Who’ll Win the Beards This Year? These Guys Think They Know

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After Bret Thorn handicapped the Beard Awards, Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appétit and John Mariani of Esquire throw out their own preferences and predictions. Both like José Andrés for outstanding chef and ABC Kitchen for best new restaurant, but they differ on outstanding restaurant (Mariani thinks Eleven Madison Park; Knowlton thinks Highlands Bar & Grill of Birmingham). Though Mariani thinks Michael White deserves the best chef NYC award, he’s not as sure as Knowlton is that he'll actually take it home on Monday: “Having been anointed by several articles in the New York Times and a bestselling book as this year's ‘It girl,’ everyone will rush and gush to register their vote for [Gabrielle] Hamilton.” Of course, no matter who wins, it’s an honor just to be nominated. In an interview about the awards, Rising Star Chef nominee Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar tells Feast, “I feel like we already won. Being singled out on that extreme level is massive. Going to the awards is more of a celebration with our peers.”

The Foodist's 2011 James Beard Award Predictions [Foodist/Bon Appétit]
Handicapping the 2011 James Beard Awards [Eat Like a Man/Esquire]