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James Beard broadcast, journalism and cookbook award winners

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The James Beard Foundation's book, broadcast and journalism awards were Friday night in Manhattan. As a member of the book committee, I got to be there. The big question of the night was: "Would Ruth Bourdain reveal himself or herself?"

For the non-Twitter users out there, Ruth Bourdain is a twitter personality who combines the airy,ditzy tweets of Ruth Reichl and the humor of Anthony Bourdain. (I'm not joking about Reichl's tweets. Here are a few: "Sleek red fox waltzes on bright green grass. Ears up, he watches cream ribbon onto balsamic-roasted berries. Then fades into the woods." and "Fluffy joyful dog frisks beneath the lilacs. Long walk through the park. Ripe mangoes for breakfast. Now a hotdog. Can't resist." I love her writing but cannot stand her tweets.) When @RuthBourdain's name was announced, the awards crowd hushed a little - not much there was a lot of alcohol being served -- and scanned the room to see if anyone would accept the award. No one did. Ruth Bourdain's identity remains a mystery.

My other favorite moment of the evening was James Villas' acceptance speech. This Charlotte native had never won a James Beard award. He took the stage and announced: "It's about goddamn time."

REMEMBER: Chef Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill is up for Best Chef of the Southeast tonight at the chef's awards. On Twitter, follow #jbfa for updates & @kathleenpurvis who is on the scene.

Here is a complete list of the winners:
 
American Cooking Cookbook: Pig: King of the Southern Table by James Villas (John Wiley & Sons)

General Cooking Cookbook: The Essential New York Times Cook Book: Classic Recipes for a New Century by Amanda Hesser (W.W. Norton & Company)

M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award: Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly, "A Movable Beast"

Audio Webcast or Radio Show: GrapeRadio Graperadio.com, Hosts: Eric Anderson, Brian Clark, and Jay Selman Producers: Mark Ryan and Jay Selman

Television Program, In Studio or Fixed Location: Top Chef: Season 7, Host: Padma Lakshmi, Network: Bravo, Producers: Tom Colicchio, Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz, and Dave Serwatka

Television Program, On Location: Avec Eric, Host: Eric Ripert, Network: PBS, Online, Producers: Justin Barocas, Heather Brown, and Geoffrey Drummond

TV Food Personality/Host: Alton Brown, Show: Good Eats, Network: Food Network

Food Section of a General Interest Publication: San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné and Miriam Morgan

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review: Patric Kuh, Los Angeles "Animal Magnetism," "Making Their Move," "Time for a Redo?"

Group Food Blog: Grub Street New York, Newyork.grubstreet.com, Daniel Maurer, Jenny Miller, and Alan Sytsma

Cookbook Hall of Fame: On Food and Cooking: The Science & Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

Cookbook of the Year: Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy by Diana Kennedy

Baking and Dessert: Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours by Kim Boyce

Beverage: Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World's Top Wine Professionals by Jordan Mackay and Rajat Parr

Cooking from a Professional Point of View: Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine
by René Redzepi

Healthy Focus: The Simple Art of EatingWell Cookbook by Jessie Price & the EatingWell Test Kitchen

International: Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories by Grace Young

Photography:  Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine Photographer: Ditte Isager

Reference and Scholarship: Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes by Mark Bitterman

Single Subject: Meat: A Kitchen Education by James Peterson

Writing and Literature: Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food by Paul Greenberg

Audio Webcast or Radio Show: CBC Ideas: "Pasta: The Long and Short of It", Host: Megan Williams, Area: Canada and Online, Producers: Susan Mahoney and Megan Williams

TV Food Personality/Host:  Alton Brown, Show: Good Eats, Network: Food Network

Television Program, In Studio or Fixed Location:  Top Chef: Season 7, Host: Padma Lakshmi, Network: Bravo, Producers: Tom Colicchio, Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz, and Dave Serwatka

Television Program, On Location: Avec Eric, Host: Eric Ripert, Network: PBS, Online, Producers: Justin Barocas, Heather Brown, and Geoffrey Drummond

Television Segment: 60 Minutes: "Chef José Andrés", Host: Anderson Cooper, Network: CBS, Producers: Bill Owens and Kara Vaccaro

Television Special/Documentary: Milk War, Host: Colm Feore, Network: ichannel, Producers: Declan O'Driscoll and Kevin O'Keefe

Video Webcast: GrapeRadio, Graperadio.com, Hosts: Eric Anderson, Brian Clark, and Jay Selman, Producers: Mark Ryan and Jay Selman

Publication of the Year Award: Edible Communities

Cooking, Recipes, or Instruction: Amy Thielen, Minneapolis Star Tribune, "A Good Catch," "Low-Tech Wonder," "From the Bean Patch: Plenty"

Environment, Food Politics, and Policy: Carl Safina, EatingWell, "Sea Change"

Food Culture and Travel: Rick Bragg, Francine Maroukian, and Robb Walsh, Garden & Gun, "The Southerner's Guide to Oysters"

Food-related Columns and Commentary: Tim Carman, Washington City Paper, "Ignore the Pizza Police," "Supply and Da Men," "Schmeer Campaign"

Food-related Feature: Dan Koeppel, Saveur, "Fruit of the Future"
 
Health and Nutrition: Rachael Moeller Gorman, EatingWell, "Captain of the Happier Meal"

Individual Food Blog:  Politics of the Plate, Politicsoftheplate.com, Barry Estabrook

Multimedia Food Feature: Michael Gebert and Julia Thiel, The Chicago Reader, Key Ingredient: "Kluwak Kupas," "Chinese Black Beans," "Geraniums"

Personal Essay: Tom Junod, Esquire. "My Mom Couldn't Cook"
 
Profile: Benjamin Wallace, New York, "The Restaurant Auteur"

Wine and Spirits: Jon Fine, Food & Wine, "Natural Wine: Weird or Wonderful?"

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About the blogger

Andrea Weigl has been the food writer at The News & Observer since the summer of 2007. She has won a handful of awards from the Association of Food Journalists and the Society for Features Journalism. Her profile of chef Ashley Christensen titled "A Force of Nature" will be published in the sixth edition of "Cornbread Nation: The Best of Southern Food Writing." She is serving a three-year term on the James Beard Foundation book awards committee. Follow her on Twitter at @andreaweigl.
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