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2007 James Beard Awards


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You have until Friday, December 15 to suggest nominees online in the 2007 The James Beard Foundation Awards nominating process. You must first register by giving basic contact information and then submit your suggestions for nominees in up to 19 categories, ranging from Best New Restaurant to Rising Star Chef of the Year.

Winners will be announced on May 7, 2007 in New York. Fabio Traboucchi won the 2006 award for Best Chef - MidAtlantic.

Don't be shy.

***This is for proposed nominations only. Nominees and winners will actually be selected by past award winners, the Restaurant Awards Committee, and regional judges who are restaurant critics, food and wine editors, and "culinary educators." :P

To be eligible for the national Best Chef award, one must first win the regional Best Chef award. The regions are:

New York City

California

Mid-Atlantic (including DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA, WV)

Northeast (including NY State outside of NY City, CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)

Midwest (IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NB, OH, WI)

Pacific Northwest (AK, ID, HI, MT, ND, OR, SD, WA, WY)

Southeast (AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN)

Southwest (AR, AZ, CO, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT)

By definition, a different New York City chef will advance into the national pool each year, whereas a DC chef must win the regional award over six other states in order to advance.

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Nominations for:

Mid Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Old Town Alexandria, VA

RJ Cooper, Vidalia, Washington DC

Jose Graces, Amada, Philadelphia

Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, NJ

Frank Ruta, Palena, Washington DC

Outstanding Chef Award

Tom Colicchio, Craft

Lee Hefter, Spago

Jean Joho, Everest

Paul Kahan, Blackbird

Michel Richard, Citronelle

Outstanding Wine Service

Bin 36, Chicago

i Trulli

Mary Elanie's at The Phoenician, Scottsdale, AZ

Citronelle, Washington DC (congratulations Mark!!)

Picasso, Las Vegas

Complete list: 2007 Nominees

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I'm in the middle of reading The United States of Arugula at the moment (when I'm finished, I'll have read all of the writing in food nominees). I'm pleasantly surprised by the book. From reviews I had read, I expected it to be more of a dispassionate survey, but it has some fascinating details and anecdotes. I'm much more impressed with it than I thought I would be. It's definitely not a Michael Pollan book, but it's (IMHO) a worthwhile read.

The best aha! moment I had was in the section on Michael Field, who seems somewhat lost to history (or maybe that's my ignorance :o .) A friend of mine had an ex who loved the Michael Field Cooking School book and swore by it as a cooking bible, so much so that when I saw a used copy I picked one up. I never knew until reading this book who he was or how he fit into the picture. I always wondered who he was.

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The best aha! moment I had was in the section on Michael Field, who seems somewhat lost to history (or maybe that's my ignorance :o .) A friend of mine had an ex who loved the Michael Field Cooking School book and swore by it as a cooking bible, so much so that when I saw a used copy I picked one up. I never knew until reading this book who he was or how he fit into the picture. I always wondered who he was.

If you're familiar with the Time-Life Foods of the World series that came out in the early 70's, which is IMO one of the great series of cookbooks, you may be interested to know that their quality is due in no small part to the fact that Michael Field was the consulting editor in charge of recipes for most of the books; those recipes are good, and they work. James Beard himself was also a consulting editor for some of the books in the series. Others such as Jacques Pepin and Richard Olney also showed up from time to time.

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Wow... Herbsaint in New Orleans got nominated in one of the regional categories. That is one restaurant where I've consistently had bad meals and bad service. Huh.
Interesting...post-K, Herbsaint is one of the absolute slam-dunk recommendations I give people for New Orleans.
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Interesting...post-K, Herbsaint is one of the absolute slam-dunk recommendations I give people for New Orleans.

I've had probably close to a dozen meals at Herbsaint since reopen occurred. I walked away happy every time. A couple of those times I walked away (waddled might be a more accurate description of my stride) very, very happy. It's a good restaurant.

Link's other place (with Steven Stryjewski-the pork guy) Cochon was nominated as one of the 5 "Best New Restaurants." They're in there with some pretty heavy company, and, other than Momofuku in NY, really the only non fine dining place in there. Cochon is a truly great place-innovative on the one hand, but, on the other, serving what most of us here (at least those of us from the more rural parts of the state) consider to be comfort food. I've eaten there pretty close to once a week since they opened up last year. I'm crazy about the place. You can go in and eat just a few small plates or you can do the full on porkfest kind of meal. Either way, more than likely you will leave fat and happy.

Cochon

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I've had probably close to a dozen meals at Herbsaint since reopen occurred. I walked away happy every time. A couple of those times I walked away (waddled might be a more accurate description of my stride) very, very happy. It's a good restaurant.

Link's other place (with Steven Stryjewski-the pork guy) Cochon was nominated as one of the 5 "Best New Restaurants." They're in there with some pretty heavy company, and, other than Momofuku in NY, really the only non fine dining place in there. Cochon is a truly great place-innovative on the one hand, but, on the other, serving what most of us here (at least those of us from the more rural parts of the state) consider to be comfort food. I've eaten there pretty close to once a week since they opened up last year. I'm crazy about the place. You can go in and eat just a few small plates or you can do the full on porkfest kind of meal. Either way, more than likely you will leave fat and happy.

Cochon

My Herbsaint experiences have been both pre- and post-Katrina. Pre-Katrina was worse. Post-Katrina, it's better, but it's all relative. I'm glad people have had good experiences there.... I'm happy any time a restaurant in New Orleans (especially post-K) does well and turns a profit. I was just surprised they were nominated for an award, is all.

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I'm surprised August in NOLA didn't get a nod.

John Besh won last year (Best Chef, Southeast). Basically, the way these awards work, is that you are more or less done once you finally win unless you end up in one of the more global categories later on in your career or unless your restaurant is somehow singled out for something (like Link is up for Best Chef South and at the same time, Cochon, is up in another category).

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John Besh won last year (Best Chef, Southeast). Basically, the way these awards work, is that you are more or less done once you finally win unless you end up in one of the more global categories later on in your career or unless your restaurant is somehow singled out for something (like Link is up for Best Chef South and at the same time, Cochon, is up in another category).
Ah ok. That makes a lot of sense. That place had one of the finest meals I've ever eaten.
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Anthony Bourdain has an interesting response to this year's planned ceremonies under the heading "Stroke the Chefs/Fuck the Cooks".

Now could someone tell me why James Beard was a "much disliked crank"? I always have been fond of the guy met on the page and in the acknowledgements found in other people's cookbooks.

Edited to Add: This regards James Beard House and the Foundation's awards vs. Hillvalley's topic.

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Anthony Bourdain has an interesting response to this year's planned ceremonies under the heading "Stroke the Chefs/Fuck the Cooks".
Thanks for the link. His take is something I've long suspected about the "honor."

From the comments:

Look, the place is named for a man widely known to have stolen recipes without giving proper credit.
That's only part of the dish on Beard.
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If Mark won (and my, erm, "spies" aren't at the awards this year), then dollars-to-doughnuts say it's Michel Richard's year too.

And congratulations to RJ!

Wow!

Frank and Cathal, it's just a matter of time - I'm certain of this.

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If Mark won (and my, erm, "spies" aren't at the awards this year), then dollars-to-doughnuts say it's Michel Richard's year too.
...

According to the web site he won. Congratulations Chef Richard!

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