Royal Cambodian cookbook wins award in Sweden

A Cambodian cookbook and culinary guide, originally published in 1960 by Princess Norodom Rasmi Sobbhana, has won a prestigious ‘Special Award of the Jury’ in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2022 held in Euma, Sweden.

The book, titled ‘The Culinary Art of Cambodia,’ was funded and republished in May last year in an augmented edition by Siem Reap’s Templation Angkor Resort as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.

On hand to receive the award in Sweden was Templation’s general manager, Somonea Cheng.

Bernard Cohen, founder of Angkor Database, which spearheaded the book project and provided historical research and background, says all involved in the book are “proud and honoured” for the recognition from the Gourmand Awards which were launched in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau, an ancestor of the famous French writer Rabelais, and an heir of the Cointreau family.

“The awards are a way to encourage the publication of quality cookbooks worldwide, with special awards aimed at recognising books that are not ‘only’ cookbooks, that reflect research in history, cultural preservation,” Cohen says. “Books about ‘food culture,’ to use the trendy term.”

“Templation Angkor Resort was the leading force and inspiration behind this project, and the MAADS group gave experience in cultural preservation and advancement in Cambodia,” Cohen added.
Last year, another Cambodian cuisine publication, “The Taste of Angkor,” which was published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of its cultural diplomacy, won the Best Asian Cookbook prize at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2021 in Paris. This year the book also received two more awards.

Cohen says that this new award, together with awards for “The Taste of Angkor,” is “evidence of a growing global interest in Cambodian cuisine not only among the professionals such as food writers and chefs, but with the general public”.

The culinary book originated, as a collection of recipes by Princess Sobhana, for pupils of the Sutharot School in Phnom Penh, where she was a teacher.

She was also Late King Norodom Sihanouk’s aunt and he had been a student at the school where she taught.

He was influenced by her book when cooking as a hobby while in exile in China and North Korea during the 1980s.

The decision to republish was made by Veasna Kru, the owner of Templation Hotel.

Source: Khmer Times

About Jaqueline Deeon

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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