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Proud Rachel is finally served up book award

CELEBRITY chef Rachel Allen came out on top at last night's Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards when she scooped up Best Non-Fiction Book Of The Year, but admits she is used to losing.

The Dublin native beat the likes of popular broadcasters Joe Duffy and Matt Cooper with her newest cook book Easy Meals.

Speaking at the awards, the daughter-in-law of Darina Allen admitted that she is not used to winning awards at all and expected to be congratulating someone else on their win once again.

"These awards are hugely important and it's a wonderful world to be a part of. It's great to see people getting the recognition they deserve.

"I've been nominated a few times and I have always been really thrilled. But I have been used to always just clapping and smiling for the winner," she said.

Also in Rachel's category were Molly McCloskey for her book Circles Around The Sun, Conor O'Clery for his book Moscow, December 25, 1991, Joe Duffy (right) for his first autobiography Just Joe, Matt Cooper for his book How Ireland Really Went Bust and Simon Carswell for Anglo Republic.

After wrapping up the filming for her newest series, Rachel (39) said she will now be focusing on another TV show.

The popular cook admitted that there has been an increase in Irish cookery shows and she is happy to continue filming more series.

"I've been really busy promoting my book and we've just finished filming. There has been a great response thank goodness. I'm talking about the next show now already. Everything has been great. I think the recession has definitely played a role in the popularity of cooking shows."