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Sporting A Beard

2013 May 7
by Mike

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.

10 Responses leave one →
  1. September 22, 2014

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  2. Yeahboyeeee permalink
    May 18, 2013

    Congrats, Mike, excellent work on the VF piece and the Beard award. It’s obviously well-deserved. I’m sure even the “notorious” Koch brothers would approve.
    Pleased to say I knew you back in the day.
    Mike K.

  3. May 11, 2013

    Congrats, Mike! Great to hear and clearly well deserved.

  4. May 9, 2013

    Well done Mike! Greatly enjoyed your Kurniawan article, it was good to read a proper long-form article about wine, especially as this one touched on angles that really interest me (wine fraud and the fallibility of tasters in the face of an irresistible story/image). Still miss your Slate articles, surely there are hundreds of “top buys for under $15″ columns in the press that could be replaced with something more substantial? Hopefully editors around the world will take note of your award and get to it.

  5. RobinC permalink
    May 8, 2013

    Congratulations! What an incredible honor. Congratulations to the Canal ladies too. Very nice people with a fabulous job. I met them at a cooking class here in my own city.

  6. May 8, 2013

    Thanks, Jack; I really appreciate it.

    Thanks, Doc; we’ll have to crack some Champagne up on the Cape to celebrate (and I promise it won’t be counterfeit bubbly!).

  7. May 8, 2013

    Evan, thanks so much for the very kind words; greatly appreciated. It was a fun story to report and write, and winning an award for it was gratifying. I was lucky to be able to do the story for a great publication that has incredible resources, but Vanity Fair is obviously an exception to the rule these days. These are brutally difficult times for journalists, and most of us have to at least consider the possibility that our careers in journalism may not be sustainable. But I really love writing, the work keeps coming, and so long as that’s the case, I’m going to continue doing what I do.

  8. Brian permalink
    May 8, 2013

    Congratulations. Well deserved.

  9. Jack Bulkin permalink
    May 7, 2013

    Congrats are in order Mike. A fine article and a deserved honor.

  10. May 7, 2013

    Talk about getting it right. This is extremely well deserved. Congrats, and a heartfelt thank you for pursuing this story and telling it with such style. Hard news combined with good prose makes for wonderful reading.

    I’ll go one more: Kudos for keeping after this story even when the avenues for getting paid to write are narrowing. I obviously don’t know each income stream that you’ve grasped, but I’m always glad to see a Steinberger byline, whether it’s WoFW or elsewhere. These are murky times for writers, so it’s all the more impressive to see the quality you produce.

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