While I might not have had much luck at this year’s James Beard Awards, it’s a damn good thing that I wasn’t the only one from our little square state in Manhattan this past weekend.
As a matter of fact, Colorado was much better represented at the Chef Awards (which happened on Sunday, a couple of days after the journo awards had passed into history) by none other than Ryan Hardy from Montagna in Aspen and the boys from Frasca -- Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson.
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No surprise, I wasn't able to get any of the guys on the phone yesterday. With any luck, they were still sleeping off Sunday night’s Big Apple exertions. And there was reason to celebrate.
First, there was the crawl on CNN in the middle of the night (East Coast time) announcing that Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago had won the big prize: the Outstanding Chef Award (and then going on to mention how the guy was battling tongue cancer at the same time). Then, shortly after, I checked the website at www.jamesbeard.org and got the final results of all the contests. And while Stuckey and Hardy might’ve missed out on taking home the Uncle Fester this year (that’s the James Beard Award medal, which has a picture of Beard himself embossed thereupon -- and in his later years, Big Jimmy did bear a striking resemblance to the grinning, bald Uncle of Addams Family fame), Lachlan nailed it, taking his category, Best Chef Southwest, and bringing yet another Beard award home to Colorado.
So congrats to all the guys who got noms this year, and extra-special double congratulations to Lachlan for getting the gold. As if it wasn’t already tough enough to get a table at Frasca, this new honor should make it damn near impossible…
But as I reported last week, the guys are looking for a new home for Frasca in Boulder, one they can own -- and with any luck, one with a bigger dining room, -- Jason Sheehan