James Beard Nominations
Anybody see the 2011 James Beard Award Mid Atlantic Semi Finalist list?
BEST CHEF: MID-ATLANTIC
Andrew Araneo, Drew's Bayshore Bistro, Keyport, NJ
Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA
Pierre Calmels, Bibou, Philadelphia
Jay Caputo, Espuma, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Bertrand Chemel, 2941 Restaurant, Falls Church, VA
Melissa Close-Hart, Palladio at Barboursville Vineyards, Barboursville, VA
Tony Conte, The Oval Room, Washington, D.C.
David Gilberg, KOO ZEE DOO, Philadelphia
Michael Krikorian, The Copper Canyon Restaurant, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Johnny Monis, Komi, Washington, D.C.
Peter Pastan, Obelisk, Washington, D.C.
Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, NJ
Dave Racicot, Notion, Oakmont, PA
Dale Reitzer, Acacia, Richmond, VA
Chip Roman, Blackfish, Conshohocken, PA
Adán Saavedra, Paloma, Philadelphia
John B. Shields, Town House, Chilhowie, VA
Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia
Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C.
Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore
NJDolfan - Just because they are critics doesn't mean they are more knowledgeable then you or me when it comes to food. I think you will find that many of them had very little if any formal food/restaurant training before becoming a critic (e.g. Sam Sifton, Frank Bruni, etc.). The difference is that they purportedly write better than you and me and eat out a lot. Other than that, who's to say that their "taste" is better than ours? As for Copper Canyon, having dined there a number of times, I too was suprised by the nomination.
We have many mutual friend, who all speak highly of you, but the difference between the critics and some people on this board is that. The critics don’t try to beat down the restaurant like some people do here. People not in the business don’t know or see what it takes to own and run your own restaurant. I don’t feel the need to try and hurt someone. There are other ways to say you didn’t like the food at a particular place them some people are doing.
I guess you don't follow restaurant critics all that much. Locally I recall Asbury Park Press's Andrea Clurfield taking obvious pleasure in shredding every aspect of any establishments she did not deem "worthy," then when chosen as editor of the NJ Zagat guide removing the entries to those same restaurants, regardless of their actual popularity. Then there is the infamous Tony Bourdain / Alan Richman feud involving Les Halle's in NYC. I've seen critics "beat down' establishments they don't like with a fervor and gusto that is only enhanced by their knowledge of how the business works.