2015 James Beard Nominees

James Beard was inarguably a pioneer foodie, who in 1954 was anointed the “Dean of American Cookery” by the New York Times.  In 1955 he established the James Beard Cookie School, and was host to the very first cooking show on NBC in 1964. Although Mr. Beard died in 1985, his legacy lives on.

Known as the Oscars of the food world, the James Beard Awards cover all aspects of the industry: chefs and restaurateurs, cookbook authors and food journalists, restaurant designers and architects, and more.

This is the landmark 25th year, and I’m excited to know some of this year’s nominees.

Chef Corey Lee is the master behind the success of Benu in San Francisco.  Last year, Benu joined the ranks of French Laundry in earning 3 Michelin stars.  I had the pleasure of photographing Chef Lee last year, and he’s a really nice person who was easy to work with; a true collaborator.  I am happy his efforts have made such a splash, and he’s being honored as a nominee for Best Chef.

Last year I also worked with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the best facilities in the nation to catch a glimpse of marine life.  Chef extraordinaire Cindy Pawlcyn was in the final stages of opening Cindy’s Waterfront restaurant, and I was helping them with PR/launch photography.  I shot some of the dishes she created for this new venue, along with interiors and lifestyle shots.  Chef Pawlcyn has been nominated for Best Restaurateur for her three restaurants:  Cindy’s Waterfront and Napa Valley’s Mustard’s Grill and Cindy’s Back Street Kitchen. Kudos to a pioneer in sustainable gastronomy!

Under the category of Food and Culture, one of the three nominees is a favorite client of mine, San Francisco Magazine.  They’ve been nominated for an article: “The Toxic, Abusive, Addictive, Supportive, Codependent Relationship Between Chefs and Yelpers.” For 10 years, the citizen reviewers of Yelp have showered restaurants with praise—and pummeled them with abuse. Now chefs are showing the psychological effects.

It’s a fascinating look at the relationship between Yelp and chefs. You can read it here: http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-toxic-abusive-addictive-supportive-codependent-relationship-between-chefs-an

You can look at all of the nominees and further reading here: