New Zealand authors Jan Bilton and Belinda Jackson have won a prestigious international food media award for a book about wine and food matching in Marlborough.

Marlborough on the Menu celebrates the food and wine of the internationally-renowned wine-producing region.  It won the Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards category for Best Food / Drink Guide Book. The awards were announced at a gala presentation in Adelaide Australia on Monday night (May 3) with winners from as far afield as the USA, Europe, Asia and Australasia.
 
More than 700 entries were received for the competition, which was judged by an international panel of 60 jurors.
 
A professional food writer, Ms Bilton provided the recipes featuring the best of Marlborough’s natural ingredients which were matched by Ms Jackson with wines from 14 of the region’s many wineries. Marlborough on the Menu is Jan Bilton’s 26th food-related book and was first published in December 2008 with a reprint late 2009.
 
She says the competition’s ‘Gold Ladle’ is a wonderful tribute to the natural resources of a remarkable New Zealand region. “We moved to Marlborough three years ago and we simply love it here. While Marlborough’s ability to produce world-beating wines is well documented the foods of the region are a little less well known.
 
“I continue to be amazed at the variety and selection and even unusual foods on offer. It’s the first time I’ve worked with Belinda and we had great fun cooking up the recipes and then matching the wines with the food. “We feel honoured to receive the award but it really is Marlborough’s to claim,” Ms Bilton says. Grant Rosewarne, the CEO of Nelson-based NZ King Salmon says Ms Bilton and Ms Jackson’s honour is truly deserved. “This duo has been a great advocate for our beautiful and bountiful region and Jan is a great supporter of the foods we produce here. Visitors love the book as do quite a few locals I might add. “Jan and Belinda are due our heartfelt thanks for a wonderful tribute to Marlborough,” Mr Rosewarne says.
 
Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards Jury Chairman and Tasting Australia Festival Director Ian Parmenter says the standard of entries in this year’s competition was extraordinarily high. “The international judges were faced with an enormous task. However, they were consistent in their agreement on the winners.” Marlborough on the Menu took six months to put together and features a “choice selection of easy and appealing recipes and food and wine matches” according to its sleeve. The book was self-published by Ms Bilton’s company Irvine Holt Enterprises co-owned with her husband Michael Ryan,
 
Mr Ryan edited the book and also wrote much of the text while Ms Bilton styled all the food and took the majority of photos. Marlborough on the Menu has sold around 5,000 copies, many to visitors to the region who no doubt are enjoying a reprise of their visit to the tip of the South Island in kitchens around the world, Ms Bilton says.
Examples of recipes and wines are Pinot Noir Poached Salmon featuring Regal Salmon fillets and Highfield Pinot noir and Venison & Udon Noodle Stir-fry matched with Nautilus Pinot Gris.
 
New Zealand featured in four of the 21 awards handed out at the Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards in Adelaide. Auckland photographer Aaron McLean won Best Food Photographer for Cherries With a Twist, the Best Drink Magazine went to Cuisine Wine Country and Margaret Brooker received a gold ladle for It’s My Turn to Cook in the  Best Children’s Book category.
 
Awards website: www.worldfoodmediaawards.com
Jan Bilton: www.janbilton.co.nz
Belinda Jackson: www.belindajackson.com

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