Our James Beard Picks vs. The Beard Awards, 2010

irelandVictory is ours! For the second year running, we've predicted a majority of James Beard cookbook award winners, guessing 7 out of 11 categories correctly. The big winner was The Country Cooking of Ireland (buy it), picking up top honors for the International category as well as Cookbook of the Year. The only major upset was that David Chang and Peter Meehan's Momofuku (reviewed here, buy it) didn't carry the Professional Point of View category; that nod went to The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts(buy it) by the French Culinary Institute and Judith Choate. Congrats to all the winners. See where we got it right and where were wrong below, with commentary.

American Cooking

Our Pick: Real Cajun by Donald Link and Paula Disbrowe (buy it)
Winner: Real Cajun by Donald Link and Paula Disbrowe
Reaction? Southern food continues to be a major trend.

Baking and Dessert

Our Pick: DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style by David Guas (buy it)
Winner: Baking by James Patterson (buy it)
Reaction? Although we know Paterson's book is very popular, we're a little disappointed.

Beverage

Our Pick: Been Doon So Long by Randall Grahm (buy it)
Winner: Been Doon So Long by Randall Grahm
Reaction? Excited to see a unique voice win, especially in the somewhat staid wine writing genre.

Cooking from a Professional Point of View

Our Pick: Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan (buy it)
Winner: The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts by the French Culinary Institute and Judith Choate (buy it)
Reaction? Looks like David Chang backlash is in full effect.

General Cooking

Our Pick: Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller (buy it)
Winner: Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller
Reaction? We're not surprised; this is one of the best cookbooks we've seen in some time.

Healthy Focus

Our Pick: Love Soup by Anna Thomas (buy it)
Winner: Love Soup by Anna Thomas
Reaction? Some Love for the vegetarians.

International

Our Pick: The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews (buy it)
Winner: The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews
Reaction? A strong showing for a great book.

Reference and Scholarship

Our Pick: Larousse Gastronomique (Revised and Updated) Prosper Montagne, Editor (buy it)
Winner: Encyclopedia of Pasta by Oretta Zanini de Vita (University of California Press) (buy it)
Reaction? A little surprised, but we know that Encyclopedia has a lot of fans out there.

Single Subject

Our Pick: Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods by Eugenia Bone (buy it)
Winner: Pasta Sfoglia by Ron Suhanosky (buy it)
Reaction? There's been some hipster-bashing backlash against preserving, and it appears to be a good year to have written about pasta.

Writing and Literature

Our Pick: The Seasons on Henry’s Farm by Terra Brockman and Deborah Madison (buy it)
Winner: Save the Deli:In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen by David Sax (buy it)
Reaction? The PR machine for Deli was pretty fierce, plus who doesn't love a book with a cause?

Photography

Our Pick: Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallmann and Peter Kaminsky (buy it)
Winner: Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallmann and Peter Kaminsky
Reaction? No contest.

—Paula Forbes

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