Fortnum and Mason's Diamond Jubilee salon was heaving last night with the unpasteurised cream of the food world, there to celebrate the Piccadilly's food store's sixth annual Food & Drink Awards. Hot Dinners spotted all manner of people in the fray including Mary Berry, Rick Stein, Mark Hix, Nuno Mendes, Jose Pizarro - and even Piers Morgan.
Master of ceremonies was F&M's CEO Ewan Venters, who was ably assisted in his endeavours by the wonderful Claudia Winkleman who, freed from her BBC shackles, turned the air blue in her marvellous intros to the various categories.
The big winner of the night was Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, who won both for Food Personality of the Year - voted for by the public - and her BBC show, Nadiya's British Food Adventure, won best Food Programme. "I am a first generation British," said Nadiya. "I never quite knew what I was, but what I do know I'm a mash-up of British, and that's what this show's about and I'm really proud of it."
The main event of the evening was the Special Award. A visibly emotional Venters presented it to Ruth Rogers of The River Cafe, calling it "a very special place run by a very special woman - there is literally no other place like it."
Rogers, who brought her team up on the stage to accept the award with her, said her aim was to "keep the values we all hold so strongly" urging the audience to "fight for them... we need to be open, and be fair and encourage, and excite and welcome and to be warm."
The full list of winners on the night were:
- Restaurant Writer Winner - Jay Rayner: The Observer Magazine
- Food Book Winner - The Christmas Chronicles: Notes, stories & 100 essential recipes for midwinter by Nigel Slater
- Cookery Book Winner - The Sportsman by Stephen Harris
- Debut Food Book Winner - Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat
- Drink Book Winner - The Wine Dine Dictionary by Victoria Moore
- Debut Drink Book Winner - Bursting Bubbles by Robert Walters
- Photographer Winner - Hugh Johnson
- Programme Winner - Nadiya's British Food Adventure
- Food Writer Winner - Bee Wilson: The Guardian and Observer Food Monthly
- Cookery Writer Winner - Meera Sodha: The Guardian Weekend magazine
- Drink Writer Winner - Nina Caplan: New Statesman
- Radio or Podcast Winner - The Food Programme: Turmeric
- Programme: Nadiya's British Food Adventure
- Personality of the Year: Nadiya Hussain
- Fortnum's special award: Ruth Rogers
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