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Nominees for 'Oscars of the food world'

By Kat Kinsman, CNN
Chefs, writers, authors and architects who excel in food and beverage fields are nominated for James Beard Awards.
Chefs, writers, authors and architects who excel in food and beverage fields are nominated for James Beard Awards.
  • The awards bear the name of one of America's founding food writers and cooks: James Beard
  • Chefs, journalists, restaurateurs, authors, restaurant designers and architects nominated
  • There is no cash award, but honor can create buzz
  • Foundation chief: Fans might use nominee lists as a cross-country culinary travelogue
  • Food and Cooking
  • Wine

Editor's note: Kat Kinsman is the vice chair of the James Beard Journalism Committee, the group that oversees the journalism category's awards. An independent accounting firm oversees the process.

(CNN) -- The James Beard Foundation Awards are often referred to as the "Oscars of the food world," but the honorees are more frequently photographed in chefs' whites and clogs than tuxes and red carpet couture, and they're hounded for hot dish from diners rather than the staff of TMZ.

The awards -- established in 1990 by the nonprofit that bears the name of one of America's founding food writers and cooks -- honor chefs, food journalists, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, restaurant designers and architects who have achieved excellence in the food and beverage field.

While the journalism, media and cookbook categories call for self-nomination (and an entry fee), anyone can suggest a chef or restaurant via the foundation's Web site,, during an open call in the fall.

Though there is no cash reward, a win -- or even a nomination -- can substantially increase the buzz for business, according to foundation president Susan Ungaro.

"There is no doubt that it elevates standing among peers, and the publicity reverberates through the town or city," Ungaro said last week. "It excites locals, who then think, 'I must check that out.' "

Of particular passion to Ungaro are the America's Classics awards, given to restaurants, generally 50 to 100 years old and of iconic status in their communities.

"These would have been James Beard's favorites -- he loved both haute and down-home. These reflect the best of America's classic dining. They're often family run, and they're special," she said.

Ungaro also expressed a wish that food fans might use nominee lists as a cross-country, culinary travelogue, noting, "A nomination can help keep a restaurant going during tough economic times. These eateries end up being inundated with customers, and that helps the whole community."

The nominations for the 2010 James Beard Foundation Awards were tweeted live (@BeardFoundation) Monday morning from New Orleans, Louisiana, and the awards will be announced at events on May 2 and 3 in New York.

Here are some of the nominations:

Outstanding restaurateur

Tom Douglas
Dahlia Bakery, Dahlia Lounge, Etta's, Lola, Palace Kitchen, Serious Pie -- Seattle, Washington

Pat Kuleto
Boulevard, Epic, Farallon, Jardinière, Martini House, Nick's Cove & Cottages and Waterbar -- San Francisco, California

Keith McNally
Balthazar, Lucky Strike, Minetta Tavern, Morandi, Pastis, Pravda and Schiller's Liquor Bar -- New York

Richard Melman
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises -- Chicago, Illinois

Stephen Starr
Starr Restaurant Organization -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Outstanding chef

José Andrés
Minibar, Washington

Tom Colicchio
Craft, New York

Gary Danko
Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco

Suzanne Goin
Lucques, Los Angeles, California

Charles Phan
The Slanted Door, San Francisco

Outstanding restaurant

Babbo, New York

Boulevard, San Francisco

Daniel, New York

Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Alabama

Spiaggia, Chicago

Rising star chef of the year

Timothy Hollingsworth
The French Laundry, Yountville, California

Johnny Monis
Komi, Washington

Grégory Pugin
Veritas, New York

Gabriel Rucker
Le Pigeon, Portland, Oregon

Sue Zemanick
New Orleans

Best new restaurant

Bibou, Philadelphia

Flour + Water, San Francisco

Frances, San Francisco

Locanda Verde, New York

Marea, New York

RN74, San Francisco

Outstanding pastry chef

Amanda Cook
CityZen at Mandarin Oriental, Washington

Michelle Gayer
Salty Tart Bakery, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Kamel Guechida
Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Nicole Plue
Redd, Yountville

Mindy Segal
Mindy's Hot Chocolate, Chicago

Outstanding wine service

A16, San Francisco

Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee

Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, Colorado

Jean Georges, New York

Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco

Outstanding wine and spirits professional

Merry Edwards
Merry Edwards Wines, Sebastopol, California

Paul Grieco,
Hearth, New York

Garrett Oliver
The Brooklyn Brewery, New York

John Shafer and Doug Shafer
Shafer Vineyards, Napa, California

Julian P. Van Winkle III
Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, Louisville, Kentucky

Outstanding service

Alinea, Chicago

Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

La Grenouille, New York

Michael Mina, San Francisco

Vetri, Philadelphia

Best chef: Great Lakes

Michael Carlson
Schwa, Chicago

Koren Grieveson
Avec, Chicago

Arun Sampanthavivat
Arun's, Chicago

Bruce Sherman
North Pond, Chicago

Alex Young
Zingerman's Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Best chef: Mid-Atlantic

Cathal Armstrong
Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Virginia

Jeff Michaud
Osteria, Philadelphia

Peter Pastan
Obelisk, Washington

Michael Solomonov
Zahav, Philadelphia

Bryan Voltaggio
Volt, Frederick, Maryland

Best chef: Midwest

Isaac Becker,
112 Eatery, Minneapolis

Gerard Craft
Niche, St. Louis, Missouri

Colby Garrelts
Bluestem, Kansas City, Missouri

Alexander Roberts
Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis

Lenny Russo
Heartland, St. Paul, Minnesota

Best chef: New York

Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern

Wylie Dufresne, WD-50

Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune

Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park

Michael White, Marea

Best chef: Northeast

Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier
Arrows Restaurant, Ogunquit, Maine

Peter X. Kelly
Xaviar's at Piermont, Piermont, New York

Michael Leviton
Lumière, West Newton, Massachusetts

Tony Maws
Craigie on Main, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Marc Orfaly
Pigalle, Boston, Massachusetts

Best chef: Northwest

Naomi Pomeroy
Beast, Portland, Oregon

Andy Ricker
Pok Pok, Portland

Ethan Stowell
Union, Seattle

Cathy Whims
Nostrana, Portland

Jason Wilson
Crush, Seattle

Best chef: Pacific

Michael Cimarusti,
Providence, Los Angeles

Jeremy Fox
Ubuntu, Napa

David Kinch
Manresa, Los Gatos, California

Matt Molina
Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

Michael Tusk
Quince, San Francisco

Best chef: South

Zach Bell
Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court, Palm Beach, Florida

Scott Boswell
Stella!, New Orleans

John Harris
Lilette, New Orleans

Christopher Hastings
Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, Alabama

Michael Schwartz
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Miami, Florida

Best chef: Southeast

Hugh Acheson
Five and Ten, Athens, Georgia

Sean Brock
McCrady's, Charleston, South Carolina

Linton Hopkins
Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta, Georgia

Andrea Reusing
Lantern, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Bill Smith
Crook's Corner, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Best chef: Southwest

Bryan Caswell
Reef, Houston, Texas

Saipin Chutima
Lotus of Siam, Las Vegas

Ryan Hardy
Montagna at the Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado

Claude Le Tohic
Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

Rick Moonen
RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas

Newspaper feature writing about restaurants and/or chefs

Tim Carman, Washington City Paper
"How Not to Hire a Chef/The Canning Process"

Jared Jacang Maher, Westword
"A Hunger to Help"

Kevin Pang, Chicago Tribune
"Plan D"

Newspaper feature writing

Sarah DiGregorio, The Village Voice
"Is Foie Gras Torture?"

Cliff Doerksen, Chicago Reader
"The Real American Pie"

Mike Sula, Chicago Reader
"The Charcuterie Underground"

Newspaper food section

Sheryl Julian, The Boston Globe

Jon Bonné and Miriam Morgan, San Francisco Chronicle

Joe Yonan, The Washington Post

Magazine feature writing about restaurants and/or chefs

Alan Richman, GQ
"American Pie"

Anya von Bremzen, Saveur
"Soul of a City"

Francis Lam, Gourmet
"The Last Chinese BBQ"

Magazine feature writing with recipes

Dana Bowen, Saveur
"The Wonders of Ham"

Francine Maroukian, Jon Reiner, Staff, of Esquire
"How Men Eat"

Matt Goulding, Men's Health
"The Beauty of the Beast"

Magazine feature writing without recipes

Alan Richman, GQ
"Hillbilly Truffle"

Barry Estabrook, Gourmet
"The Price of Tomatoes"

Rafi Khatchadourian, The New Yorker
"The Taste Makers"

Craig Claiborne distinguished restaurant reviews

Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly
"Hot Birria, Cold Cerveza"
"Hare Today"

Patric Kuh, Los Angeles Magazine
"Border Crossing"
"Peru Calling"
"The Classic"

Jason Sheehan, Westword
"White on White"

Reporting on health, environment or nutrition

Monica Eng, Chicago Tribune
"Nacho Lunch? Yes, Every Day"

Daniel Engber, Slate Magazine
"Throwing out the Wheat"

Rowan Jacobsen, EatingWell
"... Or Not to Bee"

Food blog

Aileen Gallagher, Daniel Maurer, Alexandra Vallis of Grub Street New York

Ed Levine, Serious Eats

Hank Shaw, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Food-related columns

Colman Andrews, Gourmet
"Veni, Vidi, Vetri"
"It's up to You, New York, New York"
"Smoke and Miracles"

Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, Minnesota Monthly
"The Doughnut Gatherer"
"Capital Grills"
"Pizza Perfect"

Rachel Wharton, Edible Brooklyn
"Back of the House" -- spring, summer, fall and winter

Writing on spirits, wine or beer

Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, Minnesota Monthly
"Chardonnay Uncorked"

Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly
"The New Cocktailians"

Lettie Teague, Food & Wine
"Is Grüner a Great Wine or a Groaner"

Web site focusing on food, beverage, restaurants or nutrition, Jane Goldman, Tanya Steel, James Oseland

Multimedia food feature

Antoinette Bruno, Amanda McDougall, Jonathan J. Proville of
"The Art and Economics of Charcuterie, Parts 2, 3, 4"

Kevin Pang,
"The Cheeseburger Show"

Robb Walsh,
"Not So Clear Cut"

M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award

John T. Edge, Oxford American
"In Through the Back Door"

Alan Richman, GQ
"Le Petit Gourmet"

Francine Prose, Saveur
"Faith and Bacon"


Baking and Dessert

"Baking" by James Peterson

"DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style" by David Guas, Raquel Pelzel

"Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day" by Peter Reinhart

American Cooking

"My New Orleans" by John Besh

"Real Cajun" by Donald Link with Paula Disbrowe

"The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor" by Matt Lee, Ted Lee


"Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology" by Randall Grahm

"The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire" by Linda Himelstein

"World Whisky" by Charles Maclean

Cooking from a Professional Point of View:

"Araxi: Seasonal Recipes from the Celebrated Whistler Restaurant" by James Walt

"Momofuku" by David Chang, Peter Meehan

"The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts" by The French Culinary Institute with Judith Choate

General Cooking

"Ad Hoc at Home" by Thomas Keller

"Salt to Taste: The Keys to Confident, Delicious Cooking" by Marco Canora with Catherine Young

"The Pleasures of Cooking for One" by Judith Jones

Healthy Focus

"EatingWell Comfort Foods Made Healthy" by Jesse Price, the Editors of EatingWell

"Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes from the Celebrated Spa" by Dean Rucker with Marah Stets

"Love Soup: 160 All-New Vegetarian Recipes from the Author of The Vegetarian Epicure" by Anna Thomas


"Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy" By Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, Tanya Bastianich Manuali

"Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking" by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo

"The Country Cooking of Ireland" by Colman Andrews

Reference and Scholarship

"Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States" by Andrew Coe

"Encyclopedia of Pasta" by Oretta Zanini de Vita, Translated by Maureen B. Fant

"Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, Completely Revised and Updated" by Librarie Larousse

Single Subject

"Pasta Sfoglia" by Ron Suhanosky, Colleen Suhanosky

"Weber's Way to Grill" by Jamie Purviance

"Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods" by Eugenia Bone

Writing and Literature

"Save the Deli" by David Sax

"The Seasons on Henry's Farm: A Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm" by Terra Brockman

"Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal" by Tristram Stuart


"Eat Ate" Photographer: Earl Carter

"New American Table" Photographer: Paul Brissman

"Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way" Photographer: Santiago Solo Monllor

America's Classic Awards

Al's French Frys (1251 Williston Road, South Burlington, Vermont; Owner: Bill Bissonette)

The Bright Star (304 19th St. North, Bessemer, Alabama; Owner: Jimmy Koikos and Nick Koikos)

Calumet Fisheries (3259 E 95th Street, Chicago, Illinois; Owners: The Kotlick and Toll Families)

Gustavus Inn (PO Box 60, Gustavus, Alaska; Owners: JoAnn and David Lesh)

Mary & Tito's Cafe (2711 Fourth St. N.W., Albuquerque, New Mexico; Owners: Mary Gonzales and Antoinette Knight)