The Oscars of the Culinary World

Posted by: KristenSiefkin in: Food/Beverage -

James Beard Award Dinner 2009

James Beard Award Ceremony 2009

This week, I had the remarkable opportunity to attend the 2009 James Beard Award ceremony in New York City.  Akin to the Oscars of the culinary world, winning a Beard Award is the highest honor for food and beverage professionals in America.

This was the ultimate experience for a food lover like me.  Not only did I see Mario Batali, Martha Stewart, Tom Colicchio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Dan Barber and Ellie Krieger but I was also able to meet (or catch a glimpse of) the journalists whose food stories I have been reading (or more appropriately, salivating over) all these years.

Did I mention the food?  Wow.  There were more than 20 food stations serving the most unique small bites from a combination of the nation’s most established and up-and-coming chefs.  It’s hard to pick a favorite – they were all amazing.  However, if I am forced to pick, my favorite three were dishes from:

 Culinary royalty Michelle Bernstein.  Her Sea Urchin Cuban Sandwich and Coral Cortadito was mind blowing.
 Chicagoan Carrie Nahabedian’s Cured Ice-Caught Great Lakes Whitefish and Door County Golden Whitefish Caviar with Crème Fraîche, Candied Meyer Lemon, Bull’s Blood Greens, and Lebanese-Seeded Fattoush was fresh, light and addictive.
 San Francisco’s Loretta Keller’s Bolinas Goat’s Tongue with Meyer Lemon, Fenugreek, Mint, and Tomato Chutney was unexpected!  Who knew goat tongue could taste so good?!

If you’re ever afforded an occasion to attend this event, do not miss it.  And, don’t forget your running shoes!

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