Browsing Tag

James Beard



August 31, 2012

>By Melanie Young

Much has been written about the legacy of Julia Child, who would have turned 100 years old this week. Many of her colleagues and admirers have posted their Julia recollections and tributes online. In my role as president of Les Dames d’Escoffier New York ( I have responded to a number of questions on what she meant to the food and beverage industry and to women who work in the field, which is significant. People have shared their favorite recipes from her cookbooks, most notably Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

But as someone with both a palate and passion for good food who professes to be neither a professional chef or home cook, just a woman lucky enough to have wonderful people in her life who enjoy cooking for her, my lessons from Julia are not about cooking.

I was fortunate in my life to have connected with Julia on several occasions in my role as Awards Director for The James Beard Foundation (, escorting her to media interviews, working with her on her script for various shows and producing a tribute in her memory after she left us. She was a towering woman in height and in personality, and I admired her for many reasons that did not necessarily all have to do with food.

I admired Julia as a role model. Here was a woman who found her passion for fine food while living in France and pursued serious cooking in her late 30s. She published her first cookbook in her 50s and went on to become a television star long after many much younger women today are deemed to old for the screen. Her book had been turned down multiple times until it met the keen eye of Editor Judith Jones, but she did not let rejection turn into dejection. Julia demonstrated that a late bloomer can really blossom into something wonderful.

Julia’s height, her voice, her looks were uniquely her own and she played them up well. Today, it seems so many women need to alter their looks to feel comfortable with themselves.

Julia, like me, was a breast cancer survivor and at a time when Continue Reading…



April 28, 2012

By Francine Cohen and Victoria Ruvolo

“…showers bring May flowers.” And, the James Beard Awards.

Yes, it’s that time again. Time to see who steps onto the stage at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall to accept the medal that announces to the hospitality industry that he (or she) is at the top of their game.

About a month ago the 2012 James Beard award nominees were announced, leaving the food world all a buzz. And the chatter will last up until late in the evening of May 7th, when the last award has been handed out and the last morsel of food created by the country’s best chefs and the last drop of champagne has been savored by the winners.

In celebrating the 25th anniversary of the foundation, and 23 years of bestowing these awards, it is evident that the James Beard Foundation is as much a winner as any of the stellar culinary and beverage artists who got a nod. James Beard Foundation President, Susan Ungaro, notes, “This year is the 25th anniversary of the foundation. And the 23rd year of the awards. Our awards committee wanted this year’s event to celebrate 25 years of American food at its best and salute the legacy of James Beard. Most notably, after our ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall, the grand tasting will feature chefs from all over the country each creating a recipe from one of James Beard’s cookbooks. He was not only a restaurant advisor/consultant, but also a mentor to a number of great restaurant owners and chefs; many of whom went on to win.”

She continues, “We are really excited about the fact that we’re playing up James Beard’s role in the development of the food world. How prescient he was Continue Reading…



February 18, 2010

2010 James Beard Awards Semifinalists Announced
By Francine Cohen

Who needs the Oscars or the Grammy’s? The hospitality industry has a gala night of its own honoring the best of the best in the business. On May 3rd, NYC is the site of the 2010 James Beard Awards.

This year, once again, a stellar list of notable chefs, restaurateurs, and tastemakers on the beverage side of the business will sit impatiently in their seats to see who takes home the medal and becomes a James Beard Award winner.

See the list of nominees, and email us at to tell us who you think should win, and who you just want to see at the after parties.

2010 James Beard Foundation Awards -Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists
Continue Reading…