WINNER: JUDGES CHOICE AWARD at Fortnum & Mason Food And Drink Awards
I won’t keep you all in the same suspense that I was in tonight – I’ve just got home and thought I’d better write something scrambled and incoherent about the Fortnum And Mason Food And Drink Awards…
“Tonight’s Judges Choice Award, made at their discretion in recognition of a piece of work, an individual or a campaign thought to have inspired people to enjoy, explore and experiment with food and drink.
“Picked by the judges as ‘one to watch’, the award goes to a single mother from Southend, whose delicious recipes, published online, are so nutritious and thrifty that they are being handed out by food banks as examples of how to manage on next to nothing.”
It was at the word ‘Southend’ that the penny dropped, and I’m very glad Xanthe Clay caught me in a hug as I was shaking like a little, extremely surprised, leaf. I made it to the stage, took one look at Claudia Winkleman and yelped ‘Oh my god it’s you!’ (I’m so cool.)
I continued my coolness with an impromptu rambling speech that said something along the lines of ‘it was all very nice to be invited but I thought you all just felt a bit sorry for me eating chickpeas and chopped tomatoes, and wanted to give me some blinis and a nice night out. And, Er, I’m here, with a shiny thing in my hand, and – Thankyou.’
And indeed, Thankyou. Because if I sat typing quietly away about a hundred things I could do with chopped tomatoes and lemon curd, and nobody read it, I’d be shouting into a void. Thankyou every single one of you, for your time, your interest, your responses, your comments, for you.
Thankyou Tom and Xanthe and Fiona and Lisa, for everything, and Ewan and Lindsay and Flo at Fortnums, for being lovely.
I have a shiny thing. And I haven’t stopped grinning all night.
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe
So well deserved …. and you’re putting Southend on the map as the culinary captial of the UK! Rise up Southend … show us more …..
WooWoo, go girl go!! So proud of what youare doing/done, what a woman.xxx
woo woo…go girl go. So proud of what you have done/are doing. x
I am in awe of you. I am glad of your efforts. You are a wonderful role model, for many.
Fantastic! You deserve it! Have been enjoying following your blog from KL!
you so deserve your shiny thing! More importantly the recognition! Well done!!
Well done you! (But then, it’s only what all your readers knew you deserve.)
Well done and congratulations to you for all your hard work You desrve every minute of tonight and I hope ‘small boy’ was proud of his Mum
love from the ‘other’ Jack in Kent xx
Well deserved! Go girl!
Congratulations! Well deserved, one to watch indeed!
Damn, I just hate having to say “I told you so”. So I won’t. Congratulations. 🙂
Well done and so well deserved!
So exciting, you are inspiring to everyone!! Even me, who cannot even boil an egg properly!
My word, and I thought I had a “Creature Comforts” grin! 😀 Well done. Very happy for you. Look forward to buying the published book. (I’m expecting many lovely veggie recipies.) x
I have been reading your blog for several months and have wanted to write to you to tell you what an inspiration you are, and Thank You, for sharing.
I’ve been gleaning recipe ideas to help see us through the never-ending difficulties, strain and poverty having been unemployed since July. You have given me, like many others, help, hope and inspiration.
So, to hear this marvellous news tonight, I feel now is the time to pipe up! I am absolutely thrilled to hear you have been given this most wonderful triumphant award! Very many congratulations Jack. This accolade is pure recognition indeed of your amazing zeal, creativity and drive through adversity, giving hope where there had been unrelenting darkness.
Thank you. You’re courage is inspiring. Keep up the great work. Congratulations once again, you deserve it 🙂
Aboard NB Sapphire, GUC, nr Bedfordshire
Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Chickpeas make me gag, but after reading your posts, I might try them! Across the pond. I still don’t know what chopped tomatoes are. Canned tomatoes? Stewed tomatoes? Ann
Canned tomatoes 🙂
Diced tomatoes here in USA
Massive congratulations! I am soooo, so pleased for you. And we love your carrot and coriander soup. 😉
Oh well done Jack! How absolutely lovely that people validate you as a flag bearer for all of us that have more month than money! You deserve it!
Wowy Looks beautiful lol congrats!!!
… and I couldn’t stop grinning after reading this! I’m so glad I stumbled on to your blog a couple of weeks ago. These little successes really do put a smile on my face. Well done!
Not long now and you will be able to look back at this and think yuck carrot and coriander soup, that’s for the peasants! You will get to the place that you so defiantly argue against. But you know that already don’t you.
You’re a rather jealous, bitter person. But you know that already don’t you.
Maybe he should remove the “nice” bit from his username!
Why would anyone think “tuck” about carrot and coriander soup? Delicious stuff, even if you can afford other things.
Thanks for writing this and demonstrating the ‘dim’ label so well!
What a horrible, mean spirited post. Back under your bridge, troll.
Way-hay, things are looking up. Hope you had a lovely evening, your son looked grogeous and so proud on the photo you posted earlier. Congratulations & well done!!!!!! -Tracy
grogeous = super gorgeous 🙂
I only recently stumbled across your blog. Am so glad I did. As well as inspiring it is practical and useful. Well done on your fantastic award.
Congratulations on winning a well deserved award! I have been following your blog ever since I read Xanthe Clay’s article in The Telegraph. Your recipes are inspiring others who are in straightened circumstances which is admirable. Great to hear the afood Banks are distributing them too. I have also tried some of your recipes and they are very easy to make and extremely tasty. Lovely to see your little boy, looking so proud and sparkly-eyed!
Well done! Richly deserved and one in the eye for your critics.
Congratulations and Well Deserved
Congratulations on your award.
Just awesome, just wonderful, just so well deserved 😀
Congratulations! Well done!
Just heard you on Radio 5 – you are so inspiring. Keep going who knows what amazing thing will happen for you next.
Well done you – we all knew you could do it. Onwards and upwards.
PLEDGE – Well done and well deserved! Now ask for an advance from Penguin so you are not forced to move and sell your furniture! I shall be buying your book. Kind Regards Liz
Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone from Virgin Media
Unfortunately the move is underway – just terrible timing with tax credit cuts etc – but my advance will be handy for security and stability when the first part of it comes. X
Well Done, if ever an award was earnt this one was. I’m absolutely thrilled for you, and how wonderful that SB was there to see you pick it up, he’ll be so proud of his Mum, that sort of memory stays with a child all through life.
i just shed a few tears of joy reading your post … and when you realised they were talking about you! your story has touched me over here in ireland. a yank saying – making lemonade when life gives you lemons, applies to your actions 🙂 i love benjamin zander’s ‘the art of possibility’ and love seeing it happen for people …
Well done. Well deserved! The first of many awards!
Well done Jack that’s absolutely amazing, I’ve been quietly following your blog for a while now & it doesn’t surprise me at all that this has happened to you. I brought my daughter up in a council flat on my own in the late 90s (had her when I was 20) & you remind me a lot of me when I was younger. But the truth is its much harder for single parents these days. I was able to go to uni when my daughter was younger thanks to a tiny dependents grant of about £3k: there’s no way Id be able to do that now. Keep fighting & writing & giving inspiration to others who have no money as your thoughts are really relevant and important right now, Sam xx
Well done, Jack – you truly deserve it! So pleased for you.
Well done Jack on your award. Hope you had a brilliant evening (and a lovely meal).
Congratulations, Jack. Well deserved and modest as ever.
Awesome news, and like everyone has said: so well deserved : )
what a fantastic award and a great night out to boot -congratulations!
Very happy for you. Any cash under the shiny thing? Congrats
Wonderful you deserve this award you are an inspiration to many people I love your recipes and blogs, congratulations .
Hi Jack, well done and so well deserved, life is on the up for you and small boy now, you are an excellent voice for the young and the powers that be are taking note!! Well done Julie!
Congrats on your shiny thang! I and all at Cardiff Foodbank salute you!😃
Cor! It’ll be tuppence (2p) to speak to you now!!!!!
I stupidly just cried reading this, hormones…. But, wonderful, so pleased for you. Congratulations. Much deserved, you’re an inspiration!
Ohhhhhh – so pleased for you! Lovely to see you looking so happy – what a wonderful evening you will remember all your life.I am off to my local foodbank later this week to check that they know about you and your recipes. You are certainly helping to save my life at the moment! xx
Wow, along with the rest of the world, Congratulations! Well done, power to you.
From all the way over here in New Zealand – woot!!
Small Boy has the most gorgeous smile, and you would have to be one of the people I have come to admire most. My 13 yr old daughter was devastated on your behalf about having to move again. She thinks you a great role model – as do i. Kia kaha (stay strong).
Well done Jack, you really deserve this award.
am newish reader, so missed the post (assume you posted) where you are having to move? is it okay to ask what happened? is your current landord making you move? is it funds? not my business, i realize..but have in very short order come to worry over you….
I’ve chosen to move, due to cuts to tax credits – means I can’t afford my current place (2 bed flat) plus bills. I envisage it will be a temporary measure until I’m back on my feet again, and the advance from Penguin can’t come quickly enough! But it’s not a decision I took lightly, I think it’s for the best. If a little terrifying.
This great news has made my day, Jack! Many congratulations, so well deserved. SB (lovely photo of him) will remember, with pride, his mum going on stage to collect that shiny thing.
So you didn’t have a speech prepared in advance? Lol!
You deserve it 🙂
ah…will hope for the best for you. with a SB it is always tough to move, for you and him. Hoping you are moving into a safe situation…
concerns me a bit when you say “if a little terrifying”..hoping there is physical security?
So so pleased to hear your award news ‘a girl called Jack’… have tins of chick peas and kidney beans in my store cupboard thanks to you . Congratulations.
Congratulations, that’s fantastic and well-deserved! But didn’t they give you something else besides the shiny thing? Like a hamper or something?
Nope! Not that I’m aware!
Wow, I’m surprised! I love reading your blog by the way, and am so pleased for your success.
What was the food like?
Congratulations Jack – I cannot imagine a more deserving winner.
Best wishes from Down Under.
I am addicted to your blog and I couldn’t think of a more deserving person for this award. Well done Jack!
P.S. I tried your kidney bean and carrot burger recipe on my 10-month old son this week (I made them as little ‘bites’ instead of a burder) and he loved it.
This New Yorker couldn’t be more proud of your accomplishments!
I’m living in a small town on Romney Marsh, unable to work while here (for now).
Every cent, or should I say “p” counts.
I’m soaking some chickpeas now and contemplating writing in my own blog that I started and abandoned many years ago!
You’ve inspired me!
BTW, Moroccan Bean Stew recipe coming up soon…
WooHoo, Brilliant, way to go Girl, whoop whoop, open a tin of beans and celebrate xx
Fantastic news! Well deserved, well done, many congrats!!!!
Well done, Jack, I’m just delighted for you.
Like many of your blog readers i am delighted and pleased for you well done you!
Just dropped by to say well done!!! xxxx
Nice one, Jack! well done! <3
Huge congratulations – well deserved :o)
Sob! Sob! Wring out hankie! So pleased for you, Jack. Enjoy polishing your shiny thing!!! x
congratulations !!! the ordinary girl is extraordinary !!
So very well deserved and so glad that the very worst of
your bad times are over and wish you every success with
your book and only good things from now on for
you and Small Boy
Heartiest congratulations, so very happy for you. You are a star!!! I love the little man. He must be so proud of him Mum.
Deirdre x. Isle of Man
Well done Jack, was lovely to meet you last night, and well done on your award. Really fantastic, and SB is gorgeous! x
Well done Jack, I’m so pleased for you. You so deserve it. When I read you’d been invited, I looked at the F&M awards and wondered why weren’t up for an award (wasn’t sure what awards they gave out). Anyway, I’m really pleased they’ve seen your fabulous talent and determination and have recognised it. I’ll be buying your book too.
Fantastic news. And I loved your comment to CW!
Congratulations Jack! Sooo pleased you won. It makes a change to see someone who deserves to win, actually win!! Enjoy yourself (and your son). You make it so much easier for all those of us who are struggling along as you make us remember we’re not alone in this 🙂 Thank you x
🙂 thats all, enjoy the moment… and keep banging on!
Well done Jack, as others have said on here, you truly are an inspiration. I’ll be buying your book next year, I can’t wait to add it to the ever growing pile of frugal cookbooks – just to help out with the Rossendale Foodbank (got a better price for stuff on ebay than I thought I would, so bought the books!). Will let you know how our ‘Food Revolution Day’ goes on Friday, that is another exciting development with the Foodbank and a local housing association.
Congratulations again, it’s well deserved – and SB has such a yummy mummy, in more ways than one!
Thoroughly deserved, congratulations! And thank you for sharing such wonderful pictures 🙂
Congratulations – well done!
Congratulations. You are an inspiration and deserve to be recognised for what you have achieved for yourself and your beautiful son.
Congratulations, well deserved. All the best x
So pleased for you!
I love it when good things happen to good people. Congratulations, you totally deserve the shiny!
Jack this is brill! So pleased for you! You are really an inspiration and look forward to ready your blogs xx
Congratulations amazing lady, looking forward to buying your book when it is published. I tried four of your recipies this week, all were scrummy – thank you 🙂
As well as sending you a massive congratulations I just wanted to also say your SB is absolutely stunning!! Thank you for everything you do, you help and inspire so many.
Congrats from a Scot living in Texas! I’m so impressed.
Huge congratulations to you lady. I have been where you are and I know how hard it is. I have complete admiration for you. I didn’t have the courage (or the savvy!?!) to go public and my cooking skills were not anywhere near the league of yours. A packet of shop’s own brand 8p noodles filled my little girl’s tummy on many occassions. My life is very good now and I can assure you, yours will be too. You have the right ideas and you have the determination. I wish you all the best (and will continue to read your blog quietly in the background). x
Quite right too, you are inspirational. Congratulations!
Well done jack, thoroughly deserved!! Xxx
Bloody brilliant! I came over all teary reading that. So well deserved, may this be the start of only wonderful things for you and the handsome little chap.
Bloody brilliant! Well deserved, may this be the start of only wonderful things for you and the handsome little chap.
Congratutulations, the award is well deserved and will open doors for you-my daughter won a Cosmo award last year for her blog and so many good things have come her way since. I feel so proud of you even though I’ve only been following you for a few months. Well done!
I’m so happy for you. Congratulations.
Huge congratulations on your award but more so just for having started your blog,stuck to it (and your metaphorical guns) and got the recognition you deserve.