If next month’s James Beard Foundation Restaurant & Chef Awards Gala is the Oscars of the culinary industry, then last night’s James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards was the Golden Globes of the food world — at least according to the president of the James Beard Foundation, Susan Ungaro. At Manhattan’s Pier Sixty, nestled along the Hudson River with sprawling views of a shining city sunset, Ungaro joined more than 100 esteemed award nominees, plus revered chefs and tastemakers, and host Carla Hall, to celebrate the very best works in food media.
From the Photography and Podcast categories to that of the Personal Essay, the winners took the stage one by one to accept their James Beard medals and reflect on the journeys that brought them to that podium. Perhaps, however, no other award was more sought-after than the medal for Outstanding Personality/Host, as it was saved until nearly the end of the evening. For the second year in a row, Food Network’s Ina Garten earned the win in this venerable category for her hit show Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics. Before and after her name was announced, the crowd looked back on familiar scenes from her show, as well as some of Ina’s most-mouthwatering recipes, which in true Ina form, she delivered with the relaxed and welcoming air that only she could provide.