5/07/2013 10:36:00 AM

The 2013 James Beard Award Press Room - Chefs, Fashion and Food

The James Beard Award press room is notorious for being a bit of a party, but this year, things were slightly less rowdy than years past. Tighter restrictions on press passes decreased the amount of cranky food writers complaining about the lack of food and made for a slower fill-up - things didn't really get going until around 8 PM. Drinks by Absolut Elyx kept everyone well lubricated but one mere food station - a duck bacon-wrapped piece of quail from D'Artagnan - was certainly not enough to satiate the starving masses.

The Food Network's Anne Burrell walked through, grabbed a drink, and we overheard Anne say to her friend, "let's see if there's anyone to say hi to, and then get out of here." There was no shortage of star power however once things got rolling. Wylie Dufresne, a longtime Susan Lucci of the awards (10-time nominee!) finally had his night by winning Best Chef NYC - a coup that will no doubt help his new restaurant Alder wrangle some first time customers. Zagat 30 Under 30 Danny Bowien took home Rising Star Chef for Mission Chinese Food and was dressed to kill - donning partially green hair and one heck of a jazzy suit (see photo above).

Once all the hardware had been handed over, the long-awaited reception/tasting got underway. The chefs preparing food were largely from out of town, with San Francisco representing heavily. We approached Thomas McNaughton's table and noticed the harried chef trying to get his multiple course offerings ready in time for the hungry hordes. "I'll be ready in about 6 hours," he joked to us. Check out some of the food, fashion and fodder in the slideshow above. Until next year, folks.


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