Yemisi Aribisala has become the first black African to win the John Avery award in its 39-year history.


The Nigerian author won the top prize for Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds.

Aribisala, a popular food writer, was awarded the prize at the André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards.

British chef, Jamie Oliver, was last year’s recipient of the award for Super Food.


Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, publishing director of Cassava Republic Press, accepted the award on behalf of Aribisala.

She read a note of thanks from the author, which said, “There was nothing I wanted to do more with this book than bring it to a dinner conversation with like-minded, passionate and engaged people.

“This book tells the truth about every single Nigerian. This is our food. These are our stories. This is just a slice of our humanity.


“These are many of the good things we have to offer the rest of the world. I take a lot of pride in being Nigerian. I wrote this book for us but how wonderful it is to share it with you.”

The judges were excited by Aribisala’s mouth-watering account of Nigerian culture through her lyrical examination of the relationship between food, politics, religion, ethnicity and sex.

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