On Monday night, food and drink professionals swapped out their toques for tuxes to honor and celebrate the talent of their peers at the James Beard Awards, regularly referred to as the "Oscars of the food world."
Celebrity chefs and past James Beard Award-winners Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and Traci Des Jardins announced the winners of the 2011 James Beard Foundation Chef and Restaurant Awards at New York City's Lincoln Center.
Since 1990, the not-for-profit organization named after "the father of American cuisine," has been honoring the outstanding names in the food and beverage industry.
There is no cash reward, but a win - or even a nomination - can substantially increase the buzz for business, according to foundation President Susan Ungaro.
Below are this year's winners in bold:
Food has been a part of our TV lineup even before Julia Child's classic show "The French Chef" took off in 1963, but since then, it's become an increasingly inescapable mainstay.
Between the Food Network and Cooking Channel, the "Top Chef" franchise on Bravo, the Travel Channel's "No Reservations," "Man v. Food" and "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, plus "Hell's Kitchen," "MasterChef" and "America's Next Great Restaurant" on broadcast networks, we're tuning in for a lot of eating and cooking.
It's not hard to understand the popularity: Production values of these shows may vary, but if they're not entertaining us with standard reality-TV shenanigans, they're exploring a topic we can all dig into. Food TV has an obvious appeal for those who want to learn more about cooking and cuisine, but it's also an easy way to chill out even if you don't.
Read the full story "Obsessions: Getting our fill of food TV" on CNN Entertainment.
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
Blondes have more fun, especially on May 9 - National Butterscotch Brownie Day.
Also called Blonde brownies or simply "Blondies," you may think this is the traditional chocolate confection's close cousin, but they're actually a golden oldie. Blondies were running the show before The Boston Cooking-School was printing up their famous claim to fame.
A golden brownie usually made with brown sugar, chopped nuts and chocolate chips, these ooey gooey treats have long been a favorite in kitchens everywhere. Butterscotch was a popular candy in the 19th century, leading to this creative spin on the traditional fruit/nut cakes that have been around since ancient times.
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