Nagi Maehashi, founder of RecipeTin Eats, has won the top prize at the Australian Book Industry Awards for her debut cookbook RecipeTin Eats: Dinner.
Containing over 150 recipes of Maehashi’s signature comfort food, the cookbook was named Book of the Year for 2023. It has been rampantly popular, shooting to the top of the bestseller list quickly after its release in October. The cookbook contains a QR code for every recipe, linking readers to a video tutorial.
RecipeTin Eats Dinner broke sales records in its first week and became the highest-selling title from a debut Australian author.
At the awards, RecipeTin Eats: Dinner was also awarded the Illustrated Book of the Year.
Maehashi’s Instagram account for RecipeTin Eats has 1 million followers, with fans flocking to watch her recipes videos. She also runs a food bank in Sydney called RecipeTin Meals, where she and her team provide meals for vulnerable people. The food bank donates 100,000 meals annually, cooking homemade meals 5 days a week.
Women’s Agenda spoke to Maehashi late last year, hearing about the origins of her blog RecipeTin Eats and the path to its current wild popularity. She said she tries hard to strike the right balance between interesting, delicious and accessible recipes.
“I really like doing things that are a little bit interesting, but still recognisable,” she said at the time.
“They’re not dishes with names that no one’s ever heard of before; that they can’t pronounce or which sound inaccessible. Even if it’s something as basic as Greek meatballs and Moroccan meatballs. It’s just about using the spice. You can get it at Woolworths and Coles, but that combination makes it! You take a bite and you’re just like, ‘My God, it’s delicious!’”
Maehashi’s recognition at the Australian Book Industry Awards comes in a year that has seen female authors dominate the awards, with women taking out many of the major prizes.
Hayley Scrivenor’s Dirt Town won General Fiction Book of the Year , Geraldine Brooks’ Horse won Fiction Book of the Year, Niki Savva’s Bulldozed won General Nonfiction Book of the Year, and Ash Barty’s My Dream Time won Biography of the Year.