The Big Names Arrive on the Red Carpet

What do the country's best chefs eat for breakfast on the biggest day of the year? Snack blogger Jennifer Leuzzi finds out on the red carpet at Avery Fisher Hall before the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards.

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Meredith Arthur: Who are you wearing?

Blogging an award ceremony seems to beg for some sort of fashion commentary. I can tell you that I am looking at everything from prom dresses--short, pink, sateen--to California summer to grande dame stately. A woman in front of me in line is sporting a huge faux tattoo of the word "terroir" on her back, advertising her husband's wine store.

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Adam Sachs: That somethin' somethin'

B. Smith, defying the rainy gloom in a bright, pretty pink dress: "This is a long time coming. Long time coming. Women bring an extra somethin' somethin'. Men are great, we love men. But I think women bring something different, a certain style and a different kind of management. We've been in the kitchen for years so this is a great thing."

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Adam Sachs: Mafia wedding

It feels like a food-world mafia wedding out here under the portico. A bespectacled Alain Ducasse sneaks by the press table undetected. Emeril is chatting and taking photos with Traci Des Jardins. Gregarious Drew Nieporent stops by in a pale pink bow tie. So what about women in food? I ask. "Are you kidding me?" says Drew. "Leslie Revson, Deborah Ponzack, Traci Des Jardins, Patricia Williams, Claudia Fleming (way before Gramercy). It has nothing to do with gender--it has to do with talent and giving people opportunity. I think I've lead in that category." And the pink tie? "This is the only tie I've got that fits--nothing to do with gender there either."

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Jody Williams: Arrivals

The doors are open, the rain is pouring. Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud, Traci DesJardins, Drew Nieporent, all are squeezing into the reception. Dishes still empty and stations awaiting...

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Meredith Arthur: Moonstruck

The big plaza in front of Avery Fisher Hall will always say Moonstruck to me, and I bet the nominees feel like the post-makeover Cher awaiting Nicholas Cage. It's bright and rainy out and there's a feeling of drizzled anticipation in this room. I'll try not to draw movie comparisons all night but can make no promises.

Meredith Arthur, CHOW

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