There were local winners among those who won James Beard awards for their broadcast work.
Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine (in green shirt and with camera) won an award -- their first -- for their video webcast program, "The Perennial Plate." The award is specifically for their "World Food Tour" program.
Andrew Zimmern won an award in the category of best host/personality for his"Bizarre Foods America" program on the Travel Channel. (He's pictured here with last year's award.)
It was a restaurant review that brought Marilyn Hagerty to the attention of folks outside Grand Forks, ND, last year. When the 86-year-old restaurant reviewer wrote about her experience at the Olive Garden, the story went viral and she became a household name (at least in foodie households). From there it was only a short hop to interviews on national TV, a role as a guest judge on "Top Chef," and a book deal with Anthony Bourdain through his Ecco Books imprint. She also received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism (an honor given to both Walter Cronkite and Garrison Keillor).
One year later, she returns to the Olive Garden for another review and a reminiscence of her past memorable year.
She has more to look forward to, since her book, "Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 100 Reviews," will be published in late August at $14.99. The book is a collection of restaurant reviews, from Red Lobster to Le Bernadin, drawn from her 50-year-career. Hagerty continues to write five columns a week for the Grand Forks Herald, including the Wednesday "Eatbeat," which is her restaurant review.
Which cookbook was the best-seller last year, as listed in Publishers Weekly ? Well (no surprise given the photo here!), it was Ina Garten and her next volume in the Barefoot Contessa lineup. At more than 400,000 books sold last year, she was significantly ahead of the other authors, even if you add up the sales of the two Pioneer Woman books written by Ree Drummond (which totaled more than 360,000 books).
Any favorites on this list? Note that all but blogger Deb Perelman either have their own TV show or are regulars on other shows.
1. Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten. Clarkson Potter. 428,105
2. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier by Ree Drummond. William Morrow. 267,909
3. In the Kitchen with David by David Venable. Ballantine. 264,953
4. Eat More of What You Love by Marlene Koch. Running Press. 132,796
5. Great Food Fast by Bob Warden. Quail Ridge Press. 122,665
6. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. Knopf. 114,547
7. The Chew by The Hosts and Staff of ABC's The Chew. Hyperion. 109,020
8. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond. William Morrow. 103,751
9. Weeknights with Giada by Giada De Laurentiis. Clarkson Potter. 95,040
10. Hungry Girl to the Max! by Lisa Lillien. St. Martin’s Griffin. 86,656
Her review is likely to be overtaken by another talker for best-read, this from Pete Wells, restaurant reviewer for the New York Times, who wrote a blistering commentary of Guy Fieri's Times Square eatery, Guy's American Kitchen & Bar -- and did so entirely in the form of questions.
"Has anyone ever told you that your high-wattage passion for no-collar American food makes you television's answer to Calvin Trillin, if Mr. Trillin bleached his hair, drove a Camaro and drank Boozy Creamsicles? When you cruise around the country for your show 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,' rasping out slangy odes to the unfancy places where Americans like to get down and greasy, do you really mean it? Or is it all an act? Is that why the kind of cooking you celebrate on television is treated with so little respect at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar?" Wells wrote.
Later, Wells asked, "Is this how you roll in Flavor Town?"
We will see. Will the tourists in Times Square notice?
UPDATE: Poynter (the journalism think-tank in Florida) interviews Pete Wells about the review.
Are you ready for primetime cooking? Want to face the wrath of judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot before millions of viewers?
MasterChef is now casting for its fourth season and looking for amateur cooks with talent. An open casting call will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Le Cordon Bleu, 1315 Mendota Heights Road, Mendota Heights 55120.
Keep in mind that this is a casting call WITH FOOD. You will need to bring a dish for the casting judges (who are not the same as the TV judges) to taste -- and it should be something that can withstand you being in line for a long time. There will be no place to warm food or to cook it before it is served to the judges, and there will be only a little time for plating. Contestants need to bring utensils for serving the dish. Wow, this sounds like a cooking challenge for the show itself!
If you can't attend the casting call, you can do a video and send that in (see details). Deadline for entries is Nov. 30, 2012.
More rules for contestants from the folks at Fox:
* Must be 18 by Jan. 1, 2013
* Cannot have worked as a professional chef in the past or present
* Cannot be earning income now from preparing fresh food in a professional kitchen.
* Must be available for nine weeks of shooting the show from January to April 2013.
For application instructions, audition guidelines and other details, go to www.masterchefcasting.com.
And please, when you audition, do not bring with you fireworks, weapons, air mattresses or children. Those are on the list of forbidden items for the audition.
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