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Presenting the Winners of the 2015 Sunday Times Food Weekly Cookbook Awards

Mariana Esterhuizen, Hilary Biller, Brent Owens, Vickie de Beer, Kath Megaw and Siphokazi Mdlankomo

The winners of the 2015 Sunday Times Food Weekly Cookbook Awards were announced last night at a star-studded event at the Pick n Pay Good Food Studio in Sandton.

The Low-Carb Solution For Diabetics by Vickie de Beer and Kath Megaw was named the Best Cookbook of the Year, and The Sunday Times Food Weekly Cookbook Award to the Best Newcomer went to Mariana’s Country Kitchen by Mariana Esterhuizen.

Vickie de BeerKath MegawErika Oosthuysen with Mariana EsterhuizenBrent Owens and Vickie de Beer


Sunday Times Food Weekly Editor Hilary Biller said: “This year we received far fewer entries than last year, but the judges agreed the quality was so much better.” She said that the judges looked for the “nitty-gritty” of the cookbooks and that the top six finalists’ recipes were put to the test by The Good Food Studio.

The judges who had the enviable task of selecting the best recipes in South Africa were Nompumelelo Mqwebu, head chef at Africa Meets Europe Cuisine; Siphokazi Mdlankomo, MasterChef SA 2014 runner-up whose cookbook The Little Black Recipe Book (Metz Press) is due out in January; Stephen Billingham, president of the South African Chefs Association; Food Weekly editor Hilary Biller and Fresh Living magazine editor Justine Drake.

Biller said that modern cookbooks have a theme and a message and, most importantly, focuses on a healthy lifestyle.

The Low-Carb Solution For DiabeticsMariana's Country KitchenBitter+SweetThe Supper ClubBaking For Pleasure & ProfitReal Food - Healthy, Happy Children


Hilary Biller, Christine Capendale, Vickie de Beer, Malcolm Mycroft, Kath Megaw, Phillippa Cheifitz, Niël Stemmet and Mariana Esterhuizen


Comedian Anne Hirsch entertained the guests at The Good Food Studio and grilled the guest of honour, MasterChef Austalia winner Brent Owens, about his favourite ingredients (beetroot and aniseed), celebrity chefs (Gordon Ramsay) and worst near-fatal accident in the kitchen (it involved a pressure cooker).

Before the winners were announced Owens delivered sage advice, which Hirsch interpreted as “beetroot to yourself”.

The winner of the inaugural Sunday Times Food Weekly Cookbook Awards, Daisy Jones, took to the stage and extended a warm thank you to everyone who’s made the cookbook awards possible. “Thank you for honouring our work,” she said to all the organisers.

Jones, who is the author of the award-winning Star Fish (Quivertree), said: “A cookbook is about beauty and ideas.”

NB Publishers was well represented at the ceremony with three books: Bitter+Sweet: A Heritage Cookbook by Niël Stemmet; Mariana’s Country Kitchen by Mariana Esterhuizen and Baking For Pleasure & Profit by Christine Capendale.

Quivertree Publications had two stand-out cookbooks: The Low-Carb Solution For Diabetics by Vickie de Beer and Kath Megaw and Real Food – Healthy, Happy Children by Kath Megaw, Daisy Jones, Phillippa Cheifitz and Jane-Anne Hobbs.

Struik Lifestyle were represented by The Supper Club by Phillippa Cheifitz.


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Annetjie van Wynegaard (@Annetjievw) live-tweeted the festivities using #STCookbook:


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