Tag Archives: James Beard Foundation Award

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.

Italian Bouillabaisse, Beard Nominees (Congrats to Maricel Presilla!) & Twitter

Cacciucco

Cacciucco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rarely do I fall as hard for a dish as I did for cacciucco – Italy’s bouillabaisse analog.  In my Princeton Packet column of 3/16 I write about how once I discovered it, it kept popping up everywhere I turned. Until finally I had to make it myself – and found a dandy recipe hiding in plain sight on my bookshelf, in Anne Bianchi’s wonderful book, Zuppa! Soups from the Italian Countryside.

And the nominees are..

The 2012 James Beard Awards finalists were announced just minutes before I’m posting this. A big congratulations and best wishes to Maricel Presilla of Cucharamama in Hoboken. Once again, she has made the final cut for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. And better luck next year to two other Jersey semi-finalists, Andrew Araneo of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in Keyport and Michael Krikorian of Copper Canyon in Atlantic Highlands.

Last year, I included Presilla’s takeout shop, Ultramarinos, in this NJ Monthly story about chefs who have turned to retail.

Read my review of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in NJ Monthly.

Read my review of Copper Canyon in NJ Monthly.

I have dined at the restaurants of three of the other four finalists in the Mid-Atlantic category and heartily recommend them. These include Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA, Johnny Monis of Komi in DC and Vikram Sunderam of Rasika, also in DC. The fifth nominee is also from our capital: Peter Pastan of Obelisk. Guess I’ll have to take a trip down to make it five for five!

In New York City the best chef nominees are Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern; April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig; Wylie Dufresne, wd-50; Mark Ladner, Del Posto and Michael White, Marea.

Philly’s Vetri , long one of my faves, is in the running as the nation’s Outstanding Restaurant, and Tertulia in NYC is a nominee for Best New Restaurant. Here’s the complete list of all nominees in all categories. The winners will be announced on May 7.

I’ve finally joined the Twitter Universe! You can follow me at @DineWithPat. And tweet me so that I can add you to those I follow, or leave your handle here as a comment and I’ll follow up. Thanks!