The Paris Cookbook Fair took place February 22–24 in the Carrousel du Louvre, below the French museum’s famous pyramid. The fair brought in nearly 3,000 attendees to visit 102 booths of publishers, writers, and agents.
Visitors were able to attend any of the nearly 100 events scheduled during the weekend at two lecture stages, a show kitchen, and at the bar in the dining area. In one lecture, cookbook agent Lisa Ekus addressed a standing-room-only audience of foreign publishers and writers on “What American Publishers Want.” Conference founder and organizer Edouard Cointreau spoke on global cookbook trends. “Cookbooks, just like music, have become a global market,” Cointreau argued. In addition to cookbooks, Cointreau discussed books on wine, beer, and spirits.
The Paris Cookbook Fair culminates with the Gourmand Awards. There were 1,050 attendees at this event, hoping to receive one of about 80 awards. The event lasted over three hours, and the number of awards seemed overwhelming, but as Cointreau noted, “these awards are like the Olympics. If you only have 10 awards, they would all be won by the three or four biggest countries.” Indeed, at times the event had the nationalist feel of the Olympics, with some of the winning authors and publishers running up to the podium waving flags or wearing the traditional costumes of their countries.
Ekus, recipient of this year’s outstanding career award, said, “The conference reflected a huge amount of both quality and culture from a global perspective. It was my best cookbook fair and awards to date, and I came away with several new clients and publishing partners.” (To see the rest of the award winners, or for more information on the Paris Cookbook Fair, go to www.cookbookfair.com.)