And the Oscar Goes to…

2006.Mar.19 Sunday · 4 comments

in Life

Buenos Aires – The new James Beard 2006 Award nominations are out, plus New York Magazine’s Best of NY Food 2006, and I was pleased to see that between them, several of my friends have gotten nominated or named by one or the other. I’m thrilled that so many of them are being recognized for their outstanding work.

James Beard nominations:

Alice Feiring, whose blog Veritas in Vino is nominated for Best Internet Website for Food.

Mario Batali’s new book, Molto Italiano is nominated for Best International Cookbook.

Nick Maglieri’s book A Bakers Tour for Best Baking and Desserts cookbook.

Tom Colicchio is nominated for the Outstanding Chef Award (Craft) and Alfred Portale for the same at Gotham Bar & Grill – wait, two friends up for the same award?

Lidia and Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali for Best New Restaurant (Del Posto, NYC).

Charles Scicolone for Outstanding Wine Service (i Trulli, NYC).

William Scherer, also for Outstanding Wine Service (Aureole, Las Vegas).

Daniel Johnnes for Oustanding Wine and Spirits Professional (Daniel, NYC).

New York Magazine Awards:

Cesare Casella for the Best Macaroni and Cheese and also for Best New Restaurant (Robin Raisfeld’s pick), at Maremma.

Mark Meyer, Vicki Freeman, and Chris Paraskevaides for Best New Restaurant (Hal Rubinstein’s pick), at Cookshop.


ksternberg March 19, 2006 at 22:55

Alice’s site the best one on food? I know Alice and like her a lot. She’s very talented. But I have to disagree that her Web site is worth an award for food coverage. It’s focused on wine with food as kind of a background.

The Beard awards are , in general, kind of strange. Is any organization that charges $75 per nominee really legitimate?

And as for Daniel Johnnes, who I don’t really know other than a couple of brief experiences with him, don’t get me started. I think it was Churchill who commented about a certain Lord in Parliament but which I think could be applied toward Daniel: “He is a modest little man with much to be modest about.”

dan March 20, 2006 at 17:41

You actually introduced me to Alice, years ago, and we’ve maintained infrequent, but friendly contact over the years, with the occasional dinner and such. I was a little surprised initially, but thinking about it, with the exception of service related stuff like “Best W&S Pro”, the Beard Awards don’t distinguish between food and beverage in their categories. Her blog certainly is a fun read. At the same time, I kind of understand your point – the three nominees are so radically different, how does one compare them? Epicurious is a vast, encyclopedic type site with cooking lessons, dictionaries, recipes, interviews, and a host of other things, and, as of a few weeks ago, even a blog. David Leite’s site is a multi-author site – mostly, but not only his postings, and is primarily oriented around recipes that he is experimenting with for various articles, along with reprints of his articles after publication. Alice’s site is more of a personal journey through the wine world, bordering on diary-like, but engaging and well written, and also written at a level that non-wine geeks can easily follow and enjoy, which is something that takes some talent.

As to Daniel, well, he’s a friend, and I enjoy his company, though I don’t see him all that often. Truthfully, he’s accomplished a lot in the wine world, especially on the New York restaurant scene, and if he isn’t all that humble about it, so what? Frank Lloyd Wright once said that “It is better to be honestly arrogant than hypocritically humble.”

As to the nominations, well, who knows? While I’m not personally fond of what the Beard organization has become – especially with all the scandals that have popped up over the last few years – it’s still public recognition, and most of the public are blissfully unaware of the problems behind the scenes. There has always been a level of, shall we say, contribution, in order to be nominated – I was contacted a few years ago when I as at AZ and informed that I’d been “pre-“nominated for best wine and spirits professional. I was then called by one of the board members and informed, off the record, that the “pre-” would only be turned into a real nomination if I became a member… at a cost of $275 for the year, plus the nomination fee. I decided against it. And, by the way, I don’t object to that as a requirement – why should the Beard Society give awards to non-members?

ksternberg March 20, 2006 at 20:56

I love that Wright quotation. So true. And to think all these years I’ve been so humble!

The books and articles that could be written about Beard and other organizations and people in the world we choose to live in would number many, indeed.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: