Bringin' home the (Beard) bacon

May 3, 2010



Kevin Pang savoring his first James Beard Award

It wasn't exactly a stellar opening round for Chicago's best at the 2010 James Beard Awards for media and cookbooks last night. Despite several nominees in the room, the only Chicagoans to bring home the gold were the Chicago Tribune's Kevin Pang (above), who won for Best Multimedia Food Feature, for "The Cheeseburger Show" on chicagotribune.com; The Chicago Reader's Cliff Doerksen also won for Best Newspaper Feature Writing, for his piece, "The Real American Pie."


Kelly Choi and Andrew Zimmern keep things moving at the Beard Awards

It was stunning. Award after award was called: no Monica Eng for her report on school lunches; no Mike Sula for his piece on the charcuterie underground. No nod for the cookbook by Terra Brockman; No Rick Bayless (actually, Andrew Zimmern was named Best TV Food Personality), no Steve Dolinsky (foiled by Nightline!!). The coolest part of my night happened around 12:30 a.m. today, as Monica Eng corralled me and some other people to the basement of the afterparty - inside SD 26 - where they were slicing some seriously delicious porchetta and also serving sausage with lentils and some dynamite sopressata and justifiably rich‚ lardo. Gotta go to bed now, as I'll be blogging and getting video of all of the Chicago-area winners at the big gala at Lincoln Center later tonight.


Porchetta in the basement at SD 26 (photo by Steve Dolinsky)