I only just got around to checking the list of winners for the 2012 James Beard Awards (thanks to reader Mic for reminding me that they were even happening!). Congratulations to Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s on her book award for Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. I confess I haven’t seen it yet, the fall of the big box bookstores has made browsing the year’s cookbook titles a whole lot more difficult. But I can see it’s a book Mrs. Pastry will want to get her mits on and soon!
Congratulations also to Mindy Segal on winning Outstanding Pastry Chef this year. Mindy’s restaurant, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, was just down the street from my old apartment on Damen Avenue in Chicago. I had the pleasure of working with Mindy at time or two on some food industry events and I can tell you she’s a serious character. Once during an interview I asked her what she thought of the molecular gastronomy movement. “It’s bullshit” she shot back. How can you not love that?
Funny, Mindy also makes killer ice creams, which makes it something of an ice cream year all the way around for the James Beard Foundation. Congratulations to all the winners and the nominees, especially in the Baking & Dessert category, Lisa Yockelson (Baking Style, Art, Craft, Recipes) and Frédéric Bau (Cooking with Chocolate: Essential Recipes and Techniques) and in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category, Chefs Joanne Chang, Melissa Chou, Hedy Goldsmith, Dahlia Narvaez and Ghaya Oliveira. You made us all proud, gang!