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Tuesday 13th March 2012
Photo: Gulliver Johnson & Janie Conley-Johnson waving Antigua & Barbuda Flag. ©
Tablemanners: A Culinary Review of Hospitality in Antigua & Barbuda, has won First (1st) Prize in the category of Best Publisher and Best Design for 2011 by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards organization.

The award was announced at the 17th International Gourmand World Cookbook Awards ceremony at Les Folies Bergere theatre in Paris, France on March 6, 2012. TABLEMANNERS was authored and published by Gulliver Johnson and Janie Conley-Johnson, edited by Madeleine Jardim McComas, and graphic design was by Takumi Media.
The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards was established by Edouard Cointreau in 1995, and is an annual event of great prestige and honour in the international world of food and wine. The Cointreau family has been influential in this elite world for many generations. Edouard is descended on his father’s side from the family who produce Cointreau liqueur, and on his mother’s side from that of Rémy Martin and Frapin Cognacs. Edouard is President of the Paris Cookbook Fair, President of the World Association of Food TV and President of Honour of China Food Television.
As Edouard says: “It does not matter who they are, all winners do share one aspect. You can feel the same spirit in a good cookbook or wine book as you do in good literature. The author shines through. In fiction it is usually a single author while in most cookbooks or wine books the final result is very much a team effort.”
TABLEMANNERS: A Culinary Review of Hospitality in Antigua and Barbuda, reflects Edouard’s vision. The book was truly a collaborative project which brought to fruition the dreams, ideas and desires of many people. The small Food & Drink team took those aspirations and developed them into a glorious book brimming with the talents and tastes of the people of Antigua and Barbuda. The generous contributions of chefs, student chefs, bartenders, culinary and beverage professionals; set the tone for a book we can all be immensely proud of. ‘No recipe should be lost for they are a staple of our culture. Tastefully prepared and presented, they are to be shared by all.’
The name TABLEMANNERS was chosen for this ambitious project because it was the name of the first magazine published by the Food & Drink Guide team in 2002. The concept for the book was to create a showcase exposé of Antigua and Barbuda’s culinary industry by expanding on the format of the annual Food & Drink Guide. It is much more than a cookbook. It is a vibrant and comprehensive guide through the culinary scene of our twin island state, which showcases in gorgeous colour the islands’ bars, restaurants, hotels, talent, indigenous products and produce. 
Over one-third of the content of the book came from a collaboration between Dr. Anthony Richards and Madeleine Jardim McComas, who organized the first Magic Mango Menu Competition for professional chefs and bartenders in 2005 as part of the annual Mango Festival. The competition has evolved into an eagerly contested series of events for professionals, with a separate pastry chef’s competition introduced in 2011. Coverage of the event has been a feature of Food & Drink Guide every year. The recipes from the competition, together with other recipes and articles on local delicacies such as spiny lobster, conch, black fruitcake and agro-processing products, written by local experts, represented a body of work that begged to be published in a book.
The sponsors for the TABLEMANNERS project are the islands’ resorts, restaurants and bars, which are too many to name here, the Antigua Distillery Limited, Quin Farara and Co. Ltd, Best Cellars Wines & Spirits, Best of Books, and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. Thanks are extended to Edouard Cointreau and his Gourmand team. Thanks are also extended to Tourism Minister the Hon. John Maginley, Finance Minister the Hon. Harold Lovell, and Agriculture Minister the Hon. Hilson Baptiste, who were all proud advocates of this book and supported it whole-heartedly.
The kind support and backing of the Ministry of Tourism’s team made it possible for the authors/publishers Gulliver Johnson and Janie Conley-Johnson to attend the Paris Cookbook Fair and to accept in person the prestigious award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards ceremony. Upon being called to take the stage to receive the First (1st) Place award in the publishers category for ‘Best Cookbook Design in the World’ Gulliver and Janie proudly flew the Antigua and Barbuda flag. With 162 countries present and a theatre at full capacity, they thanked the judges and invited all guests and countries to visit Antigua and Barbuda and experience our food, culture and hospitality first hand.
The twin islands were quickly dubbed ‘the champagne of destinations’. Armed with promotional goodies from the Tourism Authority, copies of the 2012 Food & Drink Guide, Food & Drink TV DVD’s, tasty agro-processed samples from Granma Aki, Susie’s Hot Sauce, Cavalier Antigua Rum samples provided by Quin Farara & Co. Ltd., and USB flash-drives from Best Cellars Wines & Spirits, they continued to introduce the delicious flavours of Antigua and Barbuda at the Paris Cookbook Fair over the next few days. Within a short space of time everyone knew the flag and the destination of Antigua and Barbuda, and raved about the islands’ culinary talents. The Food & Drink team has been invited by the Academy Director of Le Cordon Bleu Paris, Mr. Damien Julia, to make a presentation at the academy on the culinary-hospitality industry of Antigua and Barbuda; giving us even greater exposure as a culinary destination.
The international impact of such a win cannot be underestimated. TABLEMANNERS is the second cookbook from Antigua and Barbuda to be recognized at the Gourmand Awards. Local artist Gilly Gobinet won in 2008 with the Cool Caribbean Cookery Book, bringing home the award for the ‘Best Illustrated Cookbook in the World’.
Food unites and transcends all boundaries – political, racial and class. This impressive award will win important worldwide recognition for the hospitality industry of Antigua and Barbuda. We should celebrate our culinary creativity and actively make the most of this opportunity for positive PR.
Copies of the TABLEMANNERS may be purchased at Best of Books, Lord Jim’s Locker and hotel gift shops in Antigua & Barbuda. They may also be ordered online and shipped worldwide by emailing:

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