May 07, 2014

A Night at The James Beard Awards

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the James Beard Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards because Kitchen Vignettes was one of three nominees in the Video Webcast, on Location category. What an honour that was! Especially being a finalist alongside two of my favourite fellow foodie video producers, Dark Rye and Perennial Plate! And finally getting to meet the PBS Food team in person!

The evening got off to a wobbly start as we discovered how utterly impossible it can be to find a taxi on a busy Friday evening in Manhattan. After some frantic waiving and whistling and everything in between, we finally found a free cab and scrambled in, only to be promptly booted back onto the street and told he was headed a different direction from where we were going. Feeling very much like two lost farmers in the city, we managed to  jump on the nearest subway and then proceeded to undertake a rather frantic, un-elegant 'walk-run' all the way to the venue. We made it to our table just in time for dinner and the beginning of the awards announcements, phew! 

The soirĂ©e was a blast, with a Southern-themed dinner and all the excitement of the awards announcement. It was a thrill to be sitting in a room filled with so many foodie personalities... even Martha Stewart was there to receive the award for Best Television Program. The Video Webcast on Location award went to the amazing world-travelling duo at Perennial Plate and my only disappointment was that they weren't there to congratulate in person (because every single one of their videos makes me want to hide in their suitcase and be their travel buddy on their next trip). If you haven't already seen their work, you've got to check them out… though it's hard to choose just one, this is probably my all-time favourite:

The awards dinner was followed up by the Lucky Peach after-party at Momofuku's which was a blast. Three floors of all you can eat and drink madness. My favourite was the seafood-covered table decked out with jars of mysterious tiny pickled fish, mountains of crawfish (maybe one day someone will teach me how to actually eat those buggers, though I did my best with my limited skills…). And then there were crab legs. Muchos crab legs. I ate a lot of those crab legs. They made my night. This photo captures a bit of the glistening seafood raunchiness. It was really a rather crazy scene.

My adventurous date dared to venture into the equally crazy sheep-inspired cocktails being whipped up. I'm not sure I'll ever have another chance to taste a sheep yoghurt cocktail. We had fun. But possibly the best part about New York was seeing leaves and flowers on the trees.

Fancy that! Up here in the north pole, we barely have daffodils yet. So a little taste of actual spring was a most delightful break from the endless days of rain and cold we've had here. Oh New York, you're always such a charmer. Thank you for the memories and until next time, fair city.


  1. Aube, this sounds amazing! Momofuku's! How wonderful :) I have been to New York in May - its just about the perfect month to go there...congratulations on being a finalist...(And your handsome date looks great with a beard by the way!)

    1. Thanks Pam! I think he looks so handsome with a beard too ;-)