2006_03_food_jb.jpgAll the foodies are in a tizzy today as the coveted James Beard Award nominees were announced last night. The actual awards ceremony and reception will be held on May 8, at an event celebrating "the culinary legacy of New Orleans." Reservations for the May 8th event can be made by calling 212-367-9490 or toll free at 1-866-362-6442. Admission is $375 ($325 for James Beard Foundation members/$120 for students - find your old ID cards fast!). A portion of the admission price will be donated to a charitable fund established to support the rebuilding of New Orleans’ restaurant community.

There are 62 award categories for restaurants and chefs, cookbooks, broadcasting, print journalism, and restaurant design -- for a full list of nominees, you can read the press release, but we're going to hit some of the New York based notables:

- Who’s Who of Food and Beverage, for "significant and lasting achievements and contributions to the food and beverage industry for ten or more years": Gray Kunz, Founding Chef, Café Gray
- Outstanding restauranteur nominee: Daniel Boulud, Drew Nieporent, Jean-Georges Vongerichten
- Outstanding chef: Tom Colicchio, Craft; Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar & Grill
- (No outstanding restaurant nominees! - gasp!)
- Best New restaurant: Del Posto, The Modern
- Rising Star chef of the year: David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar (mmm . . . pork buns)
- Outstanding Pastry chef: Gina DePalma, Babbo; Sam Mason, WD-50
- Outstanding wine service: Charles Scicolone, wine director at I Trulli
- Outstanding service: La Grenouille
- Best chef, New York City: Dan Barber, Blue Hill; David Burke, davidburke & donatella; Floyd Cardoz, Tabla; Gabriel Kreuther, The Modern; David Waltuck, Chanterelle
- Outstanding restaurant design: The Modern; Haku (now closed)
- Outstanding restaurant graphics: San Ambroeus, designed by Mucca Design Corporation
- Radio Show: The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC
- Magazine feature writing without recipes: Marshall Sella's New York magazine article, Does a Duck a Have Soul?

We were excited to see two new award categories to show that the JB Foundation is, indeed, keeping up with the times: Webcasts on Food and Internet Website for Food (which included epicurious.com, our go-to site for last minute recipes).