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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Keller’

2010 James Beard Media & Book Awards: Winners, Losers, and What We Ate

JBFA_2010.jpg There’s something refreshing about a media event where attendees actually eat. Add to that the fact that the most politically charged statement of the night had to do with honeybees, and you’ve got yourself a convivial evening. At NYC’s Espace last night, the 2010 James Beard Foundation Media & Book Awards were abuzz with familiar foodies, including Chicago chef and nominee Rick Bayless, Momofuku chef and nominated cookbook author David Chang, and everyone’s favorite Swede, chef Marcus Samuelsson, who arrived with a super-tall plus one in tow. The vibe was relaxed and upbeat (we hear it’s a lot more fun than tonight’s gala), and the cocktails were flowing: We sampled champagne and a refreshing gimlet (ahem, “Cucumber Mint Creole” from Pegu Club mixologist Audrey Saunders) before sitting down to a five-pieces-of-stemware dinner. (One guest evidently couldn’t handle this liquid feast and was escorted from the event around 8:30 p.m. after his tablemates complained.)

This year marks the first time the book award winners were announced with the broadcast and journalism awards rather than the chef awards gala, tacking on 12 awards to the already lengthy program. Co-hosts Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods on The Travel Channel, and Kelly Choi, host of Top Chef Masters, emceed the 3.5-hour affair with equal parts humor and efficiency. Zimmern took home the prize for TV food personality, so his demeanor and suit were boosted for the latter half of the ceremony with the ultimate accessory — a gold medal. [Ed. note: This probably distracted guests from his verbal slip early in the night when he said "recipe for sex" instead of "success," eliciting a requisite round of giggles.]

More details and what we ate, plus a photo slideshow and the complete list of winners, after the jump…

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Pixar Makes Rataouille–Will Rat Movie Make Money?

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Pixar has an upcoming animated tale of a rat who yearns to create in the kitchen, Ratatouille. And Kim Severson, in the NY Times food section, inadvertenly explains why movies cost so much. Thomas Keller of the French Laundry was the technical consultant, and

The Pixar crew took cooking classes, ate at notable restaurants in Paris and worked alongside Mr. Keller at the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif.

The tasting menu is prie fixe at $240. The film’s budget was in the $100 million area.

With Brad Bird at the helm, Rataouille looks to be more fun than last summer’s Cars. Trailer here. Sneak previews this Saturday, too.

Upcoming Pixar has more info on the studio than anyone might ever need. Victor Navone, Pixar animator, blogs his reactions.

Andrea Keller And Top Design–NBC Made Us Late

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FBLA is late with our Andrea Keller: Top Design insights, but we have a good excuse. NBC asked to check out her responses first and took their own sweet time about it. Make of that what you will. Hmmm. So, read on for the Chef’s Table challenge, and we promise to speed things up.
Blogging Top Design is all up-to-date. So is Pink Navy. So is Top Design Blogger.

Anyway, Andrea won the challenge, but hasn’t gotten the prize yet–$2500 to spend at Jonathan Adler. FBLA can’t help but wonder if that’s trade or retail.

FBLA: Did anyone know that you had all these restaurant world connections (wine, teaching at Otis), etc?

AK: I don’t think so–they knew that I teach at Otis but not that it was restaurant design. Both of my brothers are in the food industry and live near Napa valley, one is a winemaker and the other is a distributor of organic meat products/ranch consultant. When Todd was describing a cuisine based on the finest quality ingredients, my thoughts immediately went to Alice Waters at Chez Panisse and Thomas Keller at the French Laundry (sadly no relation). That’s how I started on the image of stone walls, thinking of a California vineyard and the food culture of northern california. To incorporate arts and crafts I wanted to emphasize joinery in the woodwork, and I found some William Morris-style textiles with a leafy pattern.

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