My life’s about to change. For the first time, one of my books – number 13, to be exact (now there’s a good omen, I hope) Sizzle is going to be published in the States. My journey thus far has been a circuitous one, but come mid-April, I’ll be smack-bang in the middle of it all, at the IACP conference (International Association of Culinary Professionals), which is being held in New Orleans. More about that later.
I’ve got a date in London first. The Gourmand Awards. I’ve got to stand up and talk on about myself for 5 minutes in front of the culinary literati. That probably sounds easy enough, but I’ll tell you what, it is always easier having someone else say nice things about you than you trying to say something positive about yourself! Then, the Gourmand Awards, the best food and wine books in the world, will be announced. I’ve got to be prepared for anything with Edouard Cointreau, (of the liquor fame) the award’s founder and president, because a few years ago he invited me to the Gourmand Awards in Perigeuex, France, and two days before the awards event he casually asked me if I was tired or jetlagged (which I wasn’t) and he said that’s good, because I’d like you to be MC for the awards. Big deal, you might think, all you have to do is stand up on stage, pretend you’re not blinded by the lights, and give out the awards in the order decreed, but only about 25% of the winners’ names and book titles were in English. Trying to get my tongue around Swedish, Japanese, French, Spanish, German and other European and Asian names and book titles gracefully was a challenge. But tripping up over language can happen to even the most skilled of speakers. Edouard, who speaks several languages fluently, when introducing me called me Juicy Biuso – and it’s captured on film!