Algarve cookbook named “world’s third best” at Gourmand Awards

‘Algarve Mediterrânico: Tradição, Produtos e Cozinhas’, a book launched last year by São Brás de Alportel author Maria Manuel Valagão, has been named the “third best cookbook of the year” at the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

The book, written alongside photographer Vasco Célio and chef Bertílio Gomes, took four years to bring to life and highlights “what makes the Algarve unique – its Mediterraneans traditions, products and cuisine”.

Inside its 300-plus pages, readers can find anything from recipes to information on traditionally Algarvean products, as well the local traditions that the author does not want to be forgotten.

“People already have authentic habits inside them that they don’t even realise. They forget that they hold valuable intangible heritage,” Varagão told Barlavento newspaper at the time of the book’s launch.

The book is available in English and Portuguese. The Guardian writer Kevin Gould was in charge of copy editing for the English edition, and even accompanied Valagão on some of her trips through the Algarve.

It can be purchased online for €31.90.

The top spot of the Gourmand Awards best cookbook category went to Dutch book ‘With Our Own Hands’, written by Frederik van Oudenhoven and Jamila Haider, while second place went to ‘Italian Gourmet’ by Marco Ghiotto.

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded in 1995, and have since annually honoured the best food and wine books, printed or digital, as well as food television.

Books from 205 countries participate in the awards, the “only international competition of the sector”.