My Cookbook Won!

Winner of Gourmand World Cookbook Award

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!

So what happens next? I am eligible to participate in the Best in the World Awards! This means my cookbook will compete against other cookbook winners in the same category from other countries, and one single winner will be selected. This “Oscars” of the publishing industry will take place in Yantai, China in June. It sounds like a dream. Please, cross your fingers for me!

Thank you for your support, friends! I am beyond grateful for everything. And to everybody who contributed to my cookbook.

Now if you excuse me, I am going back to read that message again. Somebody pinch me for the hundredth time!


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  1. Great news!I am so happy for you!!My congratulations and Good Luck in China!!!!!

  2. Congratulations, and well deserved!

  3. Congratulations! This is wonderful and you should be proud!

  4. Təbriklər! Feride! I do hope to see this book on Amazon UK so as I can order it. I have been in touch with them regarding this, and I see now it is available on I look forward to placing an order. I love your Blog and delicious recipes.

  5. That’s so great, Feride!! Congratulations!!

  6. Congratulatins! Well deserved.
    Angie in SoCal

  7. Congatulations, Farida!!!
    So proud of you!!!
    Always use your recipes,and share same love for cooking with my friends!
    Good luck on the future endeavors!
    Continue your awesome blog!

  8. Hi Farida,

    Wow…that’s great news! Congratulations, you are a hard worker!!! Little by little, azeri cuisine will gain its popularity across the USA and people will find out that it is one of the tastiest foods in the world. However, I didn’t understand, why did they classify it as an eastern european food rather than the south – eastern european food?

    • Thank you so much, Lala. They typically classify based on bigger geographic area, like Eastern Europe, which can be further broken down, as you suggested.

  9. Dear Mrs. Faride, I am writing you for the first time, even though I’m a fan of you from the very beginning, when your website appeared. Your recipes brought me a lot of joy and new knowledge about culinary of Azerbaijan, which I had the opportunity to visit many years ago. I have even one of the original Azerbaijani books with recipes.
    I tried a lot of your fantastic recipes. Thanks.
    I was delighted when you announced, that you finally published your book and this recent award is well-deserved valuation of your work. I cordially gratulete to You and wish you success and good luck.
    Dr. Vladimir Horak, Prague, Czech Rep.

    • Dear Dr Horak, thank you so much for your friendly comment. I am glad you had to visit my birthplace and hope you had a good time there. I didn’t know I had readers in Prague. So you made me very happy with your comment! Děkuji:)

  10. Awesome job Farida ! Congrats! I hope you book will continue to win. Good luck in China.

  11. woot-woot… Great, great news. You deserve more than that.
    Your blog is truely one of the best food blogs in the world.
    Best of luck in China. I’m very happy for you.

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