Sporting A Beard
I’m delighted to report that my Vanity Fair article about Rudy Kurniawan won a James Beard Foundation journalism award. The awards ceremony was held Friday night in New York. I’d been nominated for Beard awards in the past but had never won—I just figured it was my destiny to be the Susan Lucci of the Beards. But Lucci eventually got her Emmy, and now I’ve got a Beard.
Several people near and dear also won Beards. Jancis Robinson, along with her co-authors Julia Harding and José Vouillamoz, was awarded a Beard for her remarkable opus, Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavors. Roger Sherman won for The Restaurateur, his outstanding documentary about Danny Meyer, and the Canal House ladies, Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, won a Beard for their terrific book, Canal House Cooks Every Day. It was a fun evening that ended with a rollicking after-party at David Chang’s restaurant Má Pêche, where much wine and many pork buns were consumed. (On Twitter yesterday, Chang indicated that he is considering taking the pork buns off the menu because “pork belly doesn’t grow on trees.” I trust this has nothing to do with the fact that I ate around a dozen pork buns at the party—they are addictive little bastards, and I was starving.)
The Beard journalism awards were on Friday; last night, they held the Beard restaurant and chef awards, during which several people were inducted into the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. This year’s inductees included Dorothy Kalins, a mentor to my wife and easily the most influential figure in my household (I rank sixth, after the puppy), and my excellent wine writing colleague Eric Asimov. Congratulations to Dorothy and Eric for these richly deserved honors.
Lastly, an update on the Kurniawan saga. Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said that he will allow three Burgundy winemakers, Aubert de Villaine, Christophe Roumier, and Laurent Ponsot, to testify by videotape at Kurniawan’s trial, which is scheduled to begin September 9. Federal prosecutors had expressed concern about that date because it would likely conflict with the harvest and would make it impossible for the winemakers to testify. So for the moment, at least, September 9 remains the start date.