MASERU — Local chef, Sekamotho Moteane, is expected to leave Maseru for Paris tomorrow to receive two awards for her debut cookery book titled Cuisine of the Mountain Kingdom.
The book won the best debutant award and best African cuisine book title at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
The awards will take place at the Le Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, France, during the Paris Cook Book Fair on February 23, 2013.
Moteane, popularly known as Ska, told the Weekender she expects the award to boost her book sales and popularise Lesotho’s cuisine.
“The book is going to be in the 2012 Gourmand Cookbooks which is going to be distributed around the world. This is going to give me more recognition and drive more sales for the book with it being known world-wide,” she said.
Cuisine of the Mountain Kingdom was launched on July 10 last year by her Majesty Queen ’Masenate Mohato Seeiso.
Moteane, who won the Young Businesswoman of the Year award in 2011, said the award had given her an opportunity to travel to France and market the country.
“I am going to attend the annual Paris Cookbook Fair where I am going to network and meet with chefs and authors from all over the world,” she said.
“A week after the book was launched in July 2012, I got an email informing me that the book had been nominated for various categories in the Gourmand Awards but I had to send two copies to Spain for evaluation.”
She added: “In November, I was notified that I had won the two regional awards and also shortlisted for the Best African Cookbook in the World award.”
“The winner will be announced at the annual awards event which will take place in Paris at the Le Carrousel du Louvre during the Paris Cook Book fair on February 23, 2013,” she said.
Moteane’s book will be competing against Ghana’s Taste of Africa Cookbook by USAID, Guinea’s Cuisines de Guinee by Nadine Bari, Portugal’s Tempero da Morena by Eunice Menenses and South Africa’s Tastes from Nelson Mandela’s Kitchen by Xoliswa Ndoyiya.
A total of 171 countries entered the competition.
Moteane said she hoped to use the award to “help improve the food and hospitality industry in Lesotho”.
“I am passionate about cultural preservation through food. We didn’t have a publication like that before. This collection of recipes is for future generations to know about Basotho cuisine,” she said.
“The book was received very well locally after it was launched. People are buying it as a present and tourists are also sweeping it off the shelves.”
The book is sold at Morija Museum, Alliance Francaise, Pick ’n Pay Maseru Mall, Office National, Photo and Gift Galaxy Maseru Mall.
It can also be purchased online at www.publisher.co.za
Moteane said she has now teamed up with a local company, Mankabelane Communications and photographer Meri Hyoky to launch “Da Flava of Africa” which will host a series of events on food and culture around the world to promote local cuisines and local ingredients.
“Through ‘Da Flava of Africa’, I will be going around the world promoting our cuisine and will hopefully be featured in international media.”