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Local cookbook wins big

A little local cookbook celebrated around town is now being recognized on the world stage snagging some coveted cookbook awards.

Author of the The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker- An Okanagan Cookbook, Jennifer Schell, is over the moon after learning the great news.

“It is just unbelievable. I am so beside myself and thrilled and thrilled for the Okanagan. It is so exciting to get our community out there on the world stage,” said Schell.

The book recently took home the following awards:

  • *WINNER Gourmand International Award - Best Local Cuisine Cookbook, CANADA
  • *WINNER Best Cookbook - Paris Book Festival
  • *WINNER Best Cookbook - San Francisco Book Festival
  • *Honourable Mention - Green Book Festival

She said this recognition is more than she could have ever hoped for and called it a once in a lifetime thrill.

Bruce Haring of the Paris Book Festival even wrote to Schell praising her foodie book.

“Congratulatioins - a rare triple, but it's an exceptional book!” he wrote.

A rare triple referring to the San Francisco Book Festival, Paris Book Festival and the Honourable Mention at the Green Book Festival.

“It is a real celebration of our community here and I think it resonates around the world with their own communities and the return of more farm to table, working with their farmers and respect for their farmers,” added Schell.

She feels her book may have stood out from other cookbooks because it is more about the how a recipe comes together than the recipe itself.

“I think what is unique about it is that it is more than a cookbook, it has been called a story book. It is the stories of these people and their passion,” said Schell.

“It focuses on the relationships between the food, wine and farm people not just a chef's recipe. It is the chef and the farmer he works with and the artisan he works with and the winemaker and how they work together. It was just so fun to put together and I am beyond thrilled.”

She is now planning her trips to San Francisco and Paris to accept the awards and cannot wait to sell the Okanagan to anyone who is listening.

“I'll be called up to the stage and get to say a few words and I want to tell the world to come and visit us in the Okanagan and how incredible we are here in our food, wine and farm world.”

The book is also being considered for the Best cookbook in the world at the Gourmand World Cookbook awards coming up at the end of May in Beijing.

Next for Schell is another cookbook project much like the one created in the Okanagan, it will be called The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine and Cheese Maker by the sea.

“It is Vancouver and Vancouver Island, chefs, farmers, artisans and sea farmers. It is a whole other world,” said an excited Schell.

The now award winning The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine and Cheese Maker - An Okanagan Cookbook shares recipes and stories from the top chefs in the Okanagan, along with cheese makers, fishmongers, award winning wine makers and some Okanagan family recipes that have been handed down for generations.

Contributors include Chefs Paul Cecconi, Bernard Casavant, Mark Filatow, Martin Laprise, Grant DeMontreuil and Natasha Schooten along with Gene and Shelley Covert of Covert Farms, Tony and Nancy Cetinski of Suncatcher Farms, Curtis Stone of Green City Acres and Gabe Cipes of Summerhill Organic Gardens to name a few.

Find out more about the book or where to buy your own on her website anokanagancookbook.com.

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