Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Oscars of the Food World

A Winning Weekend in New York with Top Foodies
Monday night at Thomas Keller's Per Se James Beard Awards After Party with the legendary Jacques Pepin 
What a thrill to wine and dine and chat with the top chefs, cookbook authors, TV food show stars and writers who tell us who's cooking what, where, why and how to cook it up yourself - or try!
Thank you Marion Laney for this fab photo of Gotham Hall glam! 


The annual James Beard Foundation Awards, held in NYC are a must for moi! Traveling with Atlanta gal pals, Gina Christman and Anne Marsden and my daughter Katie as an early graduation present - we took the town by storm with shopping sprees and the goal of dining in just about every 'hood in NYC.

It's easy to make new friends in NYC. Balthazar drinking rose Champagne Saturday while Anne and Katie shopped.

I am on the James Beard Foundation Awards National Broadcast Media committee so there's a lot of work leading up to the big announcements, but the weekend is a magical ride of Manhattan fun.
Friday kick-off lunch at Harry Cipriani. Vanilla cake.  We sat next to Robert Wagner. 


The big night is Friday for the Journalism Awards and the tables were set with pretty pink peonies as the wine flowed.  There's Martha Stewart with her entourage over there. Of course, I said hello to her!
Chef Marcus Samuelson at the table next to us and he won for his autobio book, Yes Chef!

Chef Marcus Samuelson of Red Rooster tweets out his news: Winner!


Martha Teichner of CBS Sunday Morning near us too. She won in the Best TV Food Program, in studio or fixed location. Congrats to her and the CBS Sunday Morning Team.
Martha Teichner accepts the JBF Award for CBS Sunday Morning's annual food themed show.

The South won big in Yankee territory. Nathalie Dupree and co-author Cynthia Graubert won a big prize, Best American Cookbook for their six pound cookbook, "Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking" Nathalie accepted the award saying, "The South is the new Italy!"
A photo from the big screen of Nathalie and Cynthia accepting the James Beard Award !

More love! Martha Teichner and Nathalie Dupree congratulate each other on their James Beard Awards.
Both live in Charleston, SC.


We had dinner at Del Posto restaurant on Sunday night. 
Del Posto is my favorite restaurant in New York. The service is elegant but relaxed.
We sat down at 7:30pm and finished dinner at 11pm. I felt as if I'd been there 11 minutes.
A beautiful experience that began with flutes of 2006 Pierre Gimonnet Brut Cuvee Fleuron Champagne and the prettiest salad I've ever tasted or seen. Congrats to Del Posto for winning Best Service and Best Pastry JBF Awards and nomination for Best Chef NYC. As my daughter texted a friend, "I've just had dinner in first class on the Titanic."


Shhhhhh....this lunch is a secret. 


The "Southern Mafia Lunch" is an annual sort of secret invite only gathering on Monday before the Gala JB Awards at Avery Fisher Hall.  Top chef nominees from the South and Southeast categories gather along with Southern food writers, food producers and enthusiastic "southern-aires" at Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli's beautiful little Butter Restaurant.
Butter colored buttercup flowers on the tables at the Southern Mafia Luncheon.
Lots of fun - Andrew Zimmern sneaks into the photo with Gina Christman,
Publisher of Atlanta Homes & Lifstyle Magazine and Mary Reynolds, of The Reynolds Group, Atlanta


Here's a link to ALLLL of the winners thanks to Andrew Zimmern's website!  He won as JBF Best Media Personality 2013.  And I give him the "Nicest Best TV Personality Award!"
James Beard Foundation Awards winners



How about some punch? Top foodies tell us the cool places to go in NYC.
We're at Pouring Ribbons cocktail bar wayyyyyy down town on Sunday night.


It's all about the fun and frolic. As a busy food journalist, and three time James Beard Foundation Award winner including JBF Who's Who in Food Beverage - it's an absolute thrill to hang out with all of these great foodie folks. There are too many parties to go and too many people to hug - but we can only try!
JBF Award winner and uber famous chef, Todd English and I
 at Chef's Night Out Party at Todd English Food Halls, Plaza Hotel



Yes, it's important to burn some calories after burning the midnight oil eating and drinking so Gina, Anne and I hit the streets on Sunday morning and walked 5 miles through and around beautiful Central Park. A brisk start but sunny day and lots of needed oxygen. 
Nightlife followed by wildlife in Central Park. Birdwatchers abound and the flowers in full May bloom.

My favorite place to stay is The Kimberly Hotel. I booked a two bedroom, two bath suite for our Atlanta gals getaway for $322 and that includes free internet, a roof top bar/breakfast and free coffee/tea and pastries all afternoon on the rooftop terrace. Hello! Why would you stay anywhere else? 50th between Lex and 3rd. 

Goodbye Manhattan, thank you for a wonderful James Beard Foundation weekend!


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