Congratulations to the 2011 James Beard Foundation Award Nominees!

Congrats to chef Mike Anthony of Gramercy Tavern on his 2011 James Beard Foundation Award nomination!

Our friends at the James Beard Foundation have released their list of nominees for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards, otherwise known as the “Oscars” of the food world. Congratulations — and good luck — to all the nominees and honorees. Use the links below to reserve at the nominated restaurants to select your own set of winners. And, remember, you — Yes, you! — can dine at the James Beard House. Learn more, here!

Best New Restaurant
A restaurant opened in 2010 that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service and is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come.

* ABC Kitchen, New York, NY
* Benu, San Francisco, CA
* Girl & the Goat, Chicago, IL
* Menton, Boston, MA
* Torrisi Italian Specialties, New York, NY

Outstanding Chef Award
A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Candidates must have been working as chefs for at least the past 5 years.

* José Andrés, minibar, Washington, D.C.
* Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco, CA
* Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles, CA
* Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago, IL
* Charles Phan, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA

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Top Chef D.C. Episode 12: The Final Countdown

Shame on me. I didn’t realize we were getting to the final four so soon. This probably explains why I’m a blogger and not, say, a calculus teacher or an engineer. I’m back with would-be cheftestant Ed Hardy. We’re chatting semi-live, meaning we both DVR’d it and watched at the same time. The U.S. Open is going on and, as it turns out, I am concurrently watching Andy Roddick get Serbed. Ha! Get it? Tipsaveric is Serbian? Anyway, let’s get Ed in on this….

First, are you excited to be here again? Tell me again why you’re watching on delay? Did you take your lovely wife out to dinner? Where’d you eat?

"I totally almost wore the same thing as Padma. Ha! NOT!"

“Excited” is a strong feeling. Especially for a person who drinks until they can’t feel feelings anymore while watching Top Chef. I’m watching on DVR because I was out at dinner at Convivio. Chef Michael White is “White” hot right now in NYC. Which is great because Italian is the new culinary black. So Chef White is the new black.  Which makes sense. Because I’ve been drinking. My wife Françoise (CP note: She’s a food writer for StarChefs and is, for all intents and purposes, out of Ed’s league. You know it’s true, Hardy!) and I found a lot to like at Convivio. Good staff, good antipasti, and sfizi (Italian amuse). Some minor texture issues with the pasta, but we’re hypercritical reviewers. Worth a second visit!

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The Cultivated Plate: Gramercy Tavern Chef Michael Anthony’s Sourcing Story

OpenTable is pleased to announce the launch of The Cultivated Plate, a new weekly feature on Dining Check about how and from where restaurants source their ingredients. From the practical to the political, chefs and restaurateurs will share the challenges and the opportunities in bringing food from farm to table. This week, chef Michael Anthony discusses how he tells Gramercy Tavern’s story by shopping at the Greenmarket.

GT is located only 3 blocks aways so from every single angle, the market represents the best resource that we have as diners and as restaurateurs in the city. It’s the beginning for all the dishes that we eat at home and all of the dishes we serve at the restaurant.
It offers the greatest flexibilities in terms of buying. The fact that ehese folks come from up to 3.5 to 4 hours a day and are willing to be here to answer questions and provide information. This is the greatest flexibility for buying food.
The majority of our food comes riht from the market. We support other farms through other companies. But sincer we’re three blocks away, we have a whole team of ppl responsible for combing the market. The goald is to buy local, but we don’t define local bye a geographic point on the map. We’re defining local by the relationships we make when we’re buying our food. We’re trying to builda dialogue. There’s a healthy evolution between diners and chefs.

Watch as Chef Anthony shares his thoughts on the farm-to-table label, how he addresses diners who want fresh tomatoes in January, and where truffles fit in to his menu at Gramercy Tavern. And, read more sourcing insights from this chef after the jump.

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Chef Michael Anthony Talks About Dining with His Kids at Gramercy Tavern

Photo: Ellen Silverman
Photo: Ellen Silverman

In honor of Mother’s Day, our series of interviews with famous chefs who are also parents continues, with Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony sharing his exclusive tips with OpenTable diners for raising adventurous eaters who enjoy dining out.

Chef Michael Anthony has his hands full, figuratively and literally. As the executive chef for the award-winning Gramercy Tavern, an advocate of local foods, and an educator for children about where their food comes from, he’s also father to three daughters: a newborn, an 8-year-old, and a soon-to-be 11-year-old. On dining out with kids and getting them to be adventurous eaters, he says, “We’re in the thick of it, as much as any parents. Being a chef doesn’t take away the challenges every parent faces in terms of introducing new foods and dining out.” He advocates making food fun. “Take them to local farmers markets or farms. Play with your food, in terms of presentation. I once served my daughter long beets presented to look like a mouse. She let out an enormous scream, but she ate it!”

“When we take our daughters out, my wife and I talk to them about the experience going into it and the table manners they’ll need that are different than at home.” Once there, he notes how many stimulating things there are to see at a restaurant. “Engage your kids in the restaurant experience. Have them try to guess what each staffer does by uniform – what the jobs of the people in the restaurant are,” he says. You might also ask to if the kids can take a peek into the kitchen.

You might not guess it, but Chef Anthony was a fussy eater as a child – and his kids can be, too. “My eldest daughter has decided that artisanal cheeses are not for her. She likes the kind that comes in individual slices! The little one doesn’t like fish.” He admits, “I have resorted to bribery at times. It is a never-ending battle, but don’t cave in. If my children don’t like a certain dish, I ask them to tell me why. If they can say they don’t like the aroma or the texture, then that’s okay. It’s cool that they’re learning to articulate their preferences.”

His daughters do agree that they enjoy the chilled cucumber soup served at Gramercy Tavern. “It’s a delicious, refreshing soup made with herbs and yogurt. We put a drop of honey in to hide the slight bitterness that offends some people, and my kids love it!”