After attracting a passionate fan base for its deliciously reconsidered Italian cuisine, Torrisi Italian Specialties is now in the running for tonight’s Best New Restaurant Award. Read on to see what owners Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi had to say about their favorite cookbooks and Chinatown eats.
JBF: Where were you when you heard you were nominated for a James Beard Award?
MC + RT: At work.
JBF: You guys are known for pushing the boundaries of what Italian cuisine can be, but the pastries you serve are pretty traditional. Do you ever think about changing it up?
MC + RT: Up until recently the pastries were made by us, but now we’r... Read more >
And finally, the Book Award winners, presented by Green & Black’s® Organic Chocolate:
Cookbook Hall of Fame
: On Food and Cooking: The Science & Lore of the Kitchen
by Harold McGee
: Pig: King of the Southern Table
by James Villas
Baking and Dessert
: Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours
by Kim Boyce
: Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World’s Top Wine Professionals
by Jordan Mackay and Rajat Parr
Cooking from a Professional Point of View
: Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine
by René Redzepi
: The Essential New York Times Cook Book: Classic Recipes for a New Centur
y by Amanda Hesser
: Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories
by Grace Young
: The Simple Art of EatingWell Cookbook
by Jessie Price & the EatingWell Test Kitchen
: Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine
We just wrapped the Journalism Awards, which had some great moments! Check out the winners below and be sure to check back at the end of the night to find out if your favorite books came out on top.
M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award: Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly
, “A Movable Beast”
Food Section of a General Interest Publication: San Francisco Chronicle
, Jon Bonné and Miriam Morgan
Food-Related Feature: Dan Koeppel, Saveur
, “Fruit of the Future”
Food-Related Columns & Commentary: Tim Carman, Washington City Paper
, “Ignore the Pizza Police,” “Supply and Da Men,” “Schmeer Campaign"
Personal Essay: Tom Junod, Esquire
, “My Mom Couldn’t Cook”
Health and Nutrition: Rachael Moeller Gorman, EatingWell
, “Captain of the Happier Meal”
Environment, Food Politics, and Policy: Carl Safina, EatingWell
, “Sea Change”
Profile: Benjamin Wallace, New York
, “The Restaurant Auteur”
Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review: Patric Kuh, Los Angeles
, “Animal Magnetism,” “Making Their Move,” “Time for a Redo?”
Wine and Spirits: Jon Fine, Food & Wine
, “Natural Wine: Weird or Wonderful?”
We just finished up the Broadcast Media portion of the evening, presented by Lenox Tableware and Gifts. Here’s a list of tonight’s first winners:
Audio Webcast or Radio Show: Megan Williams, CBC Ideas: “Pasta: The Long and Short of It”
Video Webcast: Jay Selman, GrapeRadio
Television Segment: Bill Owens and Kara Vaccaro, 60 Minutes: “Chef José Andrés”
Television Program, On Location: Justin Barocas, Heather Brown, and Geoffrey Drummond, Avec Eric
Television Program, In Studio or Fixed Location: Top Chef: Season 7
Television Special/Documentary: Declan O’Driscoll and Kevin O’Keefe, Milk War
TV Food Personality/Host: Alton Brown, Good Eats
The Journalism Awards are up next. And stay tuned for the Book Awards!
We asked some of tonight’s nominees to tell us where they were when they got the news they were up for a James Beard Foundation Award. Here are their stories:
“I was actually in my pajamas, typing madly at my home computer, on deadline and ensnared in that light caffeinated panic that I find closes so many deadlines. Grasping for a phrase, I dipped on to Facebook, which I do and don't recommend. And then a message pinged in from Jonathan Gold, congratulating me! I had no idea about what so I tripped over myself, in a computer-window-opening, computer-window-closing sort of way, to find out. Happy! I met my deadline, then went upstairs to tell my husband. Before I left the house I tucked a bottle of bubbly in the fridge (Schramsberg blanc de blancs.) We had it as soon as I got back from work. I'm still floating on air! People always ask me, it's your tenth nomination, do you still care? I care profoundly. Writing is such a lonely endeavor, the lag between publishing and writing makes it lonelier, but the Beard Awards make a lonely writer feel not alone at all, but celebrated. I'm so grateful.” --Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, nominated tonight for the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Resta
The JBF Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards are about to get started! Our hosts, Emmy Award winner Ted Allen and Top Chef’s lovely Gail Simmons, are about to take the stage. Stay tuned throughout the night for recaps of the winners, or follow us on twitter at @beardfoundation for up-to-the minute news.
Can’t make it to the JBF Awards? We have a number of ways for you to attend virtually! To follow tonight’s Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards, park yourself in front of @beardfoundation on Twitter starting at 7:00 P.M. You’ll find out the winners as they’re announced, and a few recaps will be posted here on Delights & Prejudices as well. On Monday night you can tune into our live-stream of the Awards at Lincoln Center by going to jamesbeard.org/awardslive
starting at 6:00 P.M. We’re also going to be live-blogging right here on Delights & Prejudices, and have assembled an elite team of guest bloggers to help us out, including Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal of Immaculate Infatuation; Fiona Tang and Amy Cao of Foodspotting; Megan Krigbaum, associate wine editor of Food & Wine; photographer Michael Harlan Turkell, photo editor of Edible Brooklyn/Manhattan
Here's what's happening at the Beard House next week…
Wednesday, May 11
Beard on Books: The Jewish Culinary Diaspora
At this special installment of Beard on Books, JBF Award–winning author Joan Nathan will discuss her most recent book, Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, and the regional variation in Jewish cooking with Israeli food editor Janna Gur, author of The Book of New Israeli Food, and JBF vice president Mitchell Davis, author of The Mensch Chef.
Thursday, May 12
La Sicilia ne
Opening a luxe restaurant in a former industrial zone that’s experiencing a gradual rebirth sounds like a hazardous venture, but Boston chef and restaurateur Barbara Lynch beat the odds last year with her latest project, Menton. With chef Colin Lynch (no relation) manning the kitchen, the establishment earned a spot on many 2010 “Best New Restaurant” lists, and it’s up for another accolade at the JBF Awards on May 9. Read on for our interview with Barbara Lynch about Menton's risks and rewards. JBF: Menton is named after a small French village that’s very close to the Italian border. How is that specific place expressed in the food?
BL: Many of my restaurants are influenced by my sense of nostalgia for places I've been to. Menton is one of them. It’s a beautiful place and very French, but it shares a border with Italy so you can't help but feel that Italian soul. The