James Beard Journalism Awards: Hanging with Journalist/Chef Zak Pelaccio

I went to the James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards on Friday and want to give huge congratulations to several Food & Wine contributors: LA correspondent Brad Johnson for winning in the category of "Restaurant Reviews"  for his work at Angeleno; writer Brett Anderson for outstanding "Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs" for an article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune; and the Top Chef TV crew (including F&W's own Gail Simmons) for "Television Food Special" for their holiday special.

Other things I learned at the awards gala: co-hosts and über writers Matt Lee and Ted Lee, complete with matching seersucker suits, could become stand-up comics if they wanted to; and fellow dinner companion and nominee Zak Pelaccio (nominated for an excellent article he wrote for F&W's July 2007 issue, "An American Chef's Malaysian Love Story") has been hanging out with Mexican cooking authority Diana Kennedy, eats salads with his fingers, and promises that the retro-style ceiling fans at his new Fatty Crab in the Upper West Side will be just as awesome as at the ones in his West Village spot.

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