James Beard

2012 James Beard Award Winners

James Beard AwardsBest New Restaurant
Next, Chicago

Outstanding Chef
Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park in New York

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Mindy Segal of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate in Chicago

Outstanding Restaurant
Boulevard in San Francisco

Outstanding Restaurateur
Tom Douglas of Tom Douglas Restaurants in Seattle

Outstanding Service
La Grenouille in New York

Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional
Paul Grieco of Terroir in New York

Outstanding Wine Program
No. 9 Park in Boston

Outstanding Bar Program
PDT in New York

Rising Star Chef Of The Year
Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York

REGIONAL CHEF AWARDS

Great Lakes
Bruce Sherman of North Pond in Chicago

Mid-Atlantic
Maricel Presilla of Cucharamama in Hoboken, N.J.

Midwest
Tory Miller of L’Etoile in Madison, Wisc.

New York City
Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern in New York

Northeast
Tim Cushman of O Ya in Boston

Northwest
Matt Dillon of Sitka & Spruce in Seattle

Pacific
Matt Molina of Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles

South
Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Ala.
Southeast (tie)
Hugh Acheson of Five and Ten in Athens, Ga. & Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta

Southwest
Paul Qui of Uchiko in Austin, Texas

James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
Wolfgang Puck

James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year
Charlie Trotter

James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees
Grant Achatz, chef and author, Chicago
Mark Bittman, journalist and author, New York
Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief at Food and Wine magazine, New York
Emily Luchetti, pastry chef and author, San Francisco
Marvin Shanken, publisher, New York

James Beard Foundation America’s Classics
The Fry Bread House in Phoenix
Owner: Cecelia Miller
Nora’s Fish Creek Inn in Wilson, Wyo.
Owners: Nora Tygum, Trace Tygum and Kathryn Tygum Taylor
St. Elmo Steak House in Indianapolis
Owners: Stephen Huse and Craig Huse
Jones Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna, Ark.
Owners: James and Betty Jones
Shady Glen in Manchester, Conn.
Owners: William and Annette Hoch

Good Eats Canceled?

Good bye, Good Eats

In the annals of food television there have been five shows that have stood out from the rest by virtue of their importance to the genre.  The first four, I Love to Eat (James Beard), The French Chef (Julia Child), The Galloping Gourmet (Graham Kerr) and Emeril Live (Emeril Legasse) each made their indelible marks on food television by enticing people into their kitchens.

Cheflebrities Stuart Reb Donald and Alton Brown at Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-offThe fifth show, Good Eats, made its mark by teaching burgeoning home gourmets what to do in their new-found playground.  Alton Brown created, wrote, produced and starred in, “a smart and entertaining food show that blends wit with wisdom, history with pop culture, and science with common cooking sense.”  His words not mine.

Recently I heard a rumor that Food Network had canceled Good Eats so I started tugging on various grapevines to see what would shake loose.  My original sources were pretty reliable but I wanted to double-check before reporting something like “Good Eats Canceled.”

I contacted Alton’s publicist, Beau Benton and asked straight out if the rumor was true.  The answer?  No. . . and yes.

No.  Food Network did not cancel Good Eats.

Yes.  The show will soon be ceasing production for good.

The decision was Alton’s.  When I inquired about a press release or official statement Benton said, “He announced it on Twitter.”

Sure enough, “G.E. fans, I’ve decided to cut the half hour series at 249 eps. There will be 3 new 1 hour eps this year and that’s it. But mourn not. New things brew on the horizon…”good” things.”

I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with Alton a few weeks ago.  We were both taking part in a fund-raiser in tiny Dauphin Island, Alabama.  Of all of the communities effected by the Oil Spill, Dauphin Island’s economy suffered the most losing 66% of its projected revenue for the summer of 2010 which included cancelling the world’s largest deep-sea fishing rodeo for the first time ever.  Camille, Frederick, Katrina, and Ivan couldn’t do that.  Alton gave of his time to help attract a record crowd to the island’s annual gumbo cook-off.

This is sure to leave Food Network fans feeling shell shocked.  Especially considering the May law suit that has halted production of another long standing hit series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  If things do not work out in court that means that two of the network’s most popular shows would no longer be a part of their line-up.

Brown will still be on Iron Chef and there are hints of other projects in the works.  Recently, Alton and I got to speak a good bit about, well, everything and he was kind enough to answer 7 Questions. READ HERE.

I saw this Tweet from Tyler Florence to Alton.  It’s hysterical:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/TylerFlorence/status/72821165185441792″]

Review: Fresh Food Fast with Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Legasse

I finally got a little more quality time with the Cooking Channel so I am attempting to review several of the shows I have not seen.  This time around Fresh Food Fast with Emeril Lagasse.

There are four kingpins that are responsible for the success of food-based television – James Beard, Julia Child, Graham Kerr (check out my interview with Kerr HERE) and Emeril Legasse.  Legasse was one of the chefs who formed the core of the Food Network’s early days and it was his show Emeril Live that made Food Network.  Without Legasse’s energy, humor and every-guy appeal the network probably looks different today if it survived at all.

Unfortunately, the catch phrases and schtick on Emeril Live eventually became its downfall.  The show had become a charecature of itself.  A few years back FN took it’s marquee show off the air.  For a while it moved over to the Fine Living Network in hopes that Legasse could kick up FLN’s ratings a notch.  It wasn’t enough.  Last year FLN became the Cooking Channel.  The change has proven a wise one.

There’s room on Cooking Channel for Legasse and it is not having to re-create the Emeril of old.  Fresh Food Fast is Emeril in a kitchen (a real kitchen not a set) putting together amazing recipes. Gone are the cries of BAM! and Pork Fat Rules! This Emeril is more under control, his recipes are healthier, most likely a byproduct of his Planet Green series dedicated to healthy, organic and sustainable food, Emeril Green.

While Emeril Green seemed like Legasse was being stuffed into a world that didn’t quite suit him, it did help him to find a happy medium between the calorically challenged recipes of Emeril Live and the über-wholesomeness of the recipes of Emeril GreenFresh Food Fast is that happy medium.  Sure the food is healthier than his old FN days but not as uninspired as the Planet Green show.

Best of all it is Emeril being Emeril.  He is congenial and entertaining without being over the top.  He’s doing a show for foodies again – people who don’t have to have a danceable beat and repetitive lyrics so they can blurt the chorus after just two listenings.  It’s a serious cooking show by one of the master’s of the genre.

ICA: Forgione vs Cantrel – Outcome

iron chef America, wannabe tv chef

SPOILER ALERT: The following information is the outcome of Forgione vs Cantrel. If you want information on the combatants click HERE. If you are only interested in the outcome read on.

The judges for Battle: Gruyère were Laurent Tourondel, Adam Richman and Nigella Lawson.

Forgione                       Cantrel
Taste: 23                      Taste: 25
Plating: 12                    Plating:  13
Originality: 11               Originality: 13
Total: 46                       Total: 51

If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my recent interview with the newest Iron Chef, Marc Forgione HERE.

Next time Jose Garces vs. Michael Solomonov.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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