The Beard Awards--Oscars of the Food World!

tomorrow tonight is the 20th anniversary of the beard awards and it will be held at avery fisher hall at lincoln center for the arts.i've been to many beard award nights, some thankfully to receive and others to rejoice when favorite colleagues do. at one award night, when my nominated book did not win, my friend arthur schwartz, whose book also didn't win that time approached me to be on his radio show the following day called "losers"! another dear friend and colleague, rosanne gold, told arthur he was crazy but i jumped at the chance to air a long held opinion which was: "i don't believe in awards for artists. it's like comparing matisse to picasso. but i have to admit i sure am happy when i win!" i now feel somewhat differently about the awards. for one thing, it brings together the entire food community in a most dramatic way. winning is not the main issue--it's the participation that is thrilling. you'll be able to see the results on the beard website sooner than i'd be able to post them on the blog but i will post my personal impressions possibly along with photos. if you are interested, here's the press release from the event publicists of bullfrog and baum.

BEHIND THE BEARD AWARDS: Celebrating Two Decades of Outstanding Culinary Stars at New York’s Legendary Lincoln Center Red carpet. Black tie. Bright lights. Big Stars. What glamorous gala is happening on Monday, May 7 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall? It isn’t the Grammys. The Oscars are in L.A. No, it’s the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception. Hosted by CBS Early Show anchor Hannah Storm, the Beard Awards will glitter with television celebrities and stars of the food world. And because this year is also the 20th anniversary of the venerable James Beard Foundation, the country’s preeminent nonprofit culinary organization, the food will be dressed to the nines. DRESS: BLACK TIE FOR THE RED CARPET This year’s Awards evening kicks off with a 25-foot-long red carpet along which the country’s top culinarians will prove they look as good in black tie as they do in chefs’ whites. Joining NYC TV’s EMMY-nominated host of Eat Out New York Kelly Choi on the red carpet will be such celebrity and culinary superstars as Stephanie March, Ted Allen, Katie Lee Joel, Martha Stewart, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, José Andrés, Tom Colicchio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Padma Lakshmi, and Marcus Samuelsson. As the Awards’ official red carpet host, Choi will uncover such juicy behind-the-scenes morsels as where nominees and attendees are dining before the event, where the after-parties are being held, and who are this year’s favorites to win. DRINKS: COCKTAILS ON THE TERRACE New to the event this year is a special cocktail component during the Gala Reception: Cocktails on the Terrace, overlooking Lincoln Center plaza. While enjoying the spring night, guests will sip an array of sophisticated spirits. To celebrate the exciting resurgence of classic cocktails, Original Dry Martinis, (gin and dry white vermouth) and French 75s (Champagne, gin, and lemon juice) made with elegantly balanced Plymouth Gin, will be among the cocktails mixed on the Terrace. DINING: RISING STAR CHEF MENU As is to be expected from the renowned James Beard Foundation, the Gala Reception will feature an array of sumptuous culinary offerings. Reception Executive Chef Todd English, who was the Beard Foundation’s first Rising Star Chef award winner back in 1991 for his cooking at Olives in Charlestown, Massachusetts, leads a stellar team of Rising Star Chef winners and nominees in preparing the food at this year’s gala. Guests can sample a menu of seasonal creations and decadent indulgences in Avery Fisher Hall’s spacious foyer, including: Grant Achatz, Alinea: Puffed Morels with Ramps and Black Pepper; Morel Financiers with Smoked Paprika and Jamón Ibérico Jean-François Bruel, Daniel: Four-Terrine Tasting of Duck à la Orange; Guinea Hen with Jack Daniels;Rabbit Porchetta; and Pressed Foie Gras with Four-Spice Turnips Andrew Carmellini, A Voce: Duck Meatballs David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar and Momofuku Ssäm Bar: Poached Green Asparagus with Miso Butter and Rice Crackers Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière, Acme Chophouse, Mijita Cocina Mexicana: Sonoma Rabbit Escabèche with Fava Bean Crostini Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park: Peekytoe Crab Cappuccino with Lemon Verbena Christopher Lee, Gilt: Smoked Japanese Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with Pickled White Asparagus and Spring Garlic Vinaigrette Douglas Rodriguez, Alma de Cuba, De La Costa, Ola Miami: Duck Breast Salad with Hearts of Palm and Coconut Marcus Samuelsson, Aquavit, Riingo: Herring Potato Salad; Cured Salmon with Burnt Leek Nougatine DESSERT: A SWEET FINALE Acclaimed pastry chefs will create sugar-infused concoctions that set a new standard for sweet treats: Carina Ahlin, Aquavit: White Chocolate Cheesecake with Rhubarb and Almond Crumb Dominique Ansel, Daniel: Tahitian Vanilla Bavarois with Mango–Cilantro Gelée, Passion Fruit, and Banana Sorbet David Carmichael, Gilt: Marionberry Brûlée Strudel with Muscovado Granité April Robinson, A Voce: Chocolate Diablo Panna Cotta with Amarena Cherries and Cocoa Nibs Allison Vines-Rushing, Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar: Banana Pudding Brûlée with Cat’s Tongue Cookies