Ina Garten Wins 2018 James Beard Foundation Media Award
It was a big night for the Barefoot Contessa.
Awards show season may have come and gone for the TV and film business, but over here in the food world, we’re just getting started. The James Beard Foundation honors excellence in all areas of the culinary industry, from the chefs running the line in the kitchen and the aesthetics of a restaurant to food programming and cookbooks, and their annual awards ceremonies are akin to the Oscars of food. Friday night marked the 2018 Media Awards, which took place on New York City’s west side, and next up is the Restaurant and Chef Awards, happening in Chicago on May 7.
We were on hand at the Media Awards as journalists, authors and television talent joined forces to honor each other and celebrate the industry with awards for enthusiastic honorees. Between bites of dinner prepared by Chefs Michael Anthony (who made the stunning salmon-beet appetizer pictured above), Ashley Christensen and Hugo Ortega, presenters like event emcee Tameron Hall as well as nominee Andrew Zimmern took the stage to honor works in digitial, television, print and radio.
Ina Garten, who’s no stranger to the James Beard Foundation with multiple past wins and nominations, added another accolade to her impressive resume. Tonight her series Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro, produced by Rachel Purnell, Olivia Ball, and Bridget Lumley of Pacific, earned the award for best Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location. She edged out fellow Food Network pals Bobby Flay and Damaris Phillips whose series The Bobby and Damaris Show was nominated in the same category alongside The Latin Kitchen with Luis Valenzuela, Juan Pablo Gonzalez, and Luis "Tigreton" Leon. Though Ina wasn’t on hand to accept the award in person, her presence was nearly palpable, especially as Tameron spoke of relying on Ina’s tried-and-true recipes when first looking to cook years ago.
In the world of cookbooks and beyond, it was a big year for international cuisines. The Pho Cookbook by Andrea Nguyen took home the prize in the Single Subject category, while Deepa Thomas’ Deepa’s Secrets won the Health and Special Diets award. In the international category, it was a Mexican-focused publication that earned the coveted medal; Gonzalo Guzman and Stacy Adimando won for their book, Nopalito. Similarly, in the category of Oustanding Personality/Host, Pati Jinich won for Pati’s Mexican Table.
A complete list of winners can be found here.