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The James Beard Awards 2011: A Who’s-Who from Fine Cooking

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Another day, another Q&A with our star contributors nominated for a James Beard Award, the Oscars of the food world! Catch up on our countdown to next week’s ceremony (and visit The James Beard Foundation’s site for ticket info).

Monday’s post: Find out what strange foods our Beard nominees have eaten
Tuesday’s post: Find out what our nominees ALWAYS have on hand in their kitchens
Wednesday’s post: You’ll be surprised to learn about their guilty food pleasures (these pros are just like us!)

Q. What’s the last thing you cooked?

Fany Gerson: Avocado popsicles

Colman Andrews: Merguez, torpedo onions, and homegrown cayenne chiles, all grilled, then chopped up and mixed together with fresh lime juice and salt

Joanne Chang: A stir-fry with shrimp, calamari, pickled mustard greens, vegetables, garlic, ginger, all served on brown rice

Nancy Oakes: Family meal: baja fish tacos, salsa verde, corn relish, cole slaw, tartar sauce, salsa fresca

Christina Tosi: Vegetable soup (I’m just getting over a cold!)

I never had a family meal like the one Nancy Oakes just made when I worked in restaurants! Tune in tomorrow to find out what our nominees would do for a living if they weren’t food professionals…

Recipes from the Nominees
Fany Gerson makes pan de muerto pan de muerto recipe
  Authentic Pan de Muerto

Mexican pastry chef Fany Gerson‘s first cookbook, My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats, came out last September. It’s nominated for a Baking and Dessert Book award.

Dingle Pies lemon bars recipe
Colman Andrews: Dingle Pies   Joanne Chang: Lemon Bars

Colman Andrews was the co-founder of Saveur and its editor in chief from 2002 to 2006. He has already won 8 James Beard Awards and is the author of five books on food, including The Country Cooking of Ireland. Currently, he is the editorial director of TheDailyMeal.com. This year, he is nominated for the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award for a Departures story called “Everything Comes from the Sea.”

Joanne Chang is the chef-owner of Boston’s award-winning Flour Bakery, and co-owner of Myers + Chang, a Chinese restaurant, with her husband, Christopher Myers. Her first cookbook, Flour, came out last October. She’s nominated for the Outstanding Pastry Chef award.

Herb-and-Salt-Crusted Standing Rib Roast with Morel Sauce Cauliflower Soup with Marcona Almond and Piquillo Pepper Relish
Nancy Oakes: Herb-and-Salt-Crusted Standing Rib Roast with Morel Sauce   Nancy Oakes:Cauliflower Soup with Marcona Almond and Piquillo Pepper Relish

Nancy Oakes is the chef and co-owner of Boulevard restaurant in San Francisco and coauthor of Boulevard: The Coobook. She is nominated for the Outstanding Restaurant Award. Last year, Nancy created a killer all-occassion party menu for Fine Cooking that starred an incredible standing rib roast . We’re still talking about it.

Christina Tosi began her career in the kitchens of NYC restaurants Bouley and wd-50. She’s now the pastry chef and co-owner of Manhattan’s Momfuku Milk Bar. Her amazing Strawberries and Corn-Cream Layer Cake was recently featured in our Classic/Classic Update series. She’s nominated for the Rising Star Chef of the Year award.

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