Khir Johari’s book The Food Of Singapore Malays won the top prize at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Khir said: “To be recognized by an international competition and to be among the most meaningful books ever written in history, really means a lot, not only to me but also to Singapore.

“Writing Malay Food in Singapore has allowed me to collect, consolidate and curate the rich cultural heritage of the Malays into an encyclopedia that could appeal to a wide range of people.”

The book is published by Marshall Cavendish International and includes a foreword by Swiss restaurateur Anton Mosimann and an afterword by Singapore historian Faris Joraimi.

In 2022, Khir’s book was named Book of the Year at the Singapore Book Awards.

Other Singaporean publications that have received awards include the literary anthology celebrating Singapore’s food culture, Food Republic: A Singapore Literary Banquet, which won the Special Award.

Food Republic co-editor Daryl Lim Wei Jie, 32, who spoke to The Straits Times on behalf of co-editors Ann Ang and Tse Hao Guang and Landmark Books publisher Goh Eck Kheng, said: “It is a great honor, a great joy and surprise. We didn’t submit the book for review, so it’s surprising that Gourmand International would have picked it up on its own.”

He added: “Singapore is a food-obsessed country, but we feel that writing about food as a literary art form has not been given enough attention. Hopefully this win highlights that writing about food is not simply a function, but a craft like cooking.”

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