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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Louise McCready: Last award

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."

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Louise McCready: 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.

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Meredith Arthur: It may be late in the evening...

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.

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Jody Williams: My favorite

Holly Smith does green apple sorbet (perfect) topped with crab meat (fresh and succulent) with a pinch of crab buttet powder!!! Get upstairs and get it!

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Louise McCready: I hate twittering

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?!?

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