The Cinco de Mayo of Cuisine (and celebration of James Beard’s 111th birthday) came to an end last night. But here are a few lingering thoughts from the annual James Beard Foundation Awards held at Lincoln Center before we move on to various forms of detox, and more than a few photos that capture the fun spirit of the night. (Click here for the full list of winners).
Hot: The Highest Honors in the Food World
You know there is star power in the house when Cindy Adams snags a spot to chat up celebs on the red carpet. VIPS included Debi Mazar, Martha Stewart, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Allen, Trisha Yearwood, Kings of Leon and Robert DeNiro.
Not: The Met Ball
“I would rather be here than at the Met Ball,” Mazar said. “People don’t care so much about their waistlines here.”
April Bloomfield took honors for Best Chef New York City. L.A.’s Nancy Silverton won for Outstanding Chef. Boston’s Barbara Lynch nabbed Outstanding Restaurateur. Notice a trend? It was the year of girl power. Finally.
Bow to your goddesses of food.
Hot: New Orleans
The Big Easy took Best New Restaurant (Peche) and had not one, but two, winners for Best Chef South (Ryan Prewitt, Peche and Sue Zemanick, Gautreau’s).
Not: New York
We were also left in the dust for Outstanding Restaurant (Slanted Door, S.F.), Outstanding Restaurateur (Barbara Lynch, Boston), Outstanding Service (Meadowood, Napa). Though we still have the magic in terms of boozing, with Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver winning Best Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional and The Bar at the NoMad getting a nod for Outstanding Bar Program. Cronuts also proved to be a strength as Dominique Ansel took Outstanding Pastry Chef.
Two ties (Rising Star Chef and Best Chef South), and a few dark horses coming in the lead made this a year of raised eyebrows.
Not: Our Predictions
Two out of 11 is pretty bad.
Hot: After Parties
Otto, The Spotted Pig, Boulud Sud, The NoMad (at the Highline Ballroom) and Toro where were the crowds went to down shots, guzzle porrons full of wine and ingest/inhale other means to intoxication.