Dear readers. What you’ve just read in that picture is what I’ve been trying to wrap my head around ever since I received the notification email a few days ago. My cookbook, “Pomegranates & Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan,” has been named the W-I-N-N-E-R in the Eastern European cuisine category among the books published in the U.S. I read the email that came from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards a million times, to make sure I didn’t misunderstand what it said. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
When I submitted my book to the awards back in September, I knew I would be competing against books published by big and small publishers, who know what they are doing, and there I was, with my very first self-published book, the product of many years of learning ins and outs of the publishing industry by a single person, who still felt there was so much to learn and had her doubts about things, albeit small. But I hoped I would win. I hoped for my little book to stand out from the crowd. I wanted the awards committee to feel it that I spent 7 years on this book and gave my all to it. And they did. They noticed it. I am grateful for that. I am beyond happy, guys!