Beard Awards finalists have been announced, check out full list at jamesbeard.org. Local talent that has been honored includes Lenny Russo of Heartland and Lynne Rosetto Kasper/Sally Swift of Splendid Table for their latest book. There is no diplomatic way to put this, at least if you don’t want to sound like a pompous ass, but I was nominated as well. Sorry about that. Not a lot of love for Minnesota this year despite monster amount of nominations in last round and the judges made some systemic or philosophical choices it would seem . . . no Michelle Gayer of Salty Tart? Clearly a nod to it being a restaurant and chefs category and not a lot of support for local bakeries and their genius owners. Beard Board member Emily Luchetti wants to expand the baking/pastry side of the awards, and I bet when they do Michelle wins a slew of them. She is one of the most talented food people in the country, period. Also where did all our local chefs go? The Minnesota semifinalists for Best Chef: Midwest were Mike Brown and Jim Winberg from Travail, Steven Brown from Tilia, Doug Flicker from Piccolo, Russ Klein from Meritage, Lenny Russo from Heartland, and Stewart Woodman from Heidi’s. The Bachelor Farmer was given a nod in the best new resto category; Mannys, La Belle Vie, Alma, The Fratelli D’amico, and Michelle Gayer from Salty Tart were also given nods in other categories, as was Sameh Wadi for rising star chef. After all that, Lenny is the only one left. Not sure if all the other chefs cancelled each others votes, or it may have been a factor like Lucia Watson several years back, more judges cumulatively over the years have dined with Lenny at both Heartland locations and therefore could pull the trigger for him. Not sure the judges outside the Twin Cities have dined at Tilia or Travail, Piccolo or Meritage, or Heidi’s. Give it another year, those chefs are all deserving of national recognition and several of them will be Beard winners before their careers are through. Cooking from a Pro View contains three of the best books of the last year, and I am anxious to see who wins. I am also presenting an award this year, and I hope that’s the one. I cannot wait for the big weekend. The winners of each category below will be announced on May 4th for media and book, and May 7 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. Here are some of the notable nominees in a field full of them. I have taken out some of the awards for space considerations but I always print this list out and pin it on my office wall so when I am traveling I can check out as many of these places as I can, or recommend them to traveling friends. If you love food you should be watching these shows, reading these books, eating at these restaurants, and so on. Its not perfect, no awards systems are, but all the nominees and finalists are deserving of your attention. Video Webcast · eatTV with Jamie Tiampo · Food. Curated. · Paul Willis Story Television Program, On Location · A Taste of History · Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern · The Wild Within Cookbooks: American Cooking · A New Turn in the South by Hugh Acheson · American Flavor by Andrew Carmellini · Masala Farm by Suvir Saran Cookbooks: International Cooking · The Country Cooking of Italy by Colman Andrews · The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert · The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden Cookbooks: Baking and Dessert · Baking Style by Lisa Yockelson · Cooking With Chocolate by Frederic Bau · Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer Cookbooks: Beverage · An Ideal Wine by David Darlington · Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons · The Oxford Companion to Beer by Garrett Oliver and Horst Dornbusch Cookbooks: Cooking From a Professional Point of View · The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts by Jennifer May, Frédéric Morin and David McMillan · Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara · Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Billet Cookbooks: General Cooking · My Family Table by John Besh · Ruhlman's Twenty by Michael Ruhlman · The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends by Lynne Rossetto Kasper Cookbooks: Focus on Health · Comfort Food Fix by Ellie Krieger · The Intolerant Gourmet by Barbara Kafka · Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson Cookbooks: Photography · The Cheesemonger's Kitchen, photography by Joseph De Leo · Notes From a Kitchen, photography by Jeff Scott · Rustica, photography by Alan Benson Cookbooks: Reference and Scholarship · The Art of Beef Cutting by Kari Underly · The Food Lover's Guide to Wine by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg · Turning the Tables by Andrew P. Haley Cookbooks: Single Subject · All About Roasting by Molly Stevens · Odd Bits by Jennifer McLagan · Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi Cookbooks: Writing and Literature · Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton · Day of Honey by Annia Ciezadlo · Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller America’s Classics Award winners · The Fry Bread House · Nora’s Fish Creek Inn · St. Elmo Steak House · Jones Bar-B-Q Diner · Shady Glen The 2012 Who’s Who Inductees · Grant Achatz · Mark Bittman · Dana Cowin · Emily Luchetti · Marvin Shanken Lifetime Achievement Award winner · Wolfgang Puck Humanitarian of the Year · Charlie Trotter Outstanding Restaurant Graphics · The Americano at Hôtel Americano (NYC) · The Dutch (NYC) · Farmshop (Santa Monica) Outstanding Restaurant Design · DBGB Kitchen and Bar (NYC) · Le Bernardin (NYC) · Romera (NYC) Outstanding Beer, Wine, or Spirits Prof · Sam Calagione · Merry Edwards · Paul Grieco · Garrett Oliver · Neal Rosenthal Outstanding Wine Program · A16, San Francisco · The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN · Frasca, Boulder, CO · Emeril’s, New Orleans · No. 9 Park, Boston Outstanding Bar Program · The Aviary, Chicago · Bar Agricole, San Francisco · Pegu Club, NYC · PDT, NYC · The Violet Hour, Chicago Best Chef: Southwest · Bruce Auden, Biga on the Banks, San Antonio · Kevin Binkley, Binkley’s Restaurant, Cave Creek, AZ · Bruno Davaillon, Mansion Restaurant at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas · Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja, Denver · Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s, Houston · Paul Qui, Uchiko, Austin, TX Best Chef: Pacific · Michael Chiarello, Bottega, Yountville, CA · Chris Cosentino, Incanto, San Francisco · Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA · Matt Molina, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles · Daniel Patterson, Coi, San Francisco Best Chef: Northwest · Matt Dillon, Sitka & Spruce, Seattle · Jason Franey, Canlis, Seattle · Christopher Israel, Gruner, Portland, OR · Naomi Pomeroy, Beast, Portland, OR · Cathy Whims, Nostrana, Portland, OR Best Chef: Midwest · Justin Aprahamian, Sanford, Milwaukee · Gerard Craft, Niche, St. Louis · Colby Garrelts, Bluestem, Kansas City, MO · Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, WI · Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market, St. Paul, MN Best Chef: Great Lakes · Michael Carlson, Schwa, Chicago · Stephanie Izard, Girl & the Goat, Chicago · Anne Kearney, Rue Dumaine, Dayton, OH · Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Chicago · Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago Best Chef: South · Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans · John Harris, Lilette, New Orleans · Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL · Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans · Alon Shaya, Domenica, New Orleans Best Chef: Southeast · Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten, Athens, GA · Craig Deihl, Cypress, Charleston, SC · Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta · Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville · Joseph Lenn, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic · Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA · Johnny Monis, Komi, Washington, D.C. · Peter Pastan, Obelisk, Washington, D.C. · Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, NJ · Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C. Best Chef: Northeast · Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa, Boston · Tim Cushman, O Ya, Boston · Gerry Hayden, The North Fork Table & Inn, Southold, NY · Matt and Kate Jennings, La Laiterie, Providence, RI · Eric Warnstedt, Hen of the Wood, Waterbury, CT Best Chef: NYC · Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern · April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig · Wylie Dufresne, wd-50 · Mark Ladner, Del Posto · Michael White, Marea Rising Star Chef of the Year · Dave Beran, Next, Chicago · Daniel Bowien, Mission Chinese Food, San Francisco · Thomas McNaughton, flour + water, San Francisco · Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC · Sue Zemanick, Gautreau’s, New Orleans Outstanding Pastry Chef · Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Cambridge, MA · Melissa Chou, Aziza, San Francisco · Hedy Goldsmith, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami · Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles · Ghaya Oliveira, Boulud Sud, NYC · Mindy Segal, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, Chicago Best New Restaurant · AQ, San Francisco · Fiola, Washington DC · Isa, NYC · Next, Chicago · Tertulia, NYC Outstanding Service · Cyrus, Healdsburg, CA · La Grenouille, NYC · Michael Mina, San Francisco · Spiaggia, Chicago · Topolobampo, Chicago Outstanding Restaurateur · Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg, Blue Ribbon Restaurants, NYC · Tom Douglas, Tom Douglas Restaurants, Seattle · Piero Selvaggio, Valentino Restaurant Group, Santa Monica, CA · Caroline Styne, Lucques/A.O.C./Tavern, Los Angeles · Phil Suarez, Suarez Restaurant Group, NYC Outstanding Restaurant · Balthazar, NYC · Blue Hill, NYC · Boulevard, San Francisco · Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL · Vetri, Philadelphia Outstanding Chef · David Chang, Momofuku Ssam Bar, NYC · Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco · Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, NYC · Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago · Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans · Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles
Hans Bakery in Anoka is closed. It's been a while now but I was craving its amazing Bee Hive Cake, which came in several sizes including individual little donut sized ones. It was a puff paste layer cake with sweetened pastry cream, but it was really better than that on a thousand levels. Anyone have the recipe, or is anyone connected to the owners? I am trying to save some old classic Minnesota recipes; let's start with this one. ***** Anyone venturing out to Los Angeles should make sure to hit up Santa Monica’ s Rustic Canyon. I was in the City of Angels last week for a few days of meetings and had a couple of amazing meals. Mario’s Peruvian and Seafood in Mid-Wilshire at 5786 Melrose Ave is a simple little Peruvian café with table service that has some of the best Peruvian food I have tasted in years. Insanely fresh and unique ceviche, stunning seafood soups (red or green) loaded with crabs, mussels, lobster, shrimp, and clams, Peruvian fried chicken, whole snapper . . . the place always has a small line but be sure to check it out. On the fancier side, but still casual is Rustic Canyon at 1119 Wilshire Blvd. the same team that brought you the incredible Huckleberry, Milo Olive, and Sweet Rose Creamery has a real stunner in this hip but unforced café serving some of the best chow in LA. I ate one of everything on the menu and can tell you that the shrimp romesco, burrata panzanella, gnocchi, and the burger, yes the burger, are some of the tastiest dishes I have eaten in a long time. Josh Loeb has done some superb food in the past but teaming with his wife, pastry doyenne Zoe Nathan, has put his restaurant group on the map in a big way. It's hard to do simple food well, even harder to set it apart from all the other places around the country that manage to pull it off, but the food at Rustic Canyon and the pastries I tried at Huckleberry are beyond confident, beyond stellar. They fit, and for a first time diner it feels like you’ve always eaten there. Nathan does the desserts at Rustic Canyon and the crostata was suberbly crafted but the spice cake with caramel ice cream and the peanut butter and chocolate parfait made my knees buckle. Speaking of knee buckling orgasmic moments . . . check out my new podcast, Go Fork Yourself with Andrew Zimmern and Molly Mogren on iTunes and on andrewzimmern.com. You will love it.