Never thought I would write these words, but I'm thrilled to announce that Taste of Freedom has won 'Best in the World' for the Charity category of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. It goes without saying that I'm gobsmacked and still feel that I'm going to wake up any moment!
I'm writing this from Yantai, China, where the awards have been held. Having met so many inspiring authors here it's a huge honour to be included among them. It means the world to me and my family who are here with me - a lasting tribute to Mum's legacy, and to every single Syrian who has suffered as a result of the terrible 6-year conflict that's seen their country devastated.
I hope that my book and others like it can help to preserve Syria's unique and rich food heritage.
I'm currently expanding the collection to include recipes of other Syrians, including those of refugee families who have been resettled in my hometown of Bath.
I am here in China with my dad Geoff and sister Allie. We've had a real adventure sampling Chinese life and cuisine and visiting Dad's old haunts from his time spent living in Beijing in the 70s. When I get back to the UK I plan to update this long-neglected blog with updates from China and of the work I've been doing with other Syrians who are teaching me so much about their cuisine.
Thanks to everyone who has given me so much support, and huge congratulations to all the other Gourmand winners.