From the 21st to the 25th of February I was in Paris. Not for a long weekend in the Ville Lumière, purely for relaxation and some good old compulsive shopping, but for a visit to the Paris Cookbook Fair. There was I, under the Pyramid of the Louvre, with a stand in the name of Choizes (my Dutch publisher) and my cookbook.
Exciting! And fun! So many famous chefs (including the fantastic Annabel Langbein), writers, food bloggers, food photographers, foodies and cookbook publishers under one roof, something which I had never experienced before!
And Paris! It's not my favourite city in the world (that very special place is, of course, reserved for Amsterdam!) but in a weird way I feel very much at home there and I enjoy the atmosphere, the food and the beauty. Could it be it's because I speak the language quite well? Or perhaps because - I clearly believe in reincarnation - I lived there in a previous life? Who knows. It's a funny feeling. I quite dislike certain things in Paris - the arrogance in some shops and restaurants, a tad too much grandeur everywhere, and too many useless macarons :D - and yet I feel completely at ease there.
The Paris Cookbook Fair is a super fun fair that makes the heart of cookbook lovers beat faster. Mine too, and this year not only because of the many books that could be admired (and bought) there, but also because my book "Cucina di casa mia" was nominated in the category Best Italian Cookbook 2012 together with all the other Italian cookbooks of the world received by the jury. Five books were eventually chosen, and out of those five three were selected for Gold, Silver and Bronze. And ... I won bronze! After the beautiful Pulpo by Russel Norman and Limoncello and linen water by the great Tessa Kiros I gained the third prize. What an honor! During the ceremony, I was slightly tense, nervously fanning the tension away at a table with a nice team of other winners, Gert Crum for Best Wine Book, Koen de Grote of Literalicious (also a third prize) and the publishers Minestrone and Lannoo from Belgium, a country that won many prizes. And when I saw my book and my name on the big screen, along with the other two, I was veeeeery happy and the nerves just disappeared. :)
There it is, a bit far and not really sharp because of my shaking hands plus with the old cover, and yet... my book on the third place!
What a nice experience that was. Who would have imagined it when I started this book in 2011?
My applause goes to my publisher, Choizes, my mother Gabriella Formigoni who worked at the book and cooked with me, photographer Jan Bartelsman, stylist Jan-Willem van Riel, editors Bel & Jet, graphic agency Van Erkelens and all the people who have worked on the book.
And an applause for myself too, because I wrote a book that I'm really proud of. :)