Wisbech Grammar School student wins Write it national food writing competition

Rutina Samuel.

Rutina Samuel. - Credit: Archant

A student with a taste for her ancestral homeland has taken the top prize in a national food writing competition.

Wisbech Grammar School pupil Rutina Samuel, 14, of Downham Market, was chosen as the winner of the annual ‘Write it’ young food writer of the year contest, which was organised by The Guild of Food Writers

Her feature on ‘Little Ethiopia’, in which she savours the flavours of her father’s home country in Africa, was described by judges Stefan Gates, Joan Ransley and Karen Barnes as “heart warming” and “a lucid, emotionally sensitive, autobiographical piece of writing with a strong voice”.

In the 750-word submission for the competition, which is open to writers aged up to 18 years old, she says that she loves African music, but the most important cultural treasure of that land is its food.

Before moving to England Rutina lived in Zimbabwe and she used to travel with her father into South Africa and try the Ethiopian cuisine in the restaurants there.


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Her yearning for further knowledge about her heritage has made her regularly drag her mother to a small Ethiopian restaurant near Finsbury Park called ‘Blue Nile’, where she has been able to reconnect with her roots.

Her book has been shortlisted for the 2014 Guild of Food Writers Awards, and it has been published on the ‘delicious’ magazine website and to have a trip to the ‘delicious’ test kitchen.

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