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Local James Beard discussion

d
DoubleMan Feb 17, 2011 11:11 AM

The Beard site is overwhelmed, but here is the complete semi-finalist list:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02...

I have to say, I'm a bit embarrassed. Of the semi-finalists for best chef of the northeast, the Boston area has two out of twenty. Maybe it's an accurate reflection of our food scene in the area, but I think we should have more on the list (though I'm glad to see the overrated and coasting Orfaly not make the list this year). Maybe we would have more if the newer places, like Coppa, Sportello, Menton, etc. weren't owned by previous winners.

I'm excited to see Maura Kilpatrick make the pastry list (for Oleana, not Sofra). Based on her work at both spots, I think she should definitely be a finalist. Joanne Change makes pretty good, straightforward things, but I don't think a national reputation is deserved (at least based on her Flour offerings).

Hasn't the Garden been open for like three years? How long does someone get to be considered a "rising star"?

Barbara Lynch should be on the Best Restaurateur List.

What do others think? Were we shortchanged or accurately portrayed? Who would you have liked to see nominated?

-----
Sofra
1 Belmont St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Oleana
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Sportello
348 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02110

Coppa
253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

Menton
354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

  1. s
    scotty27 Feb 17, 2011 01:10 PM

    It was similar last year re the shortchanging. I think that is how the judges perceive the scene here.

    www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

    4 Replies
    1. re: scotty27
      r
      robwat36 Feb 17, 2011 01:17 PM

      Oh God, this thread is going to turn into another "food culture (or lack thereof)" clusterfestival, I can feel it...

      1. re: robwat36
        s
        scotty27 Feb 17, 2011 01:18 PM

        I agree. Better to change the subject: Spring will soon be here!

        1. re: scotty27
          j
          Jenny Ondioline Feb 17, 2011 01:20 PM

          True dat: I ate a burrito al pastor from Felipe's on a bench in Cambridge Common in my shirtsleeves this afternoon.

          1. re: Jenny Ondioline
            s
            scotty27 Feb 17, 2011 02:59 PM

            Was that you?

    2. j
      Jenny Ondioline Feb 17, 2011 01:15 PM

      I feel about this roughly the same way I feel when my fellow music critics start talking about who was and wasn't elected to the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame: what these people think has no bearing on my opinion of local restaurants, either those who win or those who get snubbed.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jenny Ondioline
        s
        scotty27 Feb 18, 2011 06:03 AM

        The Beard Foundation has great limitations, but it is one arbiter of criticism, much like the Academy in Hollywood. Take it for it's worth. No chef or restaurant ignores it.

      2. f
        Fenway_Frank Feb 18, 2011 05:33 AM

        I think to be considered a rising star you have to be under 30.

        1. c
          csammy Feb 18, 2011 09:10 AM

          Also nominated was Troquet and Chris Campbell for "Outstanding Wine Service". It has always been my go to place for wine, well deserved!

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          Troquet
          140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

          1. w
            Wannabfoode Feb 18, 2011 09:57 AM

            The nominating process is actually a popularity vote--anyone can go onto the james beard website, register and vote. being nominated may speak more to your ability to "bring out the vote" than to any thing else.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Wannabfoode
              c
              collinsgavornik Feb 20, 2011 02:42 AM

              That's not exactly true. This year -- for the first time -- they invited anyone and everyone to write in nominations for their favorite restaurant, wine program, etc as a means of seeing if there were great places not on their radar. [Which is where, yes if Boston folks think they're being underrepresented, they should've nominated those they consider worthy... and maybe they did and the committee passed, who knows?] The decision for who is named a semi-finalist still rests with the JB committee, not the number of votes any one place received.

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