Jersey Wins Big at the James Beard Awards!

Maricel Presilla, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Ariane Daguin all strut their stuff at this year’s awards

Congratulations to Maricel Presilla of Cucharamama in Hoboken who was named Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region at Monday night’s Beard Awards. She beat out chefs from leading restaurants in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Alexandria, VA. She is only the second Garden State chef to be so honored. The first, of course, was Craig Shelton of the Ryland Inn. Presilla, with her partner Clara Chaumont, is also behind two other Hoboken establishments: the more casual Zafra and a gourmet food and goods shop, Ultramarinos.

Gabrielle Hamilton – a scion of the Lambertville restaurant family – was awarded the Writing & Literature prize for her biography, Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef. This is not the first time Hamilton, the chef/owner of Prune on NY’s Lower East Side, has been honored by the Beard Foundation. Last year she was named Best Chef: NYC. The James Beard Book, Broadcast & Journalism awards were given out last Friday.

Although Ariane Daguin of D’Artagnan, the Newark-based purveyor of gourmet meats, wasn’t up for any awards, she deserves a medal for fortitude. She distributed a pin with this message at the event, and it showed up on the lapel of Wolfgang Puck, for one:

As you probably know, California’s ban on foie gras is due to go into effect in July.

Congratulations to all three of these Jersey gals. Check out the complete list of Beard winners here: 2012 James Beard Award Winners.

4 responses to “Jersey Wins Big at the James Beard Awards!

  1. Did you attend this year?

    • No. I had my ticket, as always, but couldn’t make it. Now I’m so bummed, because I was there the year Shelton won, and I would have liked to be able to say I was on hand for both wins.

  2. Hi Pat:
    Maricel is certainly due the recognition. Don’t forget Doris & Ed’s, although closed now, was another NJ James Beard Award winner in American Classics category. I sure miss the Tuna Sashimi app there and the wine list. Jim Filip definitely knew his fish. Sigh…

    • Yes, you’re right – and Mustache Bill’s and Chef Vola’s were also Classics winners. Presilla & Shelton, though, are our only two chef winners. Hopefully, with many more to come!

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