Michael Ruhlman and Tony Bourdain have concocted The Golden Clog Awards (Ruhlman has previously announced as much on his blog), a quirky little awards event born out of "too many beers and late night yakitori," as Bourdain explained to Eater yesterday. The awards ceremony, or "awards ceremony," will take place this Friday at 2:00 PM in Miami Beach, as part of the 2008 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which does lend a certain, frightening air of credibility to the proceedings. Later today we'll bring you a chat with Bourdain about the whole shebang, but at this time, may we present the official list of nominees in the first annual Golden Clog Awards (official statuette above).
The 2008 Golden Clog Awards, Nominees and Honorees
By their Greatness Shall We Know Them
[Winners will be selected by Bourdain and Ruhlman alone, who may or may not consult with their advisory board of Next Iron Chef contender Michael Symon, journalists Russ Parsons in Los Angeles, Ed Levine and Jennifer Leuzzi in New York, and Dara Moskowitz.]
For greatest achievement in pork, and/or guts
Nominees: Martin Picard of Montreal's "Au Pied de Cochon"; David Chang of New York's "Momofuku Noodle Bar and Momofuku Ssam and ..."; Chris Cosentino of San Francisco's "Incanto"
For being on Food Network and yet, somehow managing to Not Suck
Nominees: Duff Goldman for Ace of Cakes--and for his relative low visibility and seeming lack of cooperation in the usual knuckleheaded FN Holiday co-branded clusterfucks; Ina Garten for actually cooking just about everything impeccably--and for (like Duff) being nearly invisible elsewhere on the Network; Giada diLaurentis for doing everything (but the food) wrong and yet....still cooking consistently better than she has to.
For the chef/restaurateur who best multi-tasked, multi-platformed, merchandised, whored himself, or opened multi-units (either while impaired--or not) and yet STILL managed to protect the quality of the mothership--while continuing to make valuable contributions to the restaurant landscape
Nominees: Tom Collichio, Thomas Keller, Mario Batali
For worst career move
Nominees: Gordon Ramsay for the cruel and pointless freak show that is Hells Kitchen; David Burke for the "Hooters in a Hula skirt" non-charms of Hawaiian Tropic Zone in Times Square; Tyler Florence for Applebees, Applebees, Applebees
THE CHEF'S CHEF AWARD
Also known as The What's a Publicist? Award for the chef who continues to make the kind of food other chefs like, while flying largely under the national radar
Nominees: Scott Bryan for Veritas and now -- some place in Virginia; Mark Vetri for Osteria and Vetri in Philly; Paul Kahan for Blackbird and Avec in Chicago
THE CAT CORA AWARD
For most fame based on least actual culinary achievement
Nominees: Guy Fieri for..."Tex Wasabi?"; Tony Bourdain--"One fucking book. Did this asshole ever work anyplace GOOD?"; Robert Irvine--"Sir Robert? Uh....Maybe not. Prince Charles' wedding cake?...uh...no. White House? Hmmm..not according to Walter Scheib....Five Stars? Who IS this guy? Really?"
LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THR WRONG PLACES AWARD
Nominees: MJ Adams at the Corn Exchange in Rapid City SD; Andrew Meek at Sage in Windsor Heights, Iowa; Jim Kyndberg at the Bayport Cookery, Bayport MN; Stuart Tracey of the Pirogue Grill in Bismark, North Dakota
For the writer or blogger who actually GETS it
Nominees: Bill Buford for Heat; Pim for Chez Pim; Mike Nagrant for Hungrymag.com
For the best example of twisted, repressed, or compromised "I'd rather be making lemon bundt cake with My Cat, Mr. Mufflesworth" journalist who actually HATES food and hates the people who make food even more
Nominees: Alan Richman for taking a big Dump on New Orleans at the worst possible time. And for his totally disingenuous piece on celebrity chefs not being behind the stove when Alan chooses to dine; John Mariani for continuing to be John Mariani and do what he does so well. Which is--apparently--get free stuff; Bob Lape--"Do I have to pay for that?": Regina Schrambling for her deranged, embittered--yet fascinating--gastropoda.com, where she raves and rags on her former employers--(and Mario Batali) like an ex-lover-turned-bag lady.
THE SWOLLEN LIVER AWARD
For the chef/or food person who has most consistently resisted the cruel attentions of PETA and the Food Police
Nominees: Laurent Manrique, Michael Romano, Chris Cosentino, Ariane Daguin
THE CRAZY BASTARD SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
For the chef/operator who did the most insanely wonderful or heroic fucking thing in recent memory
This year's honoree: Chef Donald Link of Cochon in New Orleans.
THE SUPREME ORDER OF CLOGNESS AWARD
For the chef or restaurateur or food writer or food producer or food "personality" who simply did it best--or made the most significant thing, moved things forward, or changed the landscape of food in wonderful NEW ways
To Be Announced