Best Bites Blog > Food & Restaurant News
Who Won Big at the James Beard Awards?
The awards seem to get flashier by the year. In 2007, the show moved from the staid Marriott Marquis in Times Square to Lincoln Center’s much bigger Avery Fisher Hall, where it played out again this time around with the help of ceremonial hosts Kim Cattrall and Bobby Flay. But really—a red carpet? And a paparazzi line? We couldn’t help but chuckle. José Andrés, a nominee for Outstanding Chef (won by Grant Achatz of Chicago's Alinea), is used to joking around under the bright lights, but Momofuku’s David Chang, the Virginia native who wound up winning the Best Chef New York City award, looked like he’d rather be, well, at a Celtics game, or at least on the party bus (or buses) he rented for after-gala festivities.
And speaking of the post-ceremony gala, where big-time chefs (and their doting publicists), wine gurus, cookbook writers, iPhone-toting journalists and bloggers, and the like mingled amidst chefs’ stations handing out dish samples, this year’s theme was “Artisanal America.” Representing DC were Nora Pouillon, who provided strawberry and rhubarb gelati in brandysnap baskets, and—no rest, even for the winner—Eric Ziebold, who personally ladled green- rhubarb gazpacho around tempura softshell crabs. Now that’s dedication. He later really celebrated his victory at Danny Meyer's afterparty at Eleven Madison Park and at the shindig at Bar Boulud. Meanwhile, Michel Richard and Central chef de cuisine Cedric Maupillier and general manager Brian Zipin feted themselves over roast chicken and copious French fries at Alain Ducasse's Parisian-style bistro, Benoit. Back in DC, the Central staff threw themselves a party at the restaurant.