I was having breakfast on Saturday morning, when I first saw a Facebook notification that a link had been posted to the Tantalise My Taste Buds facebook page congratulating me on being nominated for something called the Premio Dardos Award.
The hair on the back of my neck stood on end and a chill went down my spine… I remembered the disdain in the voice of the published food writer, writing coach and blogger who presented the Blog writers course that I had attended in May 2015, when she mentioned the ‘awards’ that bloggers seemed to pass around to each other to make themselves feel important and relevant.
Despite my apprehension and lack of enthusiasm, I finally settled down to read the blog post of Madiha Nawaz, the fellow blogger who nominated me for the ‘The Premio Dardos Award’. And what a pleasant and delightful surprise it was.
Like myself, Madiha is relatively new to the blogosphere, having begun committed blogging at Cook Unleashed in February 2015. In the short time that we have been acquainted, I have come to know her as a very kind and thoughtful blogger, who always has something motivational or inspirational to say to encourage others.
So what is the Premio Dardos Award all about, and what do bloggers feel the need to pat themselves on the back for this time? Between Madiha’s blog and sheikh google I have come to know that Premio Dardos means ‘Darts award’ (I have no idea what that has to do with bloggers), and is a way for bloggers to recognize the ‘cultural, ethical, literary and personal values’ that are communicated and transmitted by way of our original and (hopefully) creative writing.
But reading Madiha’s post I realized something very profound. The Premio Dardos award nomination is more than just a pat on the back, merry go round… At least for me, it is a sincere Thank You to the bloggers whose work inspires me and who have taken the time and effort to assist me along the way, whether it be with a word of advice when I have been struggling with a technical issue or a comment on a recipe or blog post to lift my flagging blogger spirits.
So what are the rules for the Premio Dardos award nominations?
- Acceptance of the nomination requires a post on your blog, mentioning the person who nominated you with a link to their blog.
- Include an image of the “Premios Dardos” in the blog post.
- Pay it forward and pass it on to at least three other bloggers worthy of acknowledgement, and let them know that they have been nominated.
- Madiha has added a fourth element; to share three things about oneself.
My first nomination is to Fareeha Ahmed of Fa’s Kitchen who inspires me every day with her beautiful photography and delicious Indian recipes. Since moving to Dubai, I have grown to love Indian food, and Fareeha’s site is my compendium for Indian cookery.
My second nomination is to Lubna Karim of Kitchen Flavours who kindly invited me to her Ramadhan recipe round-up in July 2015, this without even knowing me for longer than 5 seconds. It was a wonderful opportunity and gave me so much confidence to participate in other group blogging events.
My third nomination is to Sawsan Abu Farha whose Chef in disguise blog about Arabic and Middle Eastern recipes is an inspiration to me. Her photography usually leaves me spellbound and wondering what the heck I was thinking trying to photograph and style food. Her Arabic lentil soup recipe must be my favorite of all time!
What three things to tell you about myself… the mind boggles! Relax, I’m not that interesting, so it will be a short read ♥.
Firstly, if all my references to her on my blog haven’t given any clues, I really miss my mother, may ALLAH have mercy on her soul and grant her the highest paradise. I wish that I had been less distracted and watched and learnt more about her cooking while she was alive. I pray that I can even manage to recreate a small percentage of what she was able to do in her lifetime. We do not always appreciate the brevity of life until our loved ones are wrenched from us unexpectedly. My advice; live well and with kindness, and tell them that you love them every day, because you never know whether it will be your last.
Secondly, I love food and have found a renewed love of cooking and baking, but for my own life I have developed a distinct allergy to longwinded complicated recipes (Ottolenghi excluded). I may try my hand at a few more during the course of this year, but don’t hold your breath.
Thirdly, I love to travel and find that it is the best way to learn about a people and their culture, and much more enjoyably than looking at old stuff in museums… not that museums don’t rock! If you want to broaden your horizons and expand your mind, then pack a bag and spend a few days in a new place learning about the people, their culture and their food.
In closing, I would like to give a sincere and appreciative Thank You to Madiha for the nomination, and to the nominees who have inspired me to be a better food photographer and writer. May you be rewarded with the best in this life and the next.