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.
Outstanding Chef Dan Barber's speech: "I remember telling my father, I want to be a chef. He said, why? I said, I love food. He said, I love books, but I don't read for a living...As the economy collapsed, most industries died down to the lowest common denominator. But fine dining didn't become less fine and I credit managers, and mostly chefs, who refuse to lower that bar and love food and continue serving good food."
I've never had octopus carpaccio until this night. Only now do I know what I've been missing! Thinly sliced octopus with an incredible olive oil. None of the chewy texture many people hate about octopus.
Also, Debbie Gold's cured bone marrow on mustard croutons with parsley and ramps---you know the taste of pork belly? Imagine that with the texture of an olive-oil grilled crouton. Add a quick shot of mustard.
But it's never too late for Jean Georges to win for Outstanding Restaurant
and Dan Barber to win for Outstanding Chef. Not too surprising overall. In
fact no surprises. But well deserved success all around. Congrats to
the winners. What a happy night for them all.
Drew Nierporent, who won Outstanding Restaurateur, said as he thanked his presenters that he's gained 50 lbs with each restaurant. His speech: "I know you're hungry. Rocco behind me is eating his ear. Hold on a second, I'm twittering. Don't you hate that?!?" He said he knew he'd win because he stepped in dog shit last night. What?!?
Had to take a quick break from the Awards and try a fantastic beet brownie from Monica Pope at T'afia. It was so inventive and set apart from the many beef carpaccios. Now back in time for the final biggies: Drew Nieporent, David Chang, and da da dum...
"This is the coolest thing!" says Ed Levine, journalist and proprietor of Serious Eats, is watching Gina DePalma win for Outstanding Pastry Chef. "Gina is amazing. She is just a great writer and she's been through a lot lately. This is the best thing ever."
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