Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei Darussalam's entry of 'Rasa & Warna Brunei Darussalam' (Brunei Darussalam Flavours & Colours) has won the judges' hearts in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and was awarded first place in the Best Fund Raising, Charity and Community Book in Asia category.
The book was selected to compete in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in July last year and later shortlisted as a finalist in December 2012.
February 23, 2013 was not only a historical day for the nation as the country celebrates its National Day but a date all Bruneians can be proud of as it was on this day that the awards ceremony at the acclaimed Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, turned out to be a momentous occasion where this remarkable book won first place.
'Rasa & Warna Brunei Darussalam' is a unique and exciting cookbook and was originally published by the Brunei Council on Social Welfare (MKM) in 2012 with the sole aim of raising funds for the elderly and their families with all the proceeds used to provide food, clothing, school equipment as well as helping with house repairs.
"It is a great accolade for Brunei to win this award. It is fantastic to have a publication that is recognised as being the best in the world," said Designer and Photography Director of the book (also Deputy President II of MI34), Hjh Siti Zaleha Hj Kaprawi.
Attending and receiving the awards at the ceremony were the MKM President Datin Paduka Hjh Intan Hj Md Kassim and Hjh Siti Zaleha.
Both the president and deputy president extended appreciation to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports who sponsored their trip as well as sponsors of the book itself whose generous donations and contributions helped make it happen, namely Brunei Shell Marketing Company Sdn Bhd, The Brunei Hotel, iLotus Restaurant and Serikandi Restaurant.
The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards saw a total of 171 countries participating, with the finalists coming from 86 different countries. 'Rasa & Warna Brunei Darussalam' competed against books from Bahrain, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.
'Rasa & Warna Brunei Darussalam' is a 233-page cookbook and 1,000 copies were printed last year and serves as one of MKM's long-term money making initiatives and mixes charity and creativity perfectly to generate support for those in need.
Recipes in the book were given by MKM council members and other individuals based in Brunei and the book also includes articles about the 'Tamu' and traditional food of Brunei Darussalam.
The book is contemporary and beautifully presented as well as being informative and full of professional photographs of local food, discussing many subjects including the significance and role of food today; the role of the local market; the many typical dishes in Brunei culture and showcasing unique ingredients that can only be found in Borneo.
This award-winning cookbook also highlights the health benefits of traditional Malay herbs and indigenous fruits and vegetables arid the important and inextricable link between food and health. It also exposes people to the various food cultures of the region and most importantly, displays an inventive way to help those that are less fortunate.
Established in 1995, the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards is a prestigious and glamorous annual event and for the last four years, the ceremony was held in Paris -the world capital of cookbooks.
These awards are aimed at building bridges between food cultures, to give participants a chance to compete worldwide and to promote foreign rights deals between countries.
It also serves to acknowledge the hard work and efforts put in by the culinary authors who 'cook with words' and the publishers as creating a cookbook or any publication involves a team effort of writers, photographers, food stylists, art directors, designers and publishers and these awards also fully recognise their accomplishments.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin