The James Beard Foundation Awards 2006 recognizes outstanding achievement in the food and beverage industry.
It is only fitting that the theme for the James Beard Foundation Awards 2006 was New Orleans - A Culinary Legacy honoring the hard-working professionals who have persevered to continue the culinary legacy in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
The New York Marriott Marquis hosted the black-tie ceremony and reception on May 8, 2006, with a record number of industry professionals in attendance. Hosted by Master of Ceremonies New Orleans-native Cokie Roberts, Political Commentator, ABC News, Senior News Analyst, National Public Radio, the evening began with a Procession of the Reception Chefs from New Orleans who danced down the aisle New Orleans-style.
The recipients of the James Beard Foundation Awards 2006:
Humanitarian of the Year: New Orleans Restaurant Community
Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen's and Leah Chase of Dooky Chase's accepted the Humanitarian of the Year award for the New Orleans Restaurant Community. Chef Brigtsen accepting the award replied, "Our food and our music define us. Come and visit and see what New Orleans has to offer.
" Ms. Chase, urged guests to "Please come back to our city, our hotels are open, our restaurants are open."
Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional: Daniel Johnnes, The Dinex Group, New York
Outstanding Wine Service: Aureole, Las Vegas, Nevada, Wine Director: William Sherer
Best Chef Category:
California: Suzanne Goin, Lucques, West Hollywood, California
Mid-Atlantic: Fabio Trabocchi, Maestro at the Ritz-Carlton, Tyson's Corner, McLean, Virginia
Midwest: Shawn McClain, Spring, Chicago, Illinois
New York City: Dan Barber, Blue Hill, New York, New York
Northeast: Jean-Louis Gerin, Jean-Louis, Greenwich, Connecticut
Northwest/Hawaii: Scott Carsberg, Lampreia, Seattle, Washington
Southeast: John Besh, Restaurant, August, New Orleans, Louisiana
Southwest: Bradford Thompson, Mary Elaine's at the Phoenician, Scottsdale, Arizona
Outstanding Chef, Pastry Chef and Rising Star Chef Categories:
Outstanding Chef: Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar & Grill, New York
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Johnny Iuzzini, Jean Georges, New York
Rising Star Chef: Cory Lee, The French Laundry, Yountville, California
Best New Restaurant: The Modern, New York, Owner Danny Meyer and Chef Gabriel Kreuther
Outstanding Restaurant: The French Laundry, Yountville, California, Chef/Owner Thomas Keller
Outstanding Restaurateur: Daniel Boulud, The Dinex Group, New York
Outstanding Service Award: Gary Danko, San Francisco, California, Chef/Owner Gary Danko
Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America Inductees:
Sue Conley and Peggy Smith
Some of the award recipients took time for a quick interview, including Shawn McClain, Spring, Chicago, Illinois, who replied on receiving his award, "I was very humbled and honored to be nominated, and now to win. I share this with my restaurant family."
John Besh, Restaurant, August, New Orleans, Louisiana, replied, "I am so appreciative to be honored tonight."
Bradford Thompson, Mary Elaine's at the Phoenician, Scottsdale, Arizona, replied, "I'm floored to be receiving an award for what I love to do. It is an honor and a privilege."
Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar & Grill, New York, "I'm a little flabbergasted. I'm so honored to be a part of this crowd."
Johnny Iuzzini, Jean Georges, New York, "This was one of my toughest years of my life; this is a difficult and an uplifting event for me. It is a great tribute to my mother, who I lost on the day of the nominations."
Cory Lee, The French Laundry, Yountville, California, "This is an award for an individual, but really it is an award for the staff of The French Laundry."
Danny Meyer, after receiving the award, "This is the first time I have had the honor of winning. My restaurants are always slow out of the starting gate, so winning in the first year is amazing."
Jean Joho, Franck Savoy, Guy Savoy, Debra C. Argen
After the awards ceremony, honorees and guests were treated to a real taste of New Orleans with music by Wanda Rouzan and A Taste of New Orleans, and a New Orleans Menu of Pulled Pork: Frank Brigtsen, Brigtsen's; Green Gumbo: Leah Chase, Dooky Chase's; Shrimp Rémoulade: Ross Eirich, Galatoire's; Oysters Rockefeller: Michael Regua, Antoine's; Grilled Crawfish: Tory McPhail, Commander's Palace; Roast Beef Po' Boys: Jacques Leonardi, Jacques-Imo's Café; Willie Mae's Famous Fried Chicken: Willie Mae Seaton, Willie Mae's Scotch House; Duck and Andouille Étouffée: Kenneth Smith, Upperline; Veal Grillades and Creamy Grits: Eric Venéy, Muriel's Jackson Square; Roasted Sweetbreads with Truffle Grits: Alison Wines-Rushing and Slade Rushing, The Longbranch; Boudin-Stuffed Quail: Susan Spicer, Bayona Restaurant.
Emeril Lagasse and Debra C. Argen
Emeril's Kicked-up Blue Crab Louis with Deviled Quail Eggs and Black Truffle Dressing: Emeril Lagasse, Emeril's Restaurant; Pressed Spanish Muffalettas: Adolfo Garcia, RioMar; Daube Glacé of Louisiana Rabbit: John Besh, Restaurant August; Foie Gras, Brie and Praline Bachon Torchon: Bob Iacovone, Restaurant Cuvée; New-Orleans-style canapés of Alligator Bavaroise with Tomato Gelée and Salsa: François Payard, Payard Patisserie & Bistro; Cajun Shrimp Shumai with Mango Syrup: Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger (Wellesley, MA); Open-face Duck Pastrami Sandwich: Thomas Wolfe, Peristyle; Bananas Foster Bread Pudding: Craig Cuccia, Café Reconcile; Apple Tartlets with Cheddar Cheese Crust: Tenney Flynn, G.W. Fins; Mascarpone Panna Cotta with Louisiana Strawberries and Strawberry Sorbet: John Harris and Beth Biundo, Lilette, and Beignets: Burton Benrud and Wayne Maher, Café du Monde, who handed out bags of hot beignets under their famous green and white striped tent. The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. also participated in the festivities handing out New Orleans information and fleur-de-lis pins, the symbol of New Orleans.
Luxury Experience would like to congratulate all of the 2006 James Beard Foundation Award Nominees and Winners!
For the complete list of all of the 2006 James Beard Foundation Awards, please visit www.jamesbeard.org. For information on New Orleans, please visit the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, www.neworleanscvb.com.
© June 2006. Luxury Experience. www.luxuryexperience.com. All rights reserved.