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The James Beard Awards 2011: Fine Cooking Contributors Steal the Show

Flan Imposible (Impossible Chocolate Flan)

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Our final Q&A with the Fine Cooking contributors nominated for the prestigious James Beard Awards asks a deep, philosophical question:

Q. What would you be if you weren’t a chef/cookbook author?

Joanne Chang: A doctor
Fany Gerson: Something creative that uses my hands, like an art teache, or a singer in a band
Bruce Weinstein: A butcher
Mark Scarbrough: A distiller
Robb Walsh: A lifeguard. Doesn’t that sound relaxing?
Colman Andrews: A singer with a rock-and-roll bar band
Christina Tosi: A professional wanderlust, teacher, truck driver, or a crazy arts & crafts lady

So we’ve got a doctor, a butcher, a distiller, a crafter, a lifeguard, and two wannabe singers. Who knew? Come back next week to see a wrap-up post where I’ll share pics and stories from the awards ceremony and gala event. Want to come? Visit The James Beard Foundation’s site for ticket info and event schedule.

Catch up on our coutdown to the Beard Awards and get more recipes from our rock stars:

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!)
Thursday’s post:
Our contributors are eating pretty well these days, Find out what they last ate for dinner.

Recipes from the Nominees
Homemade Pop-Tarts recipe Homemade Oreos recipe
Joanne Chang: Homemade Pop-Tarts   Joanne Chang: Homemade Oreos

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.

Flan Imposible (Impossible Chocolate Flan) recipe Gorditas de Piloncillo (Sweet Fried Masa Cakes)  recipe
Fany Gerson: Flan Imposible (Impossible Chocolate Flan)   Fany Gerson: Gorditas de Piloncillo (Sweet Fried Masa Cakes)

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.

Goat Cheese Blintzes recipe Perro Rojo recipe
Bruce Weinstein, Mark Scarbrough: Goat Cheese Blintzes   Robb Walsh: Salty Perro Rojo

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough write and develop recipes for magazines, newspapers, and the web. They have cowritten more than 15 cookbooks, including Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter, which is nominated for a Single Subject Book award this year.

Robb Walsh is an award-winning coobook author who specializes in Tex-Mex cuisine. His most recent book is The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook. He’s nominated for a Food Culture and Travel Journalism award for a story he co-wrote with Rick Bragg and Francine Maroukian for Garden & Gun magazine called “The Southerner’s Guide to Oysters.”

Colcannon recipe Strawberries and Corn-Cream Layer Cake with White Chocolate Cap’n Crunch Crumbs recipe
Colman Andrews: Colcannon   Christina Tosi: Strawberries and Corn-Cream Layer Cake with White Chocolate Cap’n Crunch Crumbs

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. The recipes above come from his book 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.”

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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