Canadian Cookbook Awards: À la bonne franquette wins the Silver!

Last Monday November 7, the 2011 Canadian Culinary Book Awards were held in Toronto. Laid low by my first-ever asthma attack (!), I learned that my book À la bonne franquette had won a silver medal in the Canadian Culinary Culture Award from my bed in a downtown Toronto hotel. The kind of news that would have taken my breath away, if it weren’t already.

In all, only 12 cookbooks were honoured from the hundreds published in Canada last year. Just to put things in perspective, I found myself — or rather my book, since I was stuck at the Delta –, in the company of such chefs as Chuck Hughes (be still the female beating hearts out there, I hear you!) and Vikram Vij, whose book Vij’s at Home: Relax Honey is on my Christmas Wish List. Here’s hoping my family’s listening…

Of course, I share this award with my Editor-in-chief, Marylène Leblanc-Langlois, a long-time friend and colleague, and the kind of manager extraordinaire with the knack to make things happen. Let’s face it, administration is so not my forte, but it’s hers.

To art director Marie-Josée Forest who gave the book its beautiful look and feel: thank you!

To photographer Michel Paquette, who I met long ago when I was the agency writer on the Natrel account: you def know your way around appetite appeal.

And finally, to my publisher Jean Paré, thank you for conveying my thanks to the jury when called upon to replace me at the last minute. You have to admit, what timing!


Above all, thank you to the 80 Quebec chefs who agreed to share their family recipes with me. I know how much trust it required on your part to let your everyday cooking, and not your table d’hote cuisine, represent you. To those who went so far as to share their shortcuts using Cheez Whiz, Carnation Milk, and Knorr’s Sauce, double tip of the toque!


Here are the winning books in all categories. As you see, I find myself in very inspiring company. For full-fledged summaries of each book, visit Cuisine Canada here. Cheers.


“Special Interest” Category

GOLD: Martin Thibault & David Lévesque Gendron, La route des grands crus de la bière, Québec Amérique.

SILVER: François Chartier, La Sélection Chartier 2011: Guide des vins et d’harmonisation avec les mets, Les Éditions La Presse.

“Canadian Culinary Culture” Category

GOLD: Marie-Christine Rhéaume, Olivier Clément & Dominique Rhéaume, Le livre gourmand  des Iles de la Madeleine: Découvertes du terroir et recettes originales, Les Éditions La Morue Verte.

SILVER: Marylène Leblanc-Langlois & Lynne Faubert, À la bonne franquette: 80 Chefs dévoilent leurs recettes simples de tous les jours, Les Éditions Transcontinental.

“French-Language Cookbook” Category

GOLD: Philippe Laloux, Le bonheur de cuire, Québec Amérique.

SILVER: Chuck Hughes, Garde-Manger, Les Éditions La Presse.


“Special Interest” Category

GOLD: Sarah Elton, Locavore: From Farmers’ Fields to Rooftop Gardens – How Canadians Are Changing the Way We Eat, HarperCollins Canada.

SILVER: Sonia Day, Incredible Edibles: 43 Fun Things to Grow in the City, Firefly Books Ltd.

“Canadian Culinary Culture” Category

GOLD: Jeff McCourt, Allan Williams & Austin Clement, Flavours of Prince Edward Island: A Culinary Journey, Whitecap Books.

SILVER: Michele Genest, The Boreal Gourmet: Adventures in Northern Cooking, Harbour Publishing.

“English-Language Cookbook” Category

GOLD:  Michael Bonacini, Massimo Capra, Jason Parsons, 3 Chefs: The Kitchen Men, Whitecap Books & Madison Press Books.

SILVER: Meeru Dhalwala & Vikram Vij, Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey, Douglas & McIntyre.

(ex-aqueo with:) Moira Sanders, Lori Elstone, avec Beth Goslin Maloney, The Harrow Fair Cookbook: Prize-Winning Recipes Inspired by Canada’s Favourite Country Fair, Whitecap Books.

Canadian Culinary Landmarks Hall of Fame

Jehane Benoit (one of my heroes!)
Marie Nightingale

Edna Staebler Award

Awarded to Tony Drouin and Suzanne Bergeron, owners of Jean-Talon Market’s Marché des Saveurs where only Québec artisan products are sold. RIGHT ON!

Founders Award

J. Charles Grieco, Ontario Hostelry Institute President


What is Cuisine Canada?

Annually, food professionals gather to honour Canadian culinary writers and publishers when the Canadian Culinary Book Awards are presented in the autumn. Designed to recognize excellence and creativity in food and beverage writing and publishing, these awards also promote Canadian culinary food culture.

The University of Guelph has for more than 140 years contributed to Canadian cuisine in its programs in agriculture, food science, hospitality and tourism management and other related fields. The University of Guelph holds Canada’s largest culinary collection with more than 6,000 volumes in the Library’s Archival and Special Collections. All cookbooks nominated for these awards are placed in this collection.


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