Meredith Arthur: The wine director of Le Bernardin

Aldo Sohm is adorable and entirely self deprecating. He just won for Outstanding Wine Service. Now they are opening old wounds and Ted Allen is recapping last night's award ceremonies (I lost in the webcast category and CHOW lost in the website category), which has me already looking forward to next year.

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News Feed: 5 Oustanding Chefs, $10 in People Mag

Forget the Most Beautiful People in the World on the cover, serious foodies are flipping past those pages in this week's People to see what the five JBF Outstanding Chef Award nominees can cook with $10. The real question is who will walk away with the top award of the night. .

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Snack: The press room gets more crowded every year

  Which is a good thing as it means there's more and more interest. I think we need a bigger room and more cocktail sponsors! photo

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Meredith Arthur: Stanley Tucci

He's hosting this evening apparently because he plays Paul Child in the upcoming film Julie and Julia--he's brought a special sneak peek with him, he says. I'm looking forward to it since like everyone else I am enchanted by any story I can find of Julia and Paul's relationship. By the way, SF hometown boy Nate Appleman just won rising star of the year, first award of the night.

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Jody Williams: Post-mortem

Barry Wine stops by to mention that he received the first award from none other then James Beard himself at one of the first Awards ceremony. Editor's Note: James Beard died in 1985. The first Beard Awards was held in 1991. Wine is probably referring to his 1984 induction into the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

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Louise McCready: Press room

Hendricks gin table in the press room: combining cocktail hour with tea time. img00027

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Meredith Arthur: This is my first Beard Awards

And I'm very impressed by the huge screen. Huge as in full-stage-Avery-Hall-giant. It means you can see every detail of the presenters. The room is highlighted in pink (theme is women, after all) and the spotlights are purple,casting the whole thing in a pastel glaze.  A delicious cotton candy presentation indeed.

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Adam Sachs: Screaming fans

Smiling stragglers Wiley Dufresne and Dave Chang are standing together saying something to the diminishing press line. There are some fans and I believe they are literally screaming. Or cooing. Seeing the two of them makes me think of their eponymous hot dogs at PDT. Hungry. How long till the gala?

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Jody Williams: About time

Ted Allen says it is about time to pay homage to the under-represented other half.

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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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