PARIS, January 10 (Itar-Tass) — Russian culinary books may well get distinctions in the prestigious world competition of literature for gourmets, the Gourmet Awards festival. The final of the competition is to take place in the Paris "Caroussel du Louvre" gallery on February 23.
Competition organizers have told Itar-Tass that several Russian book novelties have been included in the list of candidates for the awards prior to the promulgation of a final verdict of the jury. The books treat of national and international cuisines.
A book about pies has been nominated for the festival's Special Prize. The book has been put out by the Chelyabinsk-based "Arkaim" publishing house. This is a coveted present to genuine gourmets, just as the one by Stalik Khankishiyev about Oriental cuisine in the "Regional Culinary Art" nomination. The work has been issued by the Moscow-based AST publishing group.
A study by Yevgeny Kruchina under the title of "Cognac, Armagnac, and Calvados" is up for a Book of the Year title from gastronomical point of view. This is the first Russian-language book about the three best known French drinks. It has been put out by the Moscow-based Exmo publishing firm which also published a book entitled "Single-Malt Cuisine" which describes the culinary art with the aroma of whiskey. Erkin Tuzmukhamedov, leading expert on the history of the national drink of Scotland, and chef Anton Bulygin cooperated in preparing the book for publication.
The compilation of a short list of the Paris contest, in which publishing firms from 170 countries participated this year, is only natural against the background of increasingly lively gastronomical exchanges between Russia and France.
Last year, for example, French connoisseurs of haute cuisine held five soirees in the company of the best chefs of Russia during the "Russian Gastronomical Seasons" festival on Cote d'Azure. "Benefit performances by Russia's chefs were popular on the French Riviera at the beginning of last century. We decided to revive that tradition," related Natalia Marzoyeva, the festival's general director.
Alain Ducasse, a recognized authority on French gastronomy, also falls under the charm of Russian cuisine. A Russian-language translation of his Grand Livre de Cuisine is represented in the competition in the nomination "Translations". The translated edition has been put out by the Moscow-based Chernov and Co publishing firm.
"The image of a country begins with a good restaurant," Maittre Ducasse maintains. The culinary sector, he recalls, is among the five employers of France. The sector's turnover runs at 50,000 million euros.
The final Gourmet Awards presentation ceremony in the land of haute gastronomy is expected to draw not less than 1,200 guests this year. Winner books' triumph in the competition will be an earnest of a high rating on the book market and new publishing contracts for them.