I was given the invaluable opportunity to help set up at the James Beard Foundation Awards by an amazingly generous and wonderful family friend, Jon. All the thanks to you, Jon! I'm still beside myself.
Jon with the Chesterfield Floral Co. did all the flowers for Chef Stitt's table, and he so kindly let me tag along and lend a hand. He absolutely outdid himself on the arrangements, and the table was beautiful. It got so much attention!
This year was the 25th anniversary, so the nominated chefs all prepared dishes that were inspired by an aspect of one of James Beard's cookbooks. Chef Stitt was serving a crawfish and Gulf shrimp salad, there was a "picnic by the sea" (we're still unsure what that means...), port-soaked prunes with orange creme, a cake by Charm City Cakes, and straight tequila served in champagne glasses, just to name a few. This is the kind of party I want to attend.
From what we saw in the time we were there, the event was going to be an extravagant one, with a red carpet and the whole bit. I'm so grateful I was able to play even the tiniest little role in it all. I'm quite speechless, so I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking!
The venue: Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center
An arrangement on our table--and people looking in awe from behind!
More arrangements, and Chef Stitt in the background
Chef's menu item for the evening
Our table with Chef
Our neighboring tables
Pastry chefs hard at work
Cakes hidden away in boxes
The lovely and handsome Jon as we're trying to capture Duff in action. And apparently as we're creeping on Duff, some staffers were creeping on us!
Thanks again, Jon and Ted. This day has made quite a few of this little gal's dreams come true!