Monday, March 21, 2011

New York Chefs and Restaurants Named to James Beard Foundation’s 2011 Chef and Restaurant Awards Finalist Nominees

Finalists in the James Beard Foundation's 2011 Nominees Announced

This Year’s Theme is: The Ultimate Melting Pot

The Award Show and Gala Announcing Winning Chefs and Restaurants:  Monday, May 9th, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York, NY. 

Cookbook, Media & Journalism Awards Award Show: Friday, May 6th, Espace Restaurant, New York, NY

New York City hosts the James Beard Foundation Awards 2011 Gala.  
There could not be a more divine and appropriate event theme.  
Few would disagree that New York City is arguably the penultimate Melting Pot – of people and cuisine. 
We all know Gotham is an unparalleled cauldron of class that can serve up the most exciting and delicious culinary compass.

Following is a list of the Big Apple’s James Beard top finalists in the restaurant and chef categories; with the Cookbook, Media and Journalism Award finalists list after that. 

The lists of the NYC hosts for both gala events will help New Yorker’s better help the home team navigate the award shows.

So, break out the champagne.  Cheers and kudos to our New York Homegrown finalists. 

Best New Restaurant NY Finalists: 

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen (NYC)
Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi’s Torrisi Italian Specialties (NYC)

Outstanding Pastry Chef Award NY Finalists:

A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads and who serves as a national standard-bearer for excellence. Candidates must have been pastry chefs or bakers for at least the past 5 years.

Angela Pinkerton,
Eleven Madison Park

(Should have included Claudia Fleming, North Fork Table and Inn)

Outstanding Restaurant Award Finalists:

A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard-bearer for consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere, and service. Candidates must have been in operation for at least 10 or more consecutive years.

Blue Hill (NYC)
Blue Hill is a remarkable restaurant and Dan Barber is an unsurpassed leader and standard-bearer, influencing our national food agenda and inspiring a new generation of chefs.  Dan is the poster child for homegrown, field to table, exciting food.  Chef Dan Barber is a featured chef in my upcoming book: Homegrown New York City.  I couldn’t be more thriled. I am honored to know him…

Eleven Madison Park (NYC)  Love this restaurant!

Oversight Award: Not naming a New York finalist to the Outstanding Chef Award category.  Really??!!

Outstanding Restaurateur Award
A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Candidates must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past 10 years.

Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg, Blue Ribbon Restaurants

Phil Suarez
ABC Kitchen, Co., Gigino Trattoria, Gigino Wagner Park, Jean Georges, JoJo, J&G Steakhouse, Market, The Mark Restaurant by Jean Georges, Mercer Kitchen, Perry St, Pipa, Prime Steakhouse, Spice Market, and wd~50 
Various Cities

Outstanding Service Award
A restaurant that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service. Candidates must have been in operation for at least the past 5 years.
La Grenouille
 Owners: Charles Masson and Gisèle Masson
Per Se 
Chef/Owner: Thomas Keller

Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional Award
A winemaker, brewer, or spirits professional who has had a significant impact on the wine and spirits industry nationwide. Candidates must have been in the profession for at least 5 years.
Paul Grieco
, Hearth
NYC – LOVE this restaurant.  Hearth and Chef Marco will be featured in my Homegrown NYC book
Outstanding Wine Service Award
A restaurant that displays and encourages excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, a knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine. Candidates must have been in operation for at least 5 years.
The Modern
Wine Director: Belinda Chang
Rising Star Chef of the Year Award
A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come.
Christina Tosi
, Momofuku, Milk Bar
Best Chefs in America
Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Each candidate may be employed by any kind of dining establishment and must have been a working chef for at least the past 5 years. The 3 most recent years must have been spent in the region where the chef is presently working.
Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)
Michael Anthony,
 Gramercy Tavern – The best and last word in master chefs is Michael Anthony.  Michael is the supreme culinary artist – elegant in his demeanor, management, recipe development, execution, and devotion to local, fresh food. And a pillar of the food community – devoting time and expertise to food programs in local schools.  And yes, I could go on.  Chef Michael is a featured chef in upcoming Homegrown New York City book.
April Bloomfield,
 The Spotted Pig.  LOVE this restaurant.  Hope April is featured chef in upcoming Homegrown NYC book.
Wylie Dufresne
, wd~50
Gabrielle Hamilton
, Prune
Michael White
, Marea
Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT)
Gerry Hayden, The North Fork Table & Inn,
Southold, NY:  Chef Gerry Hayden is a dedicated, passionate field to table, creative culinary genius who is a key player in making the North Fork of Long Island a food destination.  His wife Claudia Fleming, pastry chef at North Fork Table & Inn is Chef Gerry’s accomplished and powerful partner.  Her book, The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern – is a must have for anyone who is in any way serious or just plain gobsmacked about sweet confections. 

Speaking of cookbooks, the James Beard Award Winner Profile Nominees for Cookbook, Media and Journalism Awards include favorites:
General Cooking
The Essential New York Times Cook Book: Classic Recipes for a New Century
by Amanda Hesser
(W.W. Norton & Company) – LOVE this cookbook tome. Amanda and food52 and their real-time help and daily fun, food frolicking is just too good to miss. (see earlier blogs for more complete review)

Writing and Literature
Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food
by Paul Greenberg
(The Penguin Press):  LOVE this book. A must-read.   

Television Program, In Studio or Fixed Location
Top Chef: Season 7
 Host: Padma Lakshmi
 Network: Bravo
Producers: Tom Colicchio, Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz, and Dave Serwatka
Barry Estabrook
The New York Times Magazine
“The Catch”- See the Four Fish
Brian Halweil
Edible Manhattan
“Joan Gussow, Teacher of Teachers” – Brian Halweil, Editor of Edible East End and Edible Manhattan, and a Project Director, 2011 State of the World, Innovations that Nourish the Planet and Senior Fellow, Worldwatch Institute Board of Directors is the genius, Green Revolution advocate who is more than helping to create awareness and lead the way to ending hunger; promoting sustainability; and implementing a true field and fin to table movement.  Brian also wrote the Foreword to the upcoming Homegrown Long Island cookbook.

And one cannot say enough about the inspirational, organic food leader, Joan Gussow. Her new book is Growing Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life and Vegetables.  Read what Michael Pollan says about Joan J 

For a full list of the James Beard Award Finalist Nominees, go to:

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