Ask anyone who's written a cookbook: They'll tell you that cookbook publishing is one tough business. For me, editing a cookbook is a special kind of pleasure. The James Beard Foundation Awards are the Oscars of cooking. Familiar names Lidia Bastianich, John Besh, and James Peterson were among this year's nominees. Here's an abbreviated list of some of this year's nominees (with winners in boldface).
For a complete list, visit the James Beard Foundation Awards Web site.
COOKBOOK OF THE YEAR: The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews (Chronicle)
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR: Wayne Kostroski, founder of Taste of the NFL
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Ariane and Michael Batterberry, founders of Food Arts and Food & Wine magazines
AMERICAN COOKING: My New Orleans by John Besh (Andrews McMeel); Real Cajun by Donald Link with Paula Disbrowe (Clarkson Potter); The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern by Matt Lee and Ted Lee (Clarkson Potter)
BAKING AND DESSERT: Baking by James Peterson (Ten Speed Press); DamGoodSweet by David Guas and Rachel Pelzel (Taunton Press); Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart (Ten Speed Press)
BEVERAGE: Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology by Randall Grahm (University of California Press); The King of Vodka: Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire by Linda Himselstein (HarperBusiness); World Whisky by Charles Maclean (DK)
GENERAL COOKING: Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller with Dave Cruz (Artisan Books); Salt to Taste: Keys to Confident, Delicious Cooking by Marco Canora with Catherine Young (Rodale); The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones (Alfred A. Knopf)
TELEVISION SHOW: The Barefoot Contessa with Ina Garten (Food Network); French Food at Home with Laura Calder (Food Network Canada); Iron Chef America with Alton Brown (Food Network)
TELEVISION SHOW, ON LOCATION: The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Obsessions (Food Network); Chefs A'Field: King of Alaska (PBS); Gourmet Adventures with Ruth [Reichl]: The Bertinet Kitchen, Bath (PBS)
TV FOOD PERSONALITY: Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (Travel Channel); Alton Brown, Good Eats (Food Network); Rick Bayless, Mexico One Plate at a Time (PBS)
FOOD BLOG: Grub Street New York; Serious Eats; Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
MFK FISHER DISTINGUISHED WRITING AWARD: John T. Edge, The Oxford American, "In Through the Back Door"; Alan Richman, GQ, "Le Petit Gourmet"; Francine Prose, Saveur, "Faith and Bacon"
WEB SITE: Chow.com, Jane Goldman; Epicurious.com, Tanya W. Steel; Saveur.com, James Oseland
BEST NEW RESTAURANT: Bibou, Philadelphia; Flour + Water, San Francisco; Frances, San Francisco; Locanda Verde, NYC; Marea, NYC; RN74, San Francisco
OUTSTANDING CHEF: Jose Andres, Minibar, Washington, DC; Tom Colicchio, Craft, NYC; Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco; Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles; Charles Phan, The Slanted Door, San Francisco
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF: Amanda Cook, CityZen at Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC; Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart Bakery, Minneapolis; Kamel Guechida, Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas; Nicole Plue, Redd, Yountville, CA; Mindy Segal, Mindy's HotChocolate, Chicago
BEST CHEFS IN AMERICA: Great Lakes: Koren Grieveson, Avec, Chicago; Mid-Atlantic: Jeff Michaud, Osteria, Philadelphia; Midwest: Alexander Roberts, Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis; New York City: Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park; Northeast: Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier, Arrows, Ogunquit, ME; Northwest: Jason Wilson, Crush, Seattle; Pacific: David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA; South: Michael Schwartz, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Miami; Southeast: Sean Brock, McCrady's, Charleston; Southwest: Claude Le Tohic, Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas;