|Play it, Sam|
If there's one thing chefs are considered to be good at besides cooking, it's knowing how to throw (and enjoy) a good party. After Avery Fisher Hall emptied out last night, bottles were popped, high heels were ditched and, yes, Utz potato chips were eaten. Memory a bit fuzzy because you were out as well, or decided to celebrate at home? Well, here's a glimpse into what happened.
To start the evening off, folks headed across the street to Boulud Sud, where winners like Maguy Le Coze (Outstanding Restaurateur, Le Bernardin) and Christopher Kostow (Best Chef: West, Meadowood) could be spotted hobnobbing with the likes of Mario Batali, Elizabeth Falkner, Gary Danko and Emeril Lagasse. Ever the consummate host, Daniel Boulud worked the room graciously along with 2011 30 Under 30 honoree Aaron Chambers.
Further Downtown, Daniel Humm and Will Guidara spared the banquettes and tablescapes at Eleven Madison Park by foregoing their usual fete there in favor of renting out an artist's space near NoMad in Chelsea. Negronis and Manhattans on tap, along with beer and bottles of Maker's (for those feeling ambitious), were served to an eager crowd that included winner Stephanie Izard (Girl & the Goat), Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer (Toro, Coppa), and The Taste judge Brian Malarkey.
Those feeling peckish could help themselves to a spread of Utz potato chips (we saw a few chefs going for it - ain't no shame, Daniel Holzman), but instead of eating, most people could be found on the dance floor. The playlist tapped into '90s/early aughts magic, with everything from Naughty by Nature to Mariah Carey, Jay-Z and Fat Joe. At one point, we caught Outstanding Personality/Host Andrew Zimmern grooving and mouthing the words to Pink's "Let's Get This Party Started." Outstanding personality? Check. Though the winner for best moves had to go to host Daniel Humm, who at some point jumped on a table and started dancing. No doubt about it - Humm/Guidara know how to host a memorable shindig.
Over at Del Posto, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Cecilia Chiang demonstrated that just because you're 93 years old doesn't mean you don't know how to party. She was spotted along with other winners, holding court at large round tables.
The last stop was Momofuku Noodle Bar, where David Chang was throwing a low-key get-together with a group that included fellow winner Wylie Dufresne (WD~50, Alder) and Food Network personality and chef Aarón Sánchez. Bottles of Tiger beer and glasses of champagne made the rounds while Chang gave a touching albeit light-hearted speech thanking his staff. The party kept going after that, but we didn't. Until next time, James Beard Awards!
Additional reporting provided by Kathleen Squires and Chris Walsh.