For Internationally recognized seaweed expert Dr Prannie Rhatigan, Christmas came early last week, when her second book IRISH SEAWEED CHRISTMAS KITCHEN was awarded first place in the Gourmand Best in the World Awards, seafood category, in Macao, China.
The Irish book was shortlisted among stiff competition in the seafood category and it was beyond her wildest expectations when, during the Oscar-like ceremony, IRISH SEAWEED CHRISTMAS KITCHEN swung into first place on the huge screen and Dr Rhatigan was invited to the stage to accept the award for her book. Her family were with her, flying the Irish flag.
The 24th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards took place at the Macao International Book Fair. The Gourmand Awards are unique and are described as the Oscars of the Food and Drink sector. They are the most international book awards for any kind of book. Only the Olympics can compare in scope. The competition has Food and Drink Culture entries from 216 countries, in print or digital, commercial or for free.
Dr Rhatigan was invited to speak on Irish Seaweeds and also to give a seaweed cookery demo at the Chefs Kitchen at MIBF. French MasterChef star Cyril Rouquet was MC and she was in the company of celebrity TV chef Chakall from Portugal and food writer Marlena Spieler from the US, all of whom were pleasantly surprised at how delicious Irish seaweed tastes. She has already been invited to speak and demo at two further International Food events.
The Irish Seaweed Kitchen had a stand to showcase Irish seaweeds and to encourage visitors to come to Ireland and experience the Sligo Food Trail as part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Two thirds of the fair were stands from China and South East Asia, including Macao, Hong Kong and Taiwan with the remainder form the rest of the world
IRISH SEAWEED CHRISTMAS KITCHEN appeared on the shelves just in time for Christmas in 2018 after 18 months of research, recipe testing, photo shoots, editing and proof reading, all of which were carried out by a hard working close knit production team whose dedication to the project has been rewarded by this prestigious award.
After a few days in Hong Kong Irelands First Seaweed Family return to Streedagh, Co Sligo to summer in Ireland as normal. This summer the Seaweed Saga continues with Sligo Food Trail excursions such as the Sligo Seaweed Experience, Sligo Seaweed Days and the Coney Island Experience. Places still available on these walks (www.irishseaweedkitchen.ie) which will be headed up by Dr Prannie Rhatigan, whose first book Irish Seaweed Kitchen (2009) kick-started the current pro seaweed movement which moved along Ireland’s West coast and beyond. Prannie Rhatigan’s tireless enthusiasm for her subject over a lifetime, coupled with her innovative research continue to bring well deserved world recognition to Irish seaweeds.