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2007 James Beard Foundation Special Honoree Awards:
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Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, Cookbook Hall of Fame, 
Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America and
America's Classics - Regional Restaurants
New York City (March 19, 2007) - The 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards, the premier honors for food and beverage professionals in America, will take place on May 6 and 7 in New York City. More than 60 awards will be presented during the two-day celebration, honoring restaurateurs, chefs, book authors, media professionals, restaurant designers and graphic artists. The following are five special honoree awards presented by the Foundation:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Barbara Kafka

This award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a significant and long-lasting positive impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America.

Walk into any bookstore and you’re likely to find Barbara Kafka’s hefty tomes in the cooking aisle. Her latest book, an all-encompassing volume on vegetables called Vegetable Love, contains 750 recipes that benefit from the meticulous research and impeccable attention to detail Kafka brings to all of her projects. Over the last 30 years, in addition to her definitive, comprehensive cookbooks, Kafka has written countless articles for the pages of The New York Times, Gourmet, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue.

Kafka was raised on New York City’s Upper East Side just steps from where she lives today. An only child, Kafka spent many evenings dining out with her parents at elegant New York restaurants, but it wasn’t until she was a student of American literature at Harvard University that she began to dabble in things epicurean. 

A cooking contest held by a group of law students caught Kafka’s attention; and the reward was an entrée into the culinary world. From publicist to copy editor of medical texts to a contributor at Mademoiselle, Kafka made steps toward a writing career after graduation. Famed Vogue features editor Allene Talmey commissioned Kafka’s first food article with recipes, and opportunities to write about food at Harper’s Bazaar and Playbill soon followed. 

While raising her children in the 1960s, Kafka wrote the American edition of Revue de Vin de France. A fellow playground mother introduced her to Burt Wolf, who at the time was working on the Cook’s Catalogue with James Beard. There was an opening to join their editorial staff, and Beard hired her to join their team, the beginning of a long partnership of collaboration and friendship.

Kafka worked alongside other culinary giants while consulting on the pre-opening of Windows on the World—Nick Malgieri, Michael Whiteman, Jacques Pépin, and Joseph Baum—and continued to edit magazines, such as Cooking and The Pleasures of Cooking, while consulting. In the early 1980s, with the New American food revolution brewing, Kafka wrote the influential cookbook American Food, California Wine, followed by Food for Friends, Roasting: A Simple Art, and Soup, a Way of Life, and the indispensable Microwave Gourmet, which is still in print 30 years later.

Though Kafka emphasizes her career was unplanned, describing it as “a concatenation of accidents,” these happy accidents led to a life of outstanding culinary achievement. (Kiri Tannenbaum)

Humanitarian of the Year: Art Smith

This award is given to an individual working in the realm of food who gives selflessly and works tirelessly to better the lives of others and society at large.

Chef, author, and television personality Art Smith has made it his life’s work to bring back meaning and symbolism to the word “table” and to unite families and friends through the simple act of sharing of a meal. In Chicago, Smith taught at Williams-Sonoma, served as a special-event chef for Martha Stewart Living Magazine, and in 1997, began his ten-year tenure as personal chef to Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham. 

A fervent community supporter, Smith established Common Threads, a non-profit organization based on his passionate belief that families (whether a family by blood or a family of friends) all share an innate desire to care for each other, regardless of culture, race, or geographic location. Common Threads embodies Smith’s mission to foster a familial environment where children can learn to value each other and discover universal understanding and mutual acceptance. The innovative program serves more than 1,000 children at seven locations around Chicago, and recently has expanded into the Oprah Winfrey Boys & Girls Club of Kosciusko, Mississippi. A Los Angeles location will open in 2007. Smith also serves on the board of directors of Kids Café, a nutrition program for children in Minneapolis. 

In addition to his culinary and humanitarian work, Smith is a New York Times best-selling and award-winning cookbook author. He received a 2002 James Beard Foundation Award for his first cookbook, Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family (Hyperion, 2001). For Smith’s second cookbook, Kitchen Life: Real Food for Real Families (Hyperion, 2004), he was awarded the prestigious 2004 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Family and Children’s Cookbook. 

Cookbook Hall of Fame

This award is given to a cookbook that has had a significant and enduring impact on the way we cook and understand food.

Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (Ten Speed Press, 1977)

In 1997, when Mollie Katzen created a book about the food served at Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York, vegetarianism was still an exotic way of life to most Americans. However, there was something about Katzen's hand-lettered recipes and charming drawings that captured the attention and affection of both vegetarians and omnivores. Since then, Katzen has written eight more books, including three for children, and revised Moosewood Cookbook in 1999 to reflect new ideas on healthy eating. Original or updated, Moosewood Cookbook is a treasured possession of the many thousands who love it for proving that meatless eating can be a pleasure. (Irene Sax)

Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America

The James Beard Foundation is proud to announce five new inductees into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, presented by Contessa Premium Foods. The following individuals have been influential in shaping American gastronomy. They join 191 members of The Who’s Who. 

José Ramon Andrés, Chef/Owner, Jaleo (Washington, D.C., Arlington, VA, and Bethesda, MD); Café Atlántico, Zaytinya, minibar by josé andrés at Café Atlantico, Oyamel (Washington, D.C.)

José Ramon Andrés is an internationally recognized culinary innovator who is widely credited with bringing the small plates concept to the United States. His culinary training included studies at Escuela de Restauracio I Hostalatge in Barcelona, Spain, and with renowned chef Ferrán Adriá of El Bulli. He is the recipient of the 2003 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic award. His culinary mastery has been featured in numerous print and broadcast media, including Gourmet magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, Fox Sunday Morning News and Food Network’s Sara’s Secrets. Andrés is host of Vamos a cocinar on TVE Spanish national television and author of celebrated cookbook Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America. Andrés serves on the board of D.C. Central Kitchen and is a contributing editor to Food Arts magazine.

Jim Clendenen, Owner and Winemaker, Au Bon Climat (Santa Maria, CA)

Beginning with the 1978 harvest, Jim Clendenen worked as assistant winemaker at Zaca Mesa Winery for three vintages. In 1982, he started Au Bon Climat, which now produces 30,000 cases annually. The winery has cultivated an international reputation for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. In 1989 and 1990, Au Bon Climat was on Robert Parker’s short list of “Best Wineries in the World.” In 1991, Oz Clark selected Clendenen as one of 50 world-wide creators of Modern Classic Wines. He was selected “Winemaker of the Year” by The Los Angeles Times in 1992 and by Food & Wine magazine in 2001. The German magazine Wein Gourmet named Clendenen “Winemaker of the World” in 2004.

Bobby Flay, Chef/Owner, Mesa Grill, Bolo, Bar Americain (New York City); Mesa Grill (Las Vegas); Bobby Flay Steak (Atlantic City, NJ)

James Beard Foundation Rising Star Award winner Bobby Flay’s culinary versatility is evident in his work as a chef/restaurateur, cookbook author, and television personality. Eager to share the skills he honed at the French Culinary Institute, Flay took his talents to the small screen. Since debuting on the Food Network in 1996, Flay has continuously hosted programs that bring cooking tips and information on American regional cooking to a national audience. He appears on five shows, including Throwdown with Bobby Flay, BBQ with Bobby Flay, Emmy award-winning Boy Meets Grill, Iron Chef America, and the beloved FoodNation with Bobby Flay. Flay also serves as food correspondent for The Early Show on CBS and is the author of six cookbooks including Boy Meets Grill (Hyperion) and sequel Boy Gets Grill (Scribner). Flay, a native New Yorker, has found a unique way to give back to the community by establishing a culinary scholarship for New York City high school students to attend the French Culinary Institute.

Dorie Greenspan, Cookbook Author and Journalist (New York City)

Dorie Greenspan is the award-winning author of nine cookbooks, including her latest, Baking: From My Home to Yours (Houghton Mifflin), and a special correspondent for Bon Appétit magazine. She has received awards from both the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals for Baking with Julia (Morrow). Desserts by Pierre Hermé (Little, Brown) was the IACP Cookbook of the Year in 1998. Greenspan also contributed to the new Joy of Cooking (Scribner). Her journalistic work has been included in the 2002 and 2005 Best Food Writing and Best American Recipes anthologies. In addition to her work as food critic/writer for Louis Vuitton City Guide, New York, she was founding editor of the James Beard Foundation publications and a consultant/producer for the early Food Network.

Michael Pollan, Author/Journalist (Bay Area, CA)

Michael Pollan is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and the author of four books: The Botany of Desire (Bloomsbury), Second Nature (Delta), A Place of My Own (Delta) and The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Penguin). The recipient of numerous journalistic awards, including the Reuters-I.U.C.N. Global Award in Environmental Journalism, Pollan served for many years as executive editor of Harper’s Bazaar. His articles have been anthologized in Best American Science Writing, Best American Essays, and the Norton Book of Nature Writing. At the University of Berkeley, he serves as Director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism. Pollan earned his undergraduate degree at Bennington College, studied at Oxford University (Mansfield College), and received a Master's in English from Columbia University in 1981. 

America's Classics

Each year The James Beard Foundation presents this award to four small, regional restaurants -- casual watering holes, shacks, lunch counters, or eateries -- that have offered good, down-home food and unmatched hospitality for generations. These restaurants offer a very distinct menu and atmosphere and are a slice of American culinary history. The following are this year’s America’s Classics profiles, written by members of The James Beard Foundation Restaurant Awards Committee:

Primanti Brothers (46 18th Street, Pittsburgh, PA); President Demetrios Patrinos

The first Primanti Brothers restaurant was opened in 1933 in Pittsburgh’s warehouse district by the same family that owns it today. The small Italian eatery now has several outposts in Pittsburgh and Florida, all of which are famous for the super-stuffed Primanti’s sandwich, a gargantuan hand-held meal rumored to have been created for nighttime workers on the loading docks who needed to eat on the job.

The Pickwick (508 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN); Owner Christopher Wisocki

A former beer hall that was sold shortly after Prohibition passed, the Pickwick has evolved into a Duluth institution over the past 80-plus years. Owned by the Wisocki family, the Pickwick has been a welcome refuge for generations of Duluthians who flock there for its Lake Superior views, supper-club atmosphere, and beloved dishes like house-smoked whitefish, top-notch onion rings, and deep-fried cheeseburgers.

Doe's Eat Place (502 Nelson, Greenville, MI); Owner Doe Signa, Jr.

Located in Greenville on Nelson Street, this family-owned and operated restaurant is an icon of the culinary and cultural landscape of the Mississippi Delta. Doe’s Eat Place grew out of a 1940s grocery store that sold homemade hot tamales, eventually transforming itself into a casual steak joint that served both the African American and white communities in segregated Mississippi. Pivotal in the Civil Rights era, Doe’s Eat Place has become a symbol of the region’s multiracial culture. 

Aunt Carrie's (1240 Ocean Road, Narragansett, RI); Owner Elsie Foy

Described as the birthplace of the clam cake (a deep-fried, clam-studded bread dumpling), Aunt Carrie’s has been serving up Rhode Island classics since 1920. Open only during the summer, the Ocean State eatery attracts crowds of hungry, loyal patrons eager for a taste of the fried scallops, clam chowder and fresh-baked apple pies they’ve enjoyed since childhood.

Brookville Hotel (105 E. Lafayette, Abilene, KS); Owners Mark and Connie Martin

Originally known as the Cowtown Café, the Brookville Hotel has been owned by the same family since 1894. Though the hotel was moved from small-town Brookville to Abilene, Kansas a few years ago, the owners recreated its original façade and Victorian dining room. Thankfully, they also left the Hotel’s much loved family-style chicken dinners—a feast that includes a procession of relishes, baking powder biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed corn, and, of course, pan-fried chicken—intact.

Weaver D's (1016 East Broad Street, Athens, GA); Owner Dexter Weaver

Owned by self-proclaimed “Professor of Soul” Dexter Weaver, Weaver D’s is a fixture in Athens, Georgia. Beloved for its traditional soul food as well as its colorful proprietor, Weaver D’s keeps locals and tourists coming back for spot-on fried chicken, sweet potato casserole, buttermilk cornbread, and the restaurant’s signature squash casserole.

James Beard Foundation Nominees for Outstanding Restaurateur, Best New Restaurant

The James Beard Foundation has announced nominees and special honorees for the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation’s top honors for culinary professionals. This year, there are 62 Award categories for restaurants, chefs, broadcasting, print journalism, book authors, and restaurant design. 

Highlights include: 

Nominees for Outstanding Restaurateur: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry (Yountville, CA); Keith McNally, Balthazar (New York City); Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You (Chicago); Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group (New York City); and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges (New York City).

Nominees for Best New Restaurant: A Voce, Chef Andrew Carmellini (New York City); Cochon, Chefs/Owners Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski (New Orleans); Cut, Chef/Owner Wolfgang Puck (Beverly Hills); Restaurant Guy Savoy, Chef/Owner Guy Savoy (Las Vegas); L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Chef/Owner Joël Robuchon (New York City); and Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Chefs/Owners David Chang and Joaquin Baca (New York City). 

Nominees for Rising Star Chef of the Year: Nate Appleman, A16 (San Francisco); Graham Elliot Bowles, Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel (Chicago); David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar (New York City); Patrick Connelly, Radius (Boston); and Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park (New York City).

The Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will be held at Lincoln Center’s legendary Avery Fisher Hall in New York City on Monday, May 7, 2007. The James Beard Foundation Media Awards will be presented at a separate event at the Hudson Theatre in New York City on Sunday, May 6, 2007. 
 
The James Beard Foundation Celebrates 20 Years
at its Namesake Awards' Ceremonies
Save the Date: May 6-7, 2007

The year 2007 marks the 20th anniversary of The James Beard Foundation, which for two decades has honored, celebrated, preserved and nurtured America’s culinary heritage and diversity. Consistent with the Foundation’s mission, The 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards, the “Oscars of the food world,” will take place on May 6 and 7 in New York City. The Awards are divided into two ceremonies, honoring restaurateurs, chefs, cookbook authors, media professionals, restaurant designers and graphic artists. The Media Awards Dinner will be held at Hudson Theater at the Millennium Broadway Hotel on Sunday, May 6; The Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will be held on Monday, May 7 at Lincoln Center’s legendary Avery Fisher Hall. More than 60 awards will be presented during the two-day celebration.

This year’s nominees, special honorees, and theme will be announced officially by co-hosts Susan Ungaro, President of the Foundation, and Hannah Storm, Anchor of CBS News’ “The Early Show” along with The 2006 Awards’ Outstanding Chef Alfred Portale on Monday, March 19 at a press conference and reception held at the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Food for the reception will be prepared by Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute and Le Cordon Bleu Signatures Restaurant (Ottawa, Canada). 

Tickets for the Awards’ ceremonies can be purchased by calling 646-213-3780. Admission for the general public is $450 ($400 for Foundation members/$200 for students and members of the press). American Express® is the Official Card of The James Beard Foundation Awards. 

Established in 1990, The James Beard Foundation Awards recognizes cookbook authors, restaurants, chefs, food and beverage journalists, broadcasters, and restaurant and graphic designers. To select the nominees and winners, independent volunteer panels of more than 600 food and beverage professionals from around the country vote on specific Award categories. The accounting firm Lutz & Carr tabulates ballots. Winners’ identities remain confidential until the Awards ceremonies. Winners receive a bronze medallion engraved with the image of James Beard. There are no cash awards. Membership in, service to, and fundraising for the James Beard Foundation are neither requirements for, nor in any way relevant to consideration for an Award. The trustees and staff of the James Beard Foundation do not vote. 

The James Beard Foundation presents its 2007 Awards with generous support from the following sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters, American Express®, Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Chefwear, Contessa Premium Foods, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Ecolab, Hellenic Fine Oils, illy caffé North America, Le Cordon Bleu International, Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, Viking Range Corporation, and Waterford Wedgwood (at press time).

ABOUT THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard was a champion of American cuisine, helping to educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts before his death in 1985. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, publications, and by maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a performance space for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit www.jamesbeard.org.or call 212-675-4984.

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Contact:

The James Beard Foundation
6 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
www.jamesbeard.org

Bullfrog & Baum 
(212) 255-6717 
Jennifer Baum 
jennifer@bullfrogandbaum.com

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Also See: Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, Thomas Keller of the French Laundry, and Laura Chenel, Whose Name Is Synonymous with Goat Cheese, Continue to Impact American Food / September 2005

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