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Gastronomic Fight Club SM

Mischief. Mayhem. Soup.

Monday, March 23, 2009

2009 James Beard Nominees Announcements

posted by snekse
James Beard Logo
Nominees and special honorees for the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards were announced today. UPDATING AS THE NEWS COMES IN!!!

Once again, good luck to chef Colby Garrelts of Bluestem who was nominated in the BEST CHEF: MIDWEST category. Hopefully third time really is the charm. Unfortunately none of the chefs from the Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota region made the cut, but considering the competition, I'm not surprised. Regardless, congratulations to the following chefs for making the semi-finalists list: Jennifer Coco, The Flatiron Cafe, Omaha, NE; M.J. Adams, The Corn Exchange, Rapid City, SD; George Formaro, Centro, Des Moines, IA; Enosh Kelly, Bistro Montage, Des Moines, IA; Steve Logsdon, Basil Prosperi’s Lucca, Des Moines, IA.

And this year's Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ella Brennan of the Brennan Family of Restaurants, which includes Commander’s Palace.

2009 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards


A working restaurateur, actively involved in multiple restaurants in the United States, who has set uniformly high national standards as a creative force in the kitchen and/or in restaurant operations. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least ten years.

Tom Douglas
  Tom Douglas Restaurants
  Seattle, WA
Keith McNally
  Balthazar, Lucky Strike, Morandi, Pastis, Pravda, and Schiller's Liquor Bar
Richard Melman
  Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
  Chicago, IL
Drew Nieporent
  Myriad Restaurant Group
Stephen Starr
  Starr Restaurant Organization
  Philadelphia, PA


Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters
A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Candidates must have been working as a chef for at least the past five years.

José Andrés
  Minibar, Washington, D.C.
Dan Barber
  Blue Hill, NYC, NY
Tom Colicchio
  Craft, NYC, NY
Suzanne Goin
  Lucques, Los Angeles, CA
Paul Kahan
  Blackbird, Chicago, IL


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 ten consecutive years.

Babbo, NYC
  Chef/Owner: Mario Batali, Owner: Joe Bastianich
Boulevard, San Francisco
  Chef/Owner: Nancy Oakes, Owner: Pat Kuleto
Fore Street, Portland, ME
  Chef/Owner: Sam Hayward, Owner: Victor Leon and Dana Street
Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL
  Chef/Owner: Frank Stitt
Jean Georges, NYC
  Chef/Owner: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Owner: Phil Suarez


A restaurant opened in 2008 that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service and is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come.

The Bazaar, Los Angeles
  Chef/Owner: José Andrés, Owner: Sam Narian and Philippe Starck
Corton, CITY
  Chef/Owner: NAME, Owner: NAME
L2O, Chicago
  Chef/Owner: Laurent Gras, Owner: Richard Melman
Momofuku Ko, NYC
  Chef/Owner: David Chang
Scarpetta, NYC
  Chef/Owner: Scott Conant


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.

Nate Appleman
  A16, San Francisco, CA
Sean Brock
  McCrady's, Charleston, SC
Johnny Monis
  Komi, Washington, D.C.
Gabriel Rucker
  Le Pigeon, Portland, OR
Michael Solomonov
  Zahav, Philadelphia, PA
Sue Zemanick
  Gautreau's, New Orleans, LA


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 five years.

Gina DePalma
Kamel Guechida
  Joël Robuchon
  Las Vegas, NV
Pichet Ong
Nicole Plue
  Yountville, CA
Mindy Segal
  Mindy's HotChocolate
  Chicago, IL


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 five years.

Bin 36, Chicago
  Wine Director: Brian Duncan
Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
  Wine Director: Andy Chabot
Le Bernardin, NYC
  Wine Director: Aldo Sohm
Patina, Los Angeles
  Wine Director: Eric Espuny
Picasso at Bellagio, Las Vegas
  Wine Director: Robert Smith


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 five years.

Dale DeGroff
  Dale DeGroff Co., Inc.
Merry Edwards
  Merry Edwards Wines
  Sebastopol, CA
Garrett Oliver
  The Brooklyn Brewery
  Brooklyn, NY
John and Doug Shafer
  Shafer Vineyards
  Napa, CA
Julian P. Van Winkle
  Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery
  Louisville, KY


A restaurant that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service. Candidates must have been in operation for at least the past five years.

  Owners: Daniel Boulud and Joel Smilow
Emeril’s New Orleans
  New Orleans
  Owner: Emeril Lagasse
La Grenouille
  Owners: Charles Masson and Giséle Masson
  Owner: Larry Levy
  Owners: Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin


Presented by American Express®
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 five years. The three most recent years must have been spent in the region where chef is presently working.

Jeremy Fox
  Ubuntu ~ Napa, CA
Douglas Keane
  Cyrus ~ Healdsburg, CA
Loretta Keller
  Coco500 ~ San Francisco
David Kinch
  Manresa ~ Los Gatos, CA
Daniel Patterson
  Coi ~ San Francisco

Cathal Armstrong
  Restaurant Eve ~ Alexandria, VA
Jose Garces
  Amada ~ Philadelphia
Peter Pastan
  Obelisk ~ Washington, D.C.
Maricel Presilla
  Cucharamama ~ Hoboken, NJ
Vikram Sunderam
  Rasika ~ Washington, D.C.

Isaac Becker
  112 Eatery ~ Minneapolis
Gerard Craft
  Niche ~ St. Louis, MO
Colby Garrelts
  Bluestem ~ Kansas City, MO
Tim McKee
  La Belle Vie ~ Minneapolis
Alexander Roberts
  Restaurant Alma ~ Minneapolis

Koren Grieveson
  Avec ~ Chicago
Arun Sampanthavivat
  Arun's ~ Chicago
Bruce Sherman
  North Pond ~ Chicago
Michael Symon
  Lola ~ Cleveland
Alex Young
  Zingerman's Roadhouse ~ Ann Arbor, MI

Michael Anthony
  Gramercy Tavern
Terrance Brennan
Wylie Dufresne
Gabrielle Hamilton
Gabriel Kreuther
  The Modern

Rob Evans
  Hugo's ~ Portland, ME
Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier
  Arrows ~ Ogunquit, ME
Michael Leviton
  Lumiére ~ West Newton, MA
Tony Maws
  Craigie on Main ~ Cambridge, MA
Marc Orfaly
  Pigalle ~ Boston

Maria Hines
  Tilth ~ Seattle
Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez
  The Harvest Vine ~ Seattle
Ethan Stowell
  Union ~ Seattle
Cathy Whims
  Nostrana ~ Portland, OR
Jason Wilson
  Crush ~ Seattle

Hugh Acheson
  Five and Ten ~ Athens, GA
Linton Hopkins
  Restaurant Eugene ~ Atlanta
Mike Lata
  Fig ~ Charleston, SC
Bill Smith
  Crook's Corner ~ Chapel Hill, NC
Bob Waggoner
  Charleston Grill ~ Charleston, SC

Paul Bartolotta
  Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas
Sharon Hage
  York Street ~ Dallas
Ryan Hardy
  Montagna at the Little Nell ~ Aspen, CO
Claude Le Tohic
  Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
Andrew Weissman
  Le Rêve ~ San Antonio

Zach Bell
  Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court ~ Palm Beach, FL
John Currence
  City Grocery ~ Oxford, MS
John Harris
  Lilette ~ New Orleans
Douglas Rodriguez
  Ola ~ Miami Beach, FL
Michael Schwartz
  Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink ~ Miami

2009 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics Awards

Arnold's Country Kitchen
  605 8th Ave. S., Nashville, TN?
  Owner(s): Jack and Rose Arnold
Meat-and-threes—that’s what Arnold’s Country Kitchen is all about. Owner Jack Arnold, who favors overalls and bow ties, has been in charge with his wife, Rose, since 1983, and it’s his fried green tomatoes, creamy banana pudding, and made-to-order cornbread that keep Nashville residents coming back for more. Patrons love his succulent roast beef and crisp fried chicken, too, but many are just as likely to forgo the meat and go all sides—that’s how good Jack’s freshly made dishes are. Frequented by country stars, downtown business-types, and ordinary folks looking for an affordable and delicious meal, Arnold’s is among the best Southern plate lunch spots in the nation.

Breitbach's Country Dining
  563 Balltown Rd, Sherrill, IA
  Owner(s): Mike Breitbach
In business since 1852 and touted as Iowa’s oldest bar and restaurant, Breitbach’s Country Dining has been owned and operated by the same family for five generations. Love for Breitbach’s goes well beyond a hankering for the restaurant’s excellent fried chicken, bacon-wrapped pork chops, and mouth-watering pies. This adoration was put to the test on Christmas Eve 2007, when a fire destroyed the eatery’s original building. Faced with the daunting task of starting over, the community rallied around the eatery and a slew of volunteers pitched in to rebuild the restaurant, doing so in a record 69 days. Unbelievably, less than six months later, the restaurant burnt to the ground again. Spirit unbroken, Breitbach’s is once again being rebuilt and will soon be serving its signature dishes to hungry regulars.

Mustache Bill's Diner
  8th St & Broadway, Barnegat Light, NJ
  Owner(s): Bill Smith
These days, the food at diners is all too often of poor to middling quality. But not at Mustache Bill's. For over 35 years, owner Bill Smith has made everything on the diner’s menu from scratch—refusing to buy anything premade. It’s the homemade, straight from the heart cooking that makes Mustache Bill’s a must-stop destination on the Jersey Shore for both the fishing community regulars and the summertime beach-goers. From roasted-that-day turkey, ham, and beef to legendary pancakes and hand-cut home fries, it is no surprise that the crowds are huge: Mustache Bill's does 1,000 covers on a typical summer day, and it's only open 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

  1524 Neptune Ave., Brooklyn, NY
  Owner(s): Lawrence Ciminieri
A stone’s throw from the Cyclone, Totonno’s has been serving amazing Neapolitan-style pies for over 80 years. In 1924, one of New York’s first master pizzaiolas, Anthony “Totonno” Pero, left his job making pizzas at Lombardi’s to open a Coney Island pizzeria, and Totonno’s has been in his family ever since. Lawrence Ciminieri, the fourth generation now in charge, hasn’t strayed from the original recipe—each pizza is made with imported Italian San Marzano tomatoes, fresh, locally made mozzarella, yeast, flour, salt, and not much else. The last—and perhaps most important—component is the oven. Totonno’s original coal-fired oven creates a distinct and flavorful char on the crust that cult pizza lovers crave.

Yank Sing
  101 Spear St, San Francisco
  Owner(s): Vera Chan-Waller
Henry Chan has made it his life’s work to “uplift dim sum.” At San Francisco’s Yank Sing he has been serving dim sum classics like har gow and Shanghai dumplings alongside newer innovations like phoenix shrimp and cabbage salad with honeyed walnuts to thousands of diners every day for over half a century. His mother opened Yank Sing’s original Chinatown location in 1958. Even as a young man, Henry knew what the restaurant needed to do in order to set itself apart, expand its appeal, and reach a larger audience. By moving to the financial district and creating a more upscale atmosphere, Yank Sing became a favorite among San Francisco’s movers and shakers and a must-visit restaurant for tourists. Now a third generation is at the restaurant’s helm. Henry’s daughter Vera Chan-Waller is in the kitchen every day, ensuring that Yank Sing maintains its high standards and traditions—and keeps growing along with the Bay Area’s vibrant food culture.


American Cooking
Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited by Arthur Schwartz
Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans edited by Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker
Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook by Martha Hall Foose

BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking by Shirley O. Corriher
Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker
The Art and Soul of Baking by Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet

The Harney and Sons Guide to Tea by Micahel Harney
The Wines of Burgundy by Clive Coates
WineWise: Your Complete Guide to Understanding, Selecting, and Enjoying Wine by by Stephen Kolpan, Brian H. Smith, and Michael A. Weiss

Cooking from a Professional Point of View
Alinea by Grant Achatz
The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal
Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide by Thomas Keller

General Cooking
How to Cook Everything (10th Anniversary Edition) by Mark Bittman
Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook by Martha Stewart
The Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild

Healthy Focus
Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta: Recipes from the World-Famous Spa by Deborah Szekely and Deborah M. Schneider, with Jesús González
EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook by Philip A. Ades, M.D. and the editors of EatingWell magazine
The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger

Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover's Treasury of Classics and Improvisations by Jayne Cohen
Southeast Asian Flavors by Yuji Wakiya

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal
Decadent Desserts
Haute Chinese Cuisine from the Kitchen of Wakiya by Yuji Wakiya

Reference and Scholarship
Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages by Anne Mendelson
The Flavor Bible by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page
The Science of Good Food by David Joachim and Andrew Schloss with A. Philip Handel, Ph.D.

Single Subject
Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes by Jennifer McLagan
Mediterranean Fresh by Joyce Goldstein
The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever by Beatrice Ojakangas

Writing and Literature
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Shark's Fin Soup and and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuchsia Dunlop
Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef by Betty Fussell


Newspaper Feature about Restaurants and/or Chefs: Monica Eng/Phil Vettel(Chicago Trib), Katy McLaughlin (WSJ), Tom Sietsema (The Wash Post)

Newspaper Feature w/o Recipes: Monica Eng (Chicago Tribune), Kristen Hinman (Riverfront Times), and Craig LaBan (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Newspaper Feature w/ Recipes: Rebekah Denn (Seattle Post-Intelligencer), David Leite (New York Times), Kathleen Purvis (Charlotte Observer)

Newspaper Food Section: Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post

Magazine Feature Writing about Restaurants and/or Chefs: Ruth Reichl (Gourmet), Alan Richman (Departures), Anya von Bremzen (Food & Wine)

Magazine Feature with Recipes: Edna Lewis (Gourmet)*published posthumously, David Dobbs and John Ash (EatingWell), James Peterson (Saveur)

Magazine Feature Writing w/o Recipes: Alan Richman (GQ), Patricia Sharpe (Texas Monthly), Monique Truong (Gourmet)

Restaurant Reviews: Jonathan Gold (LA Weekly), Adam Platt (New York Magazine), and Tom Sietsema (The Washington Post)

Nutrition/Food-Related Issues: Barry Estabrook (Gourmet), Mark Adams, et al (New York Magazine), Rachael Moeller Gorman (EatingWell)

Food-Related Columns: Dorie Greenspan (Bon Appétit), Corby Kummer (The Atlantic), and Laura Shapiro (Gourmet.com)

Writing on Spirits, Wine, or Beer: Jon Bonné (San Francisco Chronicle), Jay McInerney (Men’s Vogue), Alan Richman (GQ)

Website Focusing on Food, Beverage, Restaurant, or Nutrition: Chow.com, Epicurious.com, and Gourmet.com

Multimedia: Ruth Reichl (Gourmet.com): Gourmet Cookbook Club and The Test Kitchen; Mike Sula (Chicagoreader.com): Whole Hog Project

Food Blogs: The BA Foodist, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, Our One-Block Diet

MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award: Celia Barbour (O, The Oprah Magazine), Aleksandra Crapanzano (Gourmet), Alan Richman (GQ)

Television Food Segment: ABC News, Nightline: Platelist, CBS News Sunday Morning: In a Pinch, ABC 7 News Friday Night Special: Hungry Hound

TV Show: Lidia’s Italy: Sweet Napoli; Château Dinner: A French Food at Home Special; and We Live to Eat: New Orleans’ Love Affair with Food

Web/Radio: Living Today (MSL Radio): José Andrés; Graperadio.com: Thomas Jefferson & Wine; Leonard Lopate (WNYC): 3-Ingredient Challenge

Video Webcast: School Lunch Revolutionary (Chow.com), Art of Blending (Graperadio.com), Savoring the Best of World Flavors (Ciaprochef.com)

Restaurant Design: Thomas Schlesser (Publican), Thomas Schlesser (Bar Boulud),and Philippe Starck/Bruno Barrione/Theresa Fatino (The Bazaar)

Restaurant Graphics: Jason Pickleman/Donald Madia (Publican), Denise Korn/Javier Cortés/Bryant Ross (Corner Office), Steven Solomon (Terroir)

The 2009 inductees into the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage are: David Burke, John T. Edge, Dorothy Cann Hamilton, Betty Fussell, Clark Wolf

You can read more details on the James Beard Foundation Awards website.

2008 James Beard Award Winners
2007 James Beard Award Winners

Grant Achatz: Alinea
Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes
Grant Achatz' Alinea Book

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Alinea, Thomas Keller and Fat Duck Cookbooks

posted by snekse
So you're a busy forgetful procrastinating slacker. You forgot to get your dad a Father's Day gift. Here's a great excuse - tell him it hasn't arrived yet. Even better, tell him it hasn't arrived because the gift you ordered isn't even in stores yet!

I mean, sure for Father's Day you could have gotten pop the predictable 10th Anniversary Edition of the The Barbecue! Bible or Weber's Real Grilling or one of the many other cookbooks associated with the holiday, but that's not very GFC. You wanted to get him something extra special, so you ordered one of the many amazing books coming out later this year. But what book to choose?

Alinea Cookbook by Grant Achatz
First we have a book we told you about a couple of months back - Grant Achatz' Alinea Book. It includes over 600 recipes to make 100 of Alinea's most famous dishes and includes over 600 stunning photos. Sure you may not have a cold smoking gun or an anti-griddle, but the pictures are pretty enough to justify the price. And to sweeten the pot, buying the book gets you access to the Alinea mosaic site "containing bonus recipes, demonstration videos, supplementary images, and a behind the scene perspective". Be sure to impress your dad by mentioning Grant Achatz is a 3 time James Beard Foundation Award winner.

Under Pressure Sous Vide Recipe cookbook By Thomas Keller
Next up is the first new book from Thomas Keller since the Bouchon Cookbook. Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide will cover cooking food, you guessed it..., "sous-vide"; the almost now passé molecular gastronomy trend of cooking food "under vacuum". I'm actually really excited about this book as I've been on the hunt for an economical sous-vide setup for months. This book might help justify spending a little more money on a proper immersion circulator bath. ***UPDATE*** Keller has another new book out as well: "Ad Hoc at Home".

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal
And finally we have the book from the second best restaurant in the world - The Fat Duck. In The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, Heston Blumenthal covers a lot of the back story behind the huge success of his restaurant along with documenting over 50 signature recipes in a massive 500+ page book. Now you too can make Snail Porridge, Nitro-scrambled Egg and Bacon Ice Cream, and "Hot and Iced Tea". A more condensed and cheaper version titled "The Fat Duck Cookbook" is available as well.

Oh, alright, I'll throw in a couple more IOU books just because they're so darn cool.

Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes
Do I really need to say much more about this book? I mean the title says it all - Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes. Are you kidding me? A book about fat! Endorsing the use of fat in all it's glory. Duck fat. Caul fat. Leaf lard. Bacon. Ghee. Suet. Schmaltz. Cracklings. Hell yeah. And that covershot - foodporn if I ever saw it. [UPDATE: Read the GFC review of the Fat cookbook]

A16 Cookbook
I'm a little bit surprised about this next one, because I didn't think A16 had been around that long. I know it's a hot spot and all and Nate Appleman has gotten a lot of praise, but he seems to have gotten himself a book deal pretty quickly. Congrats to him. The book, A16: Food & Wine, focuses on rustic recipes of Southern Italy and sounds pretty intriguing.

Dessert FourPlay Cookbook by Johnny Iuzzini
Finally, if your dad has more of a sweet tooth, you can get him Dessert FourPlay: Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef - the first cookbook written by rockstar pastry chef, Johnny Iuzzini. Iuzzini is one of maybe 10 pastry chefs I could name off the top of my head, and one of the few "modern" pastry chefs who has written a book recently. The last modern pastry book I can think of is Elizabeth Falkner's Demolition Desserts.

Of course you could always just tell your dad you were working on your own book.

3 of these books have made Amazon.com's Editor's Picks list for the best cooking, food, and wine books of 2008.
Top 10 Cookbooks of 2008
And several have been nominated for a 2009 James Beard Book award.

Foodies Guide to Father's Day Gifts
The International Agenda for Great Cooking

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