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2008 James Beard Awards


Monica Bhide
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A full listing of area chefs that are included in the nominations.

Outstanding Restaurateur

Ashok Bajaj (Ardeo, Bardeo, Bombay Club, The Oval Room, Rasika, 701 Restaurant)

Best Chef Mid-Atlantic

Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve)

Carole Greenwood (Buck's Fishing and Camping)

Eric Ziebold (CityZen)

Koji Terano (Sushi-Ko)

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Naomi Gallego (PS7's)

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Johnny Monis (Komi)

Outstanding Chef

Jose Ramon Andres (Minibar)

Outstanding Restaurant

Vidalia

Outstanding Wine Service

Vidalia

Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional

Todd Thrasher (Restaurant Eve)

Terry Thiese (Terry Thiese Estate Selections)

Best New Restaurant

Central Michel Richard

The Source

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On the Chicago scene it is really nice to see Suzy Crofton get a nod, also nice to see Paul virant get noticed.

On the outstanding service note, we've eaten at a bunch of these and Spiaggia far and away outdoes them all, though Vetri is pretty awesome.

Not entirely sure why Bin 36 got a nod in chicago, but after my meal at La Croix in PA that's easy to see. It's easy to see why Emeril's got the nod as well and same with Vidalia.

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Congratulations to all our area finalists:

Jose Andres - Outstanding Chef (Minibar, National Award)

Cathal Armstrong - Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic (Restaurant Eve)

Johnny Monis - Rising Star Chef Of The Year (Komi, National Award)

Michel Richard - Best New Restaurant (Central Michel Richard, National Award)

Terry Theise - Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional (Terry Theise Estate Selections, National Award)

Cindy Wolf - Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic (Charleston)

Eric Ziebold - Best Chef, Mid Atlantic (CityZen)

Click here for the complete list.

Good luck to everyone on June 8th, and thank you for making this area a better place to dine!

Cheers!

Rocks

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Well it is that time of year again, and once again I really could care less who wins and who doesn't. Quite frankly I hate award shows and that is all this has become. But I figured I would stir the pot a little with a little controversy about David Chang on the list for Best Chef New York:

The only one I think is bullshit on that whole list is David Chang. It is not because I think David Chang is bullshit. I just think it is to soon for a guy like that to be listed with those guys. I think 10 years from now David Chang should be nominated, for sure. Not now.

This quote is from an anonymous chef that appears at the end of the story, so take it for what it is worth.

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Here are my guesses:

Melman for outstanding restauranteur

Achatz for outstanding chef

Jean Georges for outstanding restaurant (how on earth did Boulevard get on this list- it feels far past its prime)

Central for best new restaurant

Johnny Monis for rising star chef

Ragan for outstanding wine service

Terra for outstanding service

Cathal for best chef in mid atlantic

Sherman for best chef in great lakes

Dufresne for New york city

Currence for south

If I'm right on even 25% of these I'll eat my hat :lol:

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I certainly am cheering for Johnny Monis. Let me briefly comment why I believe he is most deserving.

First any chef who can essentially turn a neighborhood restaurant into a dining destination comparable to the best in the country is no small accomplishment. And to do it within a few short years without the help of deep pocketed investors and PR groups pushing your name at any opportunity they can is nothing short of remarkable in my book.

I mean no disrespect to David Chang but in part I agree with the above quote. Is he talented? Sure! But is his taking NY by storm a little luck thrown in? Yes, I believe so. Sometimes regardless of how talented you may be it comes down to being in the right place at the right time. Like Thomas Keller driving up to the French Laundry for the first time in the early 90's. He busted his butt for years already but the recognition only came when all the stars aligned that day.

For David Chang his day came way before those who spent years in the kitchen and stages in restaurants throughout the world. I can't pin point how it happened but it did. Maybe his bad boy persona made New Yorkers stop and notice. Who knows for sure. The success Komi has gained has nothing to do with luck. Just passion and real hard work is the core of Johnny's accomplishments.

By far all the chefs nominated with Chef Monis are talented but none do I believe are more deserving. With that said, do I think he will win? As much as I hate to say it. The answer is "No". Like many awards it is about politics.

Gavin Kaysen has the Boulud empire behind him and I've seen him often on morning television like the Today Show and the Early Show. Then we have Matt Molina who has Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali backing him as owners of Mozza.

Nate Appleman is at a very popular SF restaurant also that gets a lot of press attention. Sean Brock may be the only one on the list that like Chef Monis made his own name. But then I like what Gabriel Rucker is doing but think a Beard award may be a bit premature and suspect others do to.

My fingers are crossed for Johnny but suspect Kaysen will win.

Edited to add. Heres hoping Chef Monis can fly under the publicity machine like Chris Bianco did a few years ago and win based on raw talent and accomplishment's.

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By far all the chefs nominated with Chef Monis are talented but none do I believe are more deserving. With that said, do I think he will win? As much as I hate to say it. The answer is "No". Like many awards it is about politics.

These awards are no longer about what James Beard's passion for food and have gone completely to awarding personality, sure you will find examples where this is not the case, but those are the exceptions not the rule.

As for Komi, Saturday night was my first meal there and what struck me is that of all of the places I have been to that were nominated for any award Komi, Eve and Blue Hill stand alone as restaurants where the ingredients are more of the star than the egos of the chefs.

If it were still all about the food the awards would not be held at Lincoln Center with one of the bimbos from Sex in the City hosting it.

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These awards are no longer about what James Beard's passion for food and have gone completely to awarding personality, sure you will find examples where this is not the case, but those are the exceptions not the rule.

As for Komi, Saturday night was my first meal there and what struck me is that of all of the places I have been to that were nominated for any award Komi, Eve and Blue Hill stand alone as restaurants where the ingredients are more of the star than the egos of the chefs.

If it were still all about the food the awards would not be held at Lincoln Center with one of the bimbos from Sex in the City hosting it.

Amen!

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(how on earth did Boulevard get on this list- it feels far past its prime)
Have you been recently? I was there last November and it was excellent. Maybe I'm biased because I've been going there for years, but it was just as good as ever.
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By the way, CONGRATULATIONS to our own Odessa Piper for being named Co-Chair Chef along with Dan Barber of Blue Hill.

Nobody deserves this huge honor more than Odessa who, along with Alice Waters in the west, and Nora Pouillon in the east, is one of the three founding mothers of artisanal, sustainable, and organic cuisine in the United States.

Congratulations, KO! I'm so proud of you.

D

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Local winners (so far):

Eric Ziebold - Best Chef Mid-Atlantic

Terry Theise - Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional

Kaysen did win for Rising-Star chef. Categories that include Andres and Richard have not yet been awarded

Congratulations Eric and Terry!

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Local winners so far):

Eric Ziebold - Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.

Terry Theise - Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional

Kaysen did win for Rising-Star chef. Categories that include Andres and Richard have not yet been awarded

Kaysen. I called it. Crap!! I'm going to grab a beer and ditch the champagne. Congratulations to him but still crap.

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From the JB website:

Here’s an update on who has won so far:

Rising Star Chef of the Year: Gavin Kaysen, Cafe Boulud, NYC

Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional: Terry Theise, Terry Theise Estate Selections, Silver Spring, MD

Outstanding Wine Service: Eleven Madison Park, NYC, Wine Director: John Ragan

Best Chef: Pacific: Craig Stoll, Delfina, San Francisco

Best Chef: Southwest: Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, Fresca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO

Best Chef: Northwest: Holly Smith, Cafe Juanita, Kirkland, WA

Best Chef: South: Michelle Bernstein, Michy’s, Miami

Best Chef: Midwest: Adam Siegel, Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, Milwaukee

Best Chef: Great Lakes: Carrie Nahabedian, Naha, Chicago

Best Chef: Southeast: Robert Stehling, Hominy Grill, Charleston, SC

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic: Eric Ziebold, CityZen, Washington, DC

Best Chef: Northeast: Patrick Connolly, Radius, Boston

Best Chef: New York Ciy: David Chang, Momofuku Saam Bar, NYC

Stay tuned…

Two wine awards announced: importer Terry Theise for Wine & Spirits Professional and John Ragan of Eleven Madison Park for outstanding wine service.

Terry Theist (sic) blew a kiss at the crowd with both hands as he came on stage, cited people who believed in him, including his 75 growers and the Skurniks, his NY distributor. He ended by calling his wife, chef Odessa Piper, “a fox.”

For those of you interested in more on the awards, here's the LINK to their live blogs

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Outstanding Service: Terra, St. Helena, CA, Owners: Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson, Tartine Bakery, San Francisco

Lifetime Achievement: Fritz Maytag

Best New Restaurant: Central Michel Richard, Washington, D.C., Chef/Owner: Michel Richard

Outstanding Restaurateur: Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali, Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, NYC

Outstanding Restaurant: Gramercy Tavern, NYC, Owner: Danny Meyer

Outstanding Chef: Grant Achatz, Alinea, Chicago (pictured)

More Books:

Asian Cooking: My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking, by Niloufer Ichaporia King

Photography: The Country Cooking of France, Photographer France Ruffenach

Single Subject: The River Cottage Meat Book, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Writing on Food: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingslover

Entertaining: Dish Entertains, by Trish Magwood

Cookbook of the Year: The River Cottage Meat Book, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Design:

Outstanding Restaurant Design: Tadao Ando Architect and Associates, Designer: Tadao Ando, Project: Morimoto (NYC)

Outstanding Restaurant Graphics: Robert Louey Design, Designers: Robert Louey and Claudia Pandji, Project: Sepia (Chicago)

America’s Classics:

Bagaduce Lunch, Brooksville, ME (Owner: Judy Astbury)

Irma's Restaurant, Houston, TX (Owner: Irma Glavan)

Jumbo's, Miami, FL (Owner: Bobby Flam)

Maneki, Seattle, WA (Owner: Jean Nakayama)

Tufano's Vernon Park Tap, Chicago (Owner: Joseph DiBuono)

That's it for the ceremony. Now, the party!

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I apologize for my bummed link. It appeared not to work or at least not for me.
Actually it does work. It wasn't live though. They have a video that they put up around 9m last night that shows interviews with some of the 'celebrity chefs' as they arrived at the awards and some interviews after the event ended. You can view it now. Interviewer's a bit goofy
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