Saturday, May 14, 2011

Surrounded by Culinary Greatness: James Beard Awards Ceremony & Gala

The James Beard Awards were this past Monday but already seem like a distant memory – I wish I could do it again!  Rubbing shoulders with the best chefs and TV food personalities in the country?  Sounds good to me.  We walked past the red carpet (green, actually) as Susan Ungaro (President of the James Beard Foundation), Tom Colicchio, Marcus Samuelsson, and his model wife Maya Haile were arriving.  The funniest thing was when one of the press photographers thought we were actually some kind of famous couple (see photo below - hahah in hindsight, we should have played along). 
I was no more than a foot away as Bobby Flay was getting interviewed.  James Beard Award winner Saipin Chutima (Lotus of Siam) sat two rows in front of us during the awards ceremony.  We ran into Yigit (winner of Top Chef: Just Desserts) and my husband yelled out to him and said hello.  We saw Wylie Dufresne of wd~50, then leaned up against a table while we ate our food right next to co-host and chef Traci Des Jardins and her son.  According to my husband, I squeezed by Daniel Boulud to get a spoon (hahah oops, sorry, Daniel).  I could go on, but I know what you all really want to know about…. 

How was the food?  AMAZING.  Culinary geniuses.  This was literally my dream come true.   Of the 28 chef offerings (we had a lot of eating ahead of us), the hubs and I managed to polish off 20 of them.  On top of that, we managed to squeeze in some wine, champagne, tequila, and specialty cocktails by the mixologists of the evening (it was a long night).

This was truly a night to remember.  I have my good luck to thank, but I more so need to thank Green & Black’s for providing the tickets and Serious Eats for randomly choosing me!

 My Ultimate Melting Pot Menu – bolded items are what we ate!

1. Jose Andres: Jose’s Tacos > Fermin Jamon Iberico de Bellota with American Caviar

2. Sponsor Chefs David Awad and Marco Bahena: A Terroir Tasting of Honey, Olive Oil, and Salt

3. Timon Balloo: Smoked Sea Scallops with Pickled Fava Beans and White Soy

4. Octavio Becerra: Banh Mi – Pork Belly and Ears with Kumquats, Pistachios, and Lardons

5. Maneet Chauhan: Spicy Tomatillo-Mint Gazpacho with Anchovy Naan Bites and Pickled Jicama Sticks

6. Saipin Chutima: Sai Oua – Spicy Northern Thai Sausage, Koi Soi – Thai Certified Angus Beef Tartare

7. Tyson Cole: Sea Urchin with Texas Corn and Yuzu

8. Jose Garces: Arroz a la Cazuela with Braised Rabbit, Chorizo, and Lobster

9. Carla Goncalves: Pao de Rala – Traditional Alentejo Almond Crust with Candied White Pumpkin Filling

10. Mohan Ismail: Caramel Tiger Shrimp

11. Pano I. Karatassos: Octopus Carpaccio with Santorini Fava Beans, Bulgur-Stuffed Grape Leaves, and Greek Red Caviar Mousse

12. David Lawrence: Maple Syrup-Braised Certified Angus Beef Short Ribs with Horseradish-Creamed Anson Mills Grits

13. Yasmin Lozada-Hissom: Manjar Crujiente de Maracuya y Kiwicha – Passion Fruit Manjar Cake with Popped Amaranth Praline

14. Chef Marisoll: Miniature Pork Pasteles with Guava and Barrilito Tres Estrellas Rum Sauce, Pork Skin Croutons, and Micro-Cilantro

15. Alexander Ong: Superior Farms Tumeric-Braised Lamb Belly with Jalapeno Vinegar

16. Ken Oringer: White Curry Tripe with Galangal and Crunchy Garlic

17. Sponsor Chef Mario Pagan: Lamb Confit with Apio Grits, Dark Rum-Pomegranate Reduction, and Goat Cheese Crumble

18.  Luciano Pellegrini: Lobster Carpaccio with Sea Urchin and Osetra Caviar Dressing

19. Yigit Pura: Tonka Bean-Infused Dark Chocolate Cremeux with Organic Mulberry Compote, Floral Red Fruit Tea, and Chocolate Puffs

20. Andy Ricker: Sweet and Savory Steamed Thai Rice Cakes – Pumpkin with Shallots, Melon with Sesame, Banana with Black Bean

21. Martin J. Rios: Blue Lump Crab with Corn-Smoked Serrano Flan and Chorizo Powder

22. Michael Solomonov: Smoked Chopped Liver with Chicken Cracklings, Persimmon Pickle, and Housemade Basturma

23. Kristine Subido: Cane Vinegar-Marinated Amberjack with Pickled Onions, Chile, and Chicharron

24. Vikram Sunderam: Avocado-Banana Chaat

25. Toshio Suzuki: King Salmon Sushi

26. Sponsor Chefs Scott Popovic and Peter Vauthy: Certified Angus Beef Prime Rib-Eye Cap with Lobster Creamed Corn and Sauce Diane

27. Sameh Wadi: Lamb Kubbeh Nayeh with Traditional Garnishes

28. Rachel Yang: Korean Bean Paste-Cured and Cold-Smoked Walu with Fennel Kimchi 

Susan Ungaro and Tom Colicchio

Photographer: "Hey, are you guys [insert name of C-list Asian couple here]?"

Tom Colicchio, Susan Ungaro, Marcus Samuelsson, Maya Haile

BAM Emeril Lagasse

Co-host Ming Tsai getting interviewed

Susan Ungaro kicking off the awards

The co-hosts for the awards: Tom Colicchio, Traci Des Jardins, Ming Tsai

Parade of Chefs - I bow down to these chefs for feeding us spectacular food at the gala reception

Anne Burrell with Dana Barba, Coca Cola VP of Region Commercialization

Floyd Cardoz and Susan Feniger, 2011 Gala Chef co-chairs

Duff Goldman and Lisa Callaghan, Director of Culinary Relations, All-Clad Metalcrafters

Wine educator Kevin Zraly busting out pushups before accepting his Lifetime Achievement Award

Danny Meyer and team accepting the Outstanding Restaurant Award for Eleven Madison Park

Jose Andres accepting the last award of the night - Outstanding Chef

Piggie Diaries meets the real piggies of the night

Patting the piggie's booty


sie wai said...

Looks like you guys had a great time! I heart your dress! :)

I want a pig for a pet now too!

Post a Comment