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James Beard Awards 2013 Hangover Observations

[Photos: Daniel Krieger]

Last night the illuminati of the restaurant world and all their hangers on descended on Lincoln Center to give each other awards, pose for pictures, and drink champagne at the "Oscars" of the food world, the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards. New York City almost swept the entire thing, taking almost every big category: Outstanding Chef: [TIE] David Chang and Paul Kahan; Outstanding Pastry Chef: Brooks Headley, Del Posto; Rising Star Chef: Danny Bowien, Mission Chinese Food; Outstanding Restaurateur: Maguy Le Coze, Le Bernardin; Outstanding Restaurant: Blue Hill; Outstanding Service: Del Posto; and Restaurant Design and Graphics (75 Seats and Under): Isa, Taavo Somer.

Remember when Pete Wells wrote that New York City was "under-represented"? Hah, no. Major cities like Los Angeles, Houston, and Las Vegas came up completely empty.

Of course, the real fun of the Beards begins when the final award is announced and tarted up food world personalities are unleashed into the gala room and the streets of Manhattan for the post awards party circuit. Places like the third floor of The Spotted Pig, The Nomad Loft (not the hotel!), KTCHN Restaurant (for Art Smith's Queer for Beard), Del Posto, and Momomfuku Noodle Bar. It's time for Hangover Observations.

First, the awards from the press pit:

Maguy Le Coze was, quite possibly, the best dressed person at the awards gala (she was wearing an elaborate shawl with a tasteful black dress) and she seemed totally relaxed after her monster win for best restaurateur. Sadly, a notable PR big wig in the press room had no idea who Le Coze was when she won.

At the madhouse Gala Reception taste-around after the awards at Lincoln Center, absolutely everyone was raving about Nate Appleman's Pulp Fiction-inspired Royale With Cheese. (He served it at the Chipotle station.) Maybe he should switch from burritos to sliders? Keep an eye on this kid.

Though Marcus Samuelsson's jerk bacon (somehow based on Django Unchained?) created one hell of a bottleneck on the terrace (see the gallery). The food-on-film theme ranged from pretty-awesome (see above Royale With Cheese) to just completely on-the-nose (Traci Des Jardins' Tortilla Soup Tortilla Soup).

Victory Beers for Paul Kahan and David Chang [Photo: Helen Rosner]

None of Houston's four nominees for this year's James Beard Awards took home prizes, but they did look good.

A bit superstitious, Frasca Food and Wine co-owner Bobby Stuckey credited the good mojo of the day to a few things, including a custom pair of cufflinks that depict a "frasca" branch (which is also in the logo of the restaurant) received from a guest and a variety of "number 13" things in his life including the fact that yesterday was his 13th wedding anniversary.

Another well-dressed person who seemed oddly relaxed after a big win: Danny Bowien. In an ingenious stroke of wardrobe planning, his suit matched the color of the Beard Award.


Padma's dress matched Marcus' pants. They did not plan this.

Jeff Katz was beaming about Del Posto's win for Outstanding Service. Between the Beard Award and the new yoga studio that he runs with his wife, this guy's having a great year.

Ed Levine kept his shoes on all night.

As noted in the liveblog, Greg Grossman is going to college next year (NYU, Gallatin) but perhaps more importantly, he's also working on a Paleo diet meal program affiliated with a local New York gym.

Pandemonium ensued at Alice Tully Hall when word got out that Bar Boulud was not hosting an afterparty this year. This completely threw a wrench into everyone's after party plans. The lucky few that got the paper invitations from Mr. Will Guidara headed to the EMP/Nomad party. More on that in a bit.

Thomas Keller's restaurant Per Se was closed for a private after-party. In attendance were people like Jacques Pepin and Daniel Boulud.

Also check out the shoes of Andrew Zimmern and Greenhouse Tavern chef Jonathon Sawyer.

The Nomad Loft (not the hotel!)


Eleven Madison Park was not an afterparty spot this time around. Apparently they're wimps and can't clean spilled beer off of the three-Michelin star floor. This time the team held their afterparty at the Nomad Loft (not the hotel!), held in a photography studio on the sixth floor of a random building on a quiet stretch of West 27th Street. Those who got there early had a secret Chinese food feast in the back.

It should be stated for the record that a "low key" EMP/Nomad party is still a super soigne operation; these guys don't do anything half-assed. The party started out very mellow, with buckets of rose, Manhattans on tap, but it quickly turned into a zoo around 11:30 p.m.

In attendance: Brian Canlis, Melanie Dunea, Jamie Bissonnette, Ken Oringer, Daniel Humm, Michael Chernow, Daniel Holzman, Belinda Chang, and so much more. Southern contingent rolled deep with the likes of John Besh (who called it the "best awards, ever") and Alon Shaya (Domenica, New Orleans). Andrew Zimmern was there handing out rose in plastic cups when you came in. Also: negronis on tap and bags of chips. The party was eventually broken up by the cops. Tweeted Brian Canlis: "The legend continues."

Del Posto

Lidia Bastianich made a toast to Del Posto for winning two James Beard Awards. The party got a bit, let's say, out of hand. They ran out of glassware at the Del Posto party and the staff looked kind of panicked about the crowd. The bartenders were getting pummeled and were trying to represent well (they did win for Outstanding Service after all). It got so crowded that the bouncers wouldn't let anyone in (one-in, one-out) and there was a group in tuxes outside who were PISSED. In attendance: Anthony Sasso from Casa Mono, Viet Pham, Adam Goldberg, Brooks, Ladner, Michael Anthony, Danny Bowien. Cecilia Chiang held court well after midnight. At 94. Badass.

The best new hashtag in the DrewNieporentsphere: #drewspics

Spotted Pig

At the Spotted Pig, the third floor had Bloomfield, Friedman, Frank Falcinelli, most of team Mission, George Mendes, Michael Schwartz, Ignacio Mattos. Spotted Pig people were (unsurprisingly) ordering gnudi and burgers. A tipster reports that Thomas Keller left the Spotted Pig because he couldn't get food. Apparently Bill Telepan couldn't get food either, but he just happily bounced to Corner Bistro.

Noodle Bar


Over at Momofuku Noodle Bar, things rolled late as the final stop. David Chang toasted his team, saying, "What really makes Momofuku are the people who are here." In attendance were the likes of Best Chef: South winner Tory McPhail and Best Chef: NYC Wylie Dufresne. Also in attendance: Stephanie Izard, Kristin Kish, Brian Canlis, Andrew Friedman, and Chris Kostow. Let Chang take it away:

Coverage Across the Eater Universe

· Kahan, Izard, Aviary WIN James Beard Awards [Eater Chicago]
· Colorado's Frasca Food and Wine and Chef Jennifer Jasinski [Eater Denver]
· Houston Chefs Didn't Win, But They Looked Good [Eater Houston]
· Restaurant Design and Graphics Goes to Juvia [Eater Miami]
· Tory McPhail Wins James Beard Best Chef South [Eater NOLA]
· New York Chefs & Restaurants Win Big at the 2013 JBFAs [Eater NY]
· Here's Ken Forkish and Gabe Rucker, Bumping Beards [Eater PDX]
· Gabriel Rucker Wins Best Chef: Northwest at 2013 JBFAs [Eater PDX]
· Bowien, State Bird, Kostow Win 2013 James Beard Awards [Eater SF]

· All Hangover Observations on Eater [-E-]
· All James Beard Awards Coverage on Eater [-E-]