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Beard Coda: Local Chefs Represent, NYC Dominates

Left: the Ubuntu Foxes enjoying a night on the town. Right: Appleman enjoying his medallion.
Left: the Ubuntu Foxes enjoying a night on the town. Right: Appleman enjoying his medallion.

The 2009 James Beard Awards have come and gone, and Nate Appleman (Rising Star) and Douglas Keane (Pacific Region) were the local honorees. Boulevard came up short in the Outstanding Restaurant for the fifth year in a row and New York restaurants dominated the major categories, reminding everyone of the JBA's strong NYC voting bloc. The full list of winners is here, but first, some other things we learned from last night's media blitz:

1) Berkeley's finest professor Michael Pollan took home an award for In Defense of Food, but the food shaman was ... a no-show.

2) Newspapers can't do anything right these days.

3) Appleman rocked the Sean Jean. No joke.

4) A humble Keane with a strong declaration for fellow nominee David Kinch (who won our preview poll): "I think David may be the best chef in the country."

5) Not only did Grant Achatz win a cookbook for Alinea, he revealed that he's got two movies in the works: a documentary-style film and a feature film. Look at him: Ethan Hawke is a shoe-in for the role, right?

6) For anyone doubting the value of one of those pretty Beard medallions, Food & Wine ed-in-chief Dana Cowin hears that a regional best chef award brings an extra one million to the bottom line.
· Full List of Winners [.pdf]
· Eater Live: Liveblogging The James Beard Awards! [~ENY~]
· All James Beard Coverage [~ESF~]

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