The James Beard Awards, handed out by the … James Beard Foundation (shocking I know), are the most prestigious culinary awards this country has to offer. The annual event concluded just a short while ago … and the winners have been announced. Amongst some of the notable awards … Marea in NYC won for the all to important title of Best New Restaurant, while Daniel Boulud’s flagship Daniel scored Restaurant of the Year.
James Beard Award-winning writer Josh Ozersky has scribed a very interesting piece for Time Magazine on the cosmic shift in the world of media. Specifically focused on his area of expertise (that of the restaurant critic and food), Ozersky’s blurb was inspired by the recent exit of Raymond Sokolov from his post at the Wall Street Journal.
Ozersky, who is perhaps best known for writing The Hamburger: A History, goes on to lament the decline of the restaurant critic as a viable job option in this new world and often points to a good bit of rhetoric in identifying the cause of this decline. I have my own thoughts on the transition of the media as it pertains to the world of food, and perhaps I’ll pen something on that topic in the near future.
While it’s a bit of a pot shot on where things are and where things are going, the article (entitled Decline of Food Critics), is worth checking out. Before you head over, you can also check out a little more on Josh in this ABC interview:
The neat thing about the awards is that have nationwide categories as well as regional categories. Much like last year, Atlanta area chefs has a handful of entrants. Pano Karatassos, Scott Peacock, and Kevin Gillespie got some national attention … as did Miller Union. In the Southeast region, locals Linton Hopkins and Billy Allin are in contention … so too is the soon to be local Hugh Acheson.
The winners will be announced in May, so for now all we can do is wait. You can find the full list on the JB website (warning: that’s a pdf). However, we’ll highlight the Atlanta standouts right after the jump!
Georgia has long been unofficially known as the Empire State of the South. Now, it looks like we’re finally ready to make that official (at least in the restaurant world). Empire State South is set to be the first foray into the Atlanta dining scene for the accomplished Hugh Acheson. Sporting a progressive take on Southern cuisine, Empire State is destined to add a whole new class level to the meat and three concept. Meanwhile, it will serve as the anchor restaurant for the 999 Peachtree Street office and retail building in Midtown, Atlanta.
For the better part of a year, we’ve known of Acheson’s intentions to open Empire State South. Initially, the opening date was identified as Spring 2010. Now, according to the restaurant’s website, that season has been narrowed down to April of this year. More details after the jump!
Late last December, I ran a little post on then upcoming meal at the James Beard House. Atlanta chef/restaurateur Shaun Doty was scheduled to be the guest chef for one of the JBH’s special dinners. Appropriately named Sean’s Southern Charm, the meal went down on February 3rd. The good folk at James Beard were kind enough to post pictures of the event. Here’s a sampling, but the full album can be found on the James Beard website. If my original post isn’t enough, you can also check out the event page on JB:
More cool news for the Dirty. Recent ITCK participant Shaun Doty is headed to NYC in early February. While there, he’ll cook dinner at the James Beard House. In addition to handing out the James Beard Award, the JBF is a full fledged organization that offers recipes, hosts events, and even helps educate people.
One of their recurring events is a dinner series featuring a chef du jour. On February 3rd, that chef will be the aforementioned Doty. More details after the jump.
Was puttering around the ‘net the other day. A cookout was around the corner so I wanted to see if there was something out there for me to do with my burgers. Luckily, the James Beard Foundation recently posted a recipe straight out of 1972. It’s pretty simple, but quite delish if cooked properly.
“My Favorite Hamburger” comes from James Beard’s American Cookery cookbook, a book well worth its $17.15 price tag.
Anyway, here’s what you have:
2 pounds ground chuck or round with a minimum of fat
3 tablespoons grated onion
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons heavy cream
3 teaspoons oil
3 tablespoons butter
Yields 4 Servings
Pat the meat into a rather flat cake. Grate the onion directly into the center. Add the salt and pepper and carefully spoon the heavy cream into it. Blend well with the hands and form into one large cake or 4 smaller cakes. If you want the meat rare, have the cakes about 1 1⁄2 inches thick.
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy skillet. When quite hot, add the meat and cook to your favorite state of doneness. Turn once or twice during the cooking process. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you make one large cake, use two very wide spatulas to handle the difficult job of turning it. Serve at once, along with sautéed potatoes and a tomato and onion salad.
So I actually have a ton of work to do right now for my 9-5 … thus, this will be brief. Maybe I’ll come back later to add some context and some links…but in the meantime check out the several Atlanta culinary establishments and personalities that are semi-finalists for the foodie equivalent of the Oscars.
While Atlanta lacks the culinary depth of a place like Chicago, we do quite well at the top. The JBAs certainly seem to agree with me on the second part of that statement.
As an aside: we launched two-months ago today – and I really wanted to write a thank you post and include a little prize for one lucky reader. I don’t have the time right now, so make sure to check back over the weekend (or perhaps Monday) for that post! Okay, onto the list!
I love to hear about all the international conventions going on! I am never able to attend, so I basically get the neener-neener feeling by simply visiting the website of the offending event! That said, Tokyo Taste looks like it will be quite an event. Though Terminites (correct conjugation???) do not have the personal connection to this event like we did with Madrid Fusion (internal), I thought I’d share a little bit about the event.
Last night, I met a few buddies over at Craftbar for some drinks, a nibble of food, and a touch of stuffiness. Craftbar and Craft, the big brother that looms upstairs, are Atlanta’s versions of Chef Tom Colicchio’s New York flagship. I went with high expectations; based on our brief flirtation, I am anxious to see how this potential love affair develops. Despite a hiccup (or two), there is enough promise here to warrant at least a couple of return trips.