Monday, April 11, 2005

Mariani's Take on the James Beard Awards

Interesting article in John Mariani's weekly newsletter (Virtual Gourmet -- scroll down about halfway) about the James Beard Awards as well as reassuring information on situation with financial impropriety. Mariani also discusses his picks for the upcoming James Beard Awards. For Outstanding Restaurant, Mariana predicts SF's Boulevard or NYC's Montrachet. He's not very complimentary about Spice Market in the Best New Restaurant in the category feeling the nominees are mismatched and too NY-centric. Still, how can one not be mismatched with Cru and Per Se in the running. In typical Mariani snob fashion, he complains he's never heard of four of the five nominees for Best New Chef and that none owns their own restaurant. Well, gee, John, I would be surprised if any did - how many new chefs do you know who start out successfully with their own places? Or, conversely, how many successful chef/owners do you know who started their own establishments before busting their chops in someone else's kitchen? He includes a good roundup and commentary on the regional nominations.

Even with all his snob-appeal, Mariani is probably the most active critic covering the entire US and is probably one of the few people in the country who has actually eaten with most of these nominees. Good "handicapping" nonetheless.

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