Check out the last line of Bourdain’s interview part one, in which he lauds . . . wait for it . . . well read it for yourself.
About 18 months ago Tony asked me to tell him one place, just one, he had to check out when he swung through MPLS to make a Heartland show. I had just eaten at Piccolo and told him about Doug and the restaurant, and I was thrilled that he shot there. The Piccolo segment of No Reservations was brilliant and I only wished that Doug got nominated for his work. Although last night Isaac Becker won a Beard Award he sure deserved, but then again so did all the others in our region.
Bravo to Isaac. And as someone who has a deep relationship with the James Beard Foundation, I can tell you that I think they do an amazing job promoting the hospitality business in our country and I am proud to be a part of that. Everyone is indeed a winner. Saccharine, but true.
The awards were great, Zraly was insanely emotional after his star turn and I was backstage when he went on and came off, along with everyone from Daniel to Keller to J-Gold, from Stitt to Pepin and Colicchio. It was quite the scene back there—a thrill—and I will never forget it. Here is the list of all winners. Needless to say 11 Madison Park cleaned up. I have been saying it for a year on this page that you needed to make reservations ASAP, and I hope some of you did, cause, well, good luck now.
Fare Start won the Humanitarian Award, very moving.
Grant Achatz told me Next is going great, and I plan to head down to Chicago soon to check it out. Gavin Kaysen told me to check out the Epicerie and new resto across the street from Lincoln Center that he and Daniel opened. It was the first after-party stop we made and the place was wall to wall: killer room and amazing food. Per Se and 11 Mad also hosted sick after parties and quite frankly I am beyond blown away by the weekend’s festivities; I need to come home just to get back on my diet.
JGV won best new restaurant for ABC Kitchen, and Andres won for Outstanding Chef. Sitting with him, Keller, and Danko et al for the majority of the night was a rare treat. Amazing chefs. Danko is a class act and told me having the award nomination is nerve wracking. Anyway, the list of chefs in attendance was mind-boggling.
All the blogs have tons of pics, and you should check out eater.com, seriouseats.com, or any of the other great sites for all the latest and greatest. I watched the end of the awards from the green room in the basement after handing out an American Classic award and ate meatballs from The Meatball Shop with ABC’s Sarah Rosenberg as we both stood riveted to the TV monitors to see who would win the last awards of night.
Become a member of the JBF and come to next year’s awards, you won’t be sorry. More later this week.