Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Live From New York.....

I've always had the fantasy of going to the James Beard Awards in New York City. A dream come true.... to mingle, clink Champagne glasses and glide my way from one end of the gala to the other, smiling, flirting and giving double cheek air kisses.... And why not? I'd be in my element, the best of the best, among passionate gourmands that lust for that perfect bite and among Chefs devoted to their craft..... dedicated to the art of pleasure.

Sigh.... As fate would have it, I had the opportunity to attend the awards this year, but much to my dismay, I was not able to go. What to do , what to do? I needed to find someone to go in my place that would be as thrilled as myself and that would appreciate the honor of being in the presence of culinary Gods. I knew just the right person who could be my eyes, ears and mouth, and who wouldn't be shy to ask the Chefs silly questions or for the favor of a picture ... I wanted the Chefs to acknowledge that I wanted to be there more than anything... so I asked my follow foodie to bring me home some "love" ..... The Peace sign is dedicated to .... For the Love of Food!

This is my friend Laura Altamari's take on this unforgettable evening:

The James Beard Foundation Awards shine a spotlight on the best and brightest talent in the food and beverage industry. “The Oscars of the food world.” —from chefs and restaurateurs to cookbook authors and food journalists to restaurant designers and architects and more—the James Beard Foundation Awards are the highest honors for food and beverage professionals working in America. The awards are presented each Spring at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. Nominees and winners are fĂȘted at a weekend of gala events in New York City that has become the social and gastronomic highlight of the year.

The best of the best descended upon New York City in the hopes of leaving with the coveted James Beard Foundation medal firmly placed around their necks. It was the who's who of the gastronomic universe arriving dressed to the nines in black tie couture. Of course, there was a red carpet. The media was in a frenzy to hear Chef's comments and opinions ranging from Jamie Olivers Food Revolution to going Green to the survival of the restaurant industry in this horrid economy.

And yes, there was a press room buzzing with press (of course), winners, well-wishers, sponsors (with GREAT food and drink) and alot of very happy people (including ME!).
The Questions of the evening? "I say Foodie, you say______? ”Gastro-grubber to Gastronome” to "Huh"? were the popular answers in an attempt to finally name those who place their food on a pedestal, take photos of it, write about it, Tweet about it and dine out in every Boro of New York just for variety.
Another question: "Tattoos"? Hmmm, this sparked many smiles and alot of "You wouldn't want me to show you, would you?" or “We would have to go to a hotel for you to see it”. And yet another question regarding indulgence and food, most of the responses were "something my Mother cooks".

Who were the "hot and spicy" dressers for the evening? Female: Kelly Choi (doesn't she ALWAYS look so damn good??). Male: Jean-Georges Vongerichten (who else??) - so dapper in a tux, not a hair out of place and looking like he just stepped out of the shower -

And there was food, glorious food from new faces and the aboriginal masters which tantalized the taste buds. The libations ranged from the Perrier Jouet, which endlessly poured throughout the evening to the haute made cocktails from Pegu.

It was a grand evening, never to be forgotten with memories of the red carpet arrivals, the buzz and jokes in the press room to the Champagne shower-spray that Chef Boulud gave everyone at the after party.

Thank you Laura