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As we’ve learned from the eating and drinking articles we’ve posted on this blog, everyone has an opinionObserver Food Monthly when it comes to gastronomy. Now it’s time to get yours across – nominations have opened for the Observer Food Monthly Awards, the annual distribution of laurels to all the greats of the gastro world. Categories include Best Restaurant, Best Café, Best Ethical Eatery, Food Personality of the Year, and a host of other accolades. New this year is the Reader’s Recipe award, so if you’ve got a dinner-party revelation or a dream dessert that always gets your guests a-drool, then be sure to share it.

If there’s a restaurant you’re mad about that you’d like to give an extra promotional push, if there’s a fair-trade organic gluten-free vegan café that you reckon deserves a gold star (possible for most worthy adjectives on a menu), or if you think you’ve found the best steak in London and want to big up the butcher, then make your nominations now.

It’s not just about heaping the glory on the eateries, chefs, producers and general food heroes, of course; there are some really rather fabulous prizes on offer if you choose to get involved. We delighted to say that we’ve teamed up with OFM’s gang of gourmands to offer the star prize this year – three nights in Edinburgh at the fabulous Prestonfield country house hotel. As well as flights and airport transfers, the lucky winner will also enjoy a Modern Scottish dinner on two nights at John McMahon’s award-laden Rhubarb restaurant. Edinburgh, coincidentally, has just won its own Readers’ Award over at Guardian HQ, bringing home the title of Favourite UK City. So, whether you win or not, there’s every reason to head north (okay, okay, or south, if you have a highland home), and see what Scotland’s own capital of culture has to offer.

All you need to do to win the luxury city trip to Prestonfield (or any of the nine other almost-but-not-quite-as-fantastic prizes) is send in your nominations and, well, be lucky.

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  • zooeyibz

    Given the Observer’s unstinting worthiness, I’m disappointed they don’t have a ‘food in the news’ category to allow people to reflect on the innovation or issue that has most changed the way they think about food in the last year. I’m thinking bio-fuels, the environmental impact of eating meat, air miles…

    Surely that would be more relevant and thought provoking then giving another rosette to some gurning TV ‘chef’?

  • @ Zooeybiz

    True – a ‘Food story of the year’ might be a nice touch, but that’s sort of umbrella’d under the ‘Food Personality’ award, isn’t it? Or the panel-judged ‘Best Achievement? The Observer, however, can’t control what the public actually chooses to nominate, if we all vote for a ‘gurning TV chef’ (and I’ve no idea whom you mean, natch) then that’s exactly who’ll win it. That’s democracy for you…

  • Joelle


    I agree that would be an interesting poll – but maybe rather difficult to do an award for, who after all would get up to collect the award? The ‘Best Vegetarian restaurant’ category has been replaced with the broader ‘Ethical Eatery’ so it will be revealing to see which places get shortlisted for that. Will local produce trump organic?