Represented by 71 countries and 400 people, this remarkable idea by Edouard Cointreau and his partner Thierry Bertman came alive. Now in its 28th year, the Gourmand Awards and Food Symposium is a success story that is coordinated by the Cointreau family.
The Vegetarian Parsi, inspired by tradition, won a second Gourmand award, winning “Best in the World” for a cookbook series in Umea, Sweden in May 2023.
This is the fifth Gourmand Award for our Parsi cuisine and a huge stepping stone for putting Parsi food culture on the global culinary map.
While I represent Canada, the book has been officially considered under the category of the regional cuisines of India since 2019, when we won the first Gourmand Award.
Awards and certificates will come and go, but the mission is truly motivated by the fact that Parsi cuisine and culture are here to stay and are recognized worldwide. Together, we accomplished this. All of us who love our food culture, our delicious lagun nu bhonu and sagun nu bhonu, and also janam and maran nu bhonu, continue to cook and master it. To all the home cooks, it is you who should be proud of keeping that flag flying for all these years, decades, and centuries. This is for all the people who came before us—our parents, grandparents, and ancestors—who simply carried on. It is all their discipline, determination, and tenacity focused on keeping our “Parsi Pannu” alive. Let us always be proud of our history, heritage, culture, and cuisine.
Cultures and cuisines can only take on and become significant around the globe when forums like this acknowledge the importance and presence of old values and ancient foods, which are vital to the mainstream giants. I was invited to give a talk on Parsi food culture at this forum, and it was well received. The mention of our unique culture ushers in a new dawn. We will keep working towards our goal.
It was at this point that I discovered that Parsi cuisine is just one of many age-old cuisines fighting to achieve recognition and compete with what the rest of the world considers to be the norm. They brought their food and culture to the table from Gaziantep in Turkey to Kerala in India, the Malays in Singapore, the Indigenous in Canada, the Nordics, the Icelandic, and, of course, the many Latin American countries. If these were the Oscars, South Africa would win every category. It was certainly a delicious melange of world cuisines.
For those interested in the presentation I gave, my topic was “Parsi cooking; where it all began”, you can click the link for details. http://www.nilouferskitchen.com/2023/06/umea-sweden-may-27th-2023.html