Opinion: James Beard Award for Best Chef
Inside Jean Georges (photo by flickr user Silly Jilly)
Michael Klein | The Philadelphia Inquirer
May 5-The New York-based James Beard Foundation, whose awards are the Oscars of the culinary industry, barely looked farther than its collective nose for this year’s winners, handed out last night.
Jose Garces (Amada, Tinto, Distrito, Chifa), named best chef from the mid-Atlantic region, was the sole Philadelphia winner. Mustache Bill’s Diner in Barnegat Light, N. J., was named to the foundation’s list of “America’s Classics” restaurants.
Aside from “rising-star chef” (Nate Appleman of San Francisco’s A16), all major culinary prizes went to New Yorkers. Top restaurant: Jean Georges’. Top chef: Dan Barber of Blue Hill. New restaurant: Momofuku Ko. Pastry chef: Gina DePalma of Babbo. Wine service: Le Bernardin. Overall service: Daniel.
The Beard Foundation, ostensibly a national organization, sprinkled many Philadelphians among semifinalists, announced in February: Stephen Starr (restaurateur); Marc Vetri (chef); Distrito and Zahav (new restaurant); Jonathan McDonald of the Pub & Kitchen, Chip Roman of Blackfish, and Michael Solomonov of Zahav (rising-star chef); Fred Ortega of Lacroix and Kate Honeyman of Buddakan (pastry chef); Lacroix (wine service); and Vetri for service. The Inquirer’s Craig LaBan was a semifinalist for writing.
Contestants Havertown’s Bonnie Neubauer is in the finals of Hallmark’s “yourBloopers,” a card contest for which contestants submitted photos with witty captions. Her card, which won $250, is a photo of her two cats drinking from a toilet, with the message, “In honor of your special day we spiked the punch bowl. Happy Birthday!” Finalists’ designs are on sale at Hallmark.com/you, and on June 22, the cards will be available at stores. Designer of the top-selling card gets additional cash.
Might Drexel grad Bobby Miller beat Jimmy Fallon for a Webby Award later today? Miller, 26, who went to South Jersey’s Buena Regional High, is up for the Webby for best variety show for his effort, “The Best Short Films in the World.” (It’s about a man stuck in his apartment.) In online voting, Miller has been running neck and neck with Fallon, who was nominated for a series of episodes that went on the Web before his Late Night debut in March. Miller, who goes to film school at Columbia University, took the whole thing very seriously, waging a battle for votes at the site DontLetJimmyWin.com.