The Sunday Times has launched a new award for unpublished writers to find “the next great critic” in memory of its food writer AA Gill, who died of cancer aged 62 in 2016.
The AA Gill Award for Emerging Food Critics, launched in association with the Society of Editors, is calling for “bold, insightful and witty” entries which must be food related, whether restaurants, travel or television, but “should be more than just a critique of the contents of a plate”.
The idea came from Gill’s daughter Flora, who will judge the award alongside Jeremy Clarkson, Sunday Times restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin and food editor Lisa Markwell, Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray, and restaurateur Jeremy King.
Writing in yesterday’s Sunday Times, Flora said: “Dad’s Sunday Times copy editor recently sent me audio files of him reading his pieces as she transcribed them. I can hear him struggling to read his own dyslexic writing, spewing beautiful sentences and laughing at his own jokes.
“In line with this, your spelling and grammar will not be taken into account, but your entry should be bold, insightful and witty.”
The winning critic will receive £5,000 and their review will be published in the Sunday Times Magazine’s food section, The Dish.
Two runners-up will receive prizes of £500 and £250 respectively and be invited to an awards ceremony in June.
The Sunday Times added: “We invite entrants to submit reviews that encompass anything from Michelin-starred restaurants to fast-food pop-ups and food-related trends.
“As Gill wrote books and travel journalism as well as food and television criticism, reviews of television food programmes and books on cooking (but not pure recipe books) and reviews of travel writing that includes food are also welcome.
“Adrian’s articles are as relevant today as when they were published, and entrants should also write with future readers in mind.”
Entries for the award are open now and close on 17 April.