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The James Beard Awards 2011: Fine Cooking Represents!

The James Beard Awards will be held May 9th, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. Visit jbfawards.com for info and tickets.

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The James Beard Awards are coming!  The James Beard Awards are coming!  (When? Next Monday, May 9th, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. For tickets, go to www.jbfawards.com.) Yup, it’s that time of the year again, when members of the food (and drink) world get together to honor their best and brightest, from chefs to cookbook authors, restaurateurs to food journalists. I’m pleased to tell you—and not at all surprised—that 11 Fine Cooking contributors are nominated for awards this year. We’re pretty proud.

I thought it would be fun to take the week leading up to the awards to let the nominees tell you a little bit about themselves, in their own words, via a fun Q&A. We’re also sharing a few of our favorite recipes from their books and our archives so you’ll see why these nominees are already winners to us.

Q. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Bruce Weinstein: Wood Cock Sashimi, at a little restaurant in Soho. Ugh!

Mark Scarbrough: Tiny live fish (sort of like neon tetras) in a bowl of water at a small restaurant in the Japanese countryside. I tried to pick at them with my chopsticks—until I saw everyone picking the bowls up and drinking them down.

Colman Andrews: Canned spaghetti

Gabrielle Hamilton: Cherry wood bark broth

Nancy Oakes: Coagulated goose blood in Taiwan

Wow. Makes you hungry, doesn’t it?!  Tuesday’s post: find out what these food stars keep in their kitchens

Recipes from the Nominees
Fresh Ham with Rosemary, Garlic, and Lemon Irish Stew
Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough: Fresh Ham with Rosemary, Garlic & Lemon   Colman Andrews: Irish Stew  

—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.

—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.”

Chocolate Soufflés with Brown Sugar and Rum Whipped Cream Dandelion Salad with Pancetta, Eggs, and Croutons
Nancy Oakes:Chocolate Soufflés with Brown Sugar and Rum Whipped Cream   Gabrielle Hamilton: Dandelion Salad with Pancetta, Eggs, and Croutons  

—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.

—Gabrielle Hamilton is the chef-owner of Prune restaurant in New York City and the author of Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef. She’s nominated for Best Chef: New York City. If, like Gabrielle, you lament the authentic farm stands of old, read her Cook Story essay, An Affair to Remember.


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