparalleled insight into the sights and activities offered by the region: restaurants, accommodation, hiking routes, historical locations, the most noteworthy events and festivals. There is a lot to be discovered in this protected cultural landscape listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
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