In a glamorous and packed Royal Exchange, Taylor was presented the award by hosts Angela Hartnett OBE and Andi Oliver.
Taylor said of the awards: “Everyone says the Fortnum and Mason awards is one of those evenings nobody turns down an invitation to, and it seems last night was no exception. The room was buzzing with excitement with so many familiar faces. I’m pretty sure the whole hall turned around when Stanley Tucci entered the room.
“It’s such a shock to have won the Restaurant Writer award, especially when I look back at those who’ve won in previous years. It’s an honour to have my work recognised in such a way. I hope one day I can match the legacies of those who’ve won before me.”
The evening saw a slew of leading voices from the industry celebrating the best of the best. The judges included Emma Inch, Honey Spencer, Joel Harrison and Tim Hayward, Standard contributor Clare Finney and the Standard’s chief restaurant critic, Jimi Famurewa. Both Famurewa and Finney have previously won Fortnums’ awards.
For many, the awards represent the pinnacle of food writing achievement in the UK and serve as a barometer for discovering and promoting the myriad unique, diverse and independent voices across the craft.
Elsewhere at the awards, a number of notable London voices were also celebrated. Cynthia Shanmugalingam of new restaurant Rambutan in Borough received an award for her book Rambutan: Recipes from Sri Lanka, in the debut cookery book category. Meanwhile, chef and restaurateur Jeremy Lee of Quo Vadis received special recognition for his inaugural book COOKING: Simply and Well, for One or Many.
Tom Athron, CEO of Fortnum & Mason, said of the awards: “Fortnum & Mason has been an innovator in the world of food and drink for over 300 years, and we’re proud to play our part in supporting the unparalleled food and drink scene here in the UK.
“The winners are a testament to the strength of the writing and broadcasting on the subjects of food and drink in this country and it is our privilege to encourage such distinction in these media disciplines.”
Full list of awards and winners
FOOD BOOK Red Sauce Brown Sauce: A British Breakfast Odyssey by Felicity Cloake
DEBUT FOOD BOOK Breadsong: How Baking Changed Our Lives by Kitty & Al Tait
COOKERY BOOKWest Winds: Recipes, history and tales from Jamaica by Riaz Phillips
DEBUT COOKERY BOOK Rambutan: Recipes from Sri Lanka by Cynthia Shanmugalingam
DRINK BOOK Holy Waters: Searching for the sacred in a glass by Tom Morton
DEBUT DRINK BOOK Wild Brews by Jaega Wise
COOKERY WRITER Fliss Freeborn for work on Student Cuisine for the Gloomy Teen
FOOD WRITER Bee Wilson for work in The Guardian andFT Weekend Magazine
DRINK WRITER Will Hawkes for work inPellicle Magazine
RESTAURANT WRITER Joanna Taylor for work in ES Magazine
PROGRAMME Searching for Italy presented by Stanley Tucci
AUDIO Blasstal, A podcast by Lecker. Presented and produced by Lucy Dearlove and Katie Callin
PHOTOGRAPHER Kim Lightbody
FORTNUM’S SPECIAL AWARD COOKING: Simply and Well, for One or Many by Jeremy Lee. Published by 4th Estate
FORTNUM’S SPECIAL AWARD Food for Life by Tim Spector
DIGITAL CREATOR OF THE YEAR Giuseppe Federici (AKA @Sepps_eats)
PERSONALITIES OF THE YEAR Si Kingand Dave Myers(AKA The Hairy Bikers)