Ever since The French Laundry Cookbook failed to win a Beard Award (for anything) I’ve been bitter about awards.  But I love the food blog awards at WellFed.net.  Partly because I’m included twice (thank you!) which actually makes me feel a part of the blogging community at large (it’s been more than a year), but also because I see some of my personal favorites in there, and still more it points me to blogs I didn’t know about or didn’t really read beyond my regular 10 or so.  I’m nominated in the chef category.  This is a really tough one as all of them are excellent—so vote for me, the reason being I asked first (unless I didn’t).  Next year though, I think they need a category of chef blogs limited to actual chefs working in a restaurant.  I’m also nominated in the industry category, competing again with the estimable shuna! Isn’t there a $10,000 cash prize attached to each award?!  Of course there are many worthy blogs not mentioned, and this is both regrettable and inevitable.


26 Wonderful responses to “Blog Awards”

  • ntsc

    That isn’t ‘the city’ that is ‘Chicago’ where the Mayor was once quoted as saying that the dead have just as much right to vote as you do.

  • Phil

    Well done indeed. I’ll be stuffing the ballot boxes for ‘French Laundry at Home’ and ‘Becks & Posh’ as often as I can.

  • Anonymous

    I was really surprised that you were left out of the “Best Book About Pediatric Cardiothorasic Surgery” Category. You got robbed!

  • Derrick Schneider

    If you really want to feel bitter about awards, slog your way through The Economy of Prestige. I’d be hard pressed to think of a drier read, but the author dissects the awards process and holds the innards up to the ugly light of day.

  • Artful

    Two helpful posts in a row by Mr. Ruhlman! I really like the new direction he’s taking this blog.

    I’m doing a Poll based on the “Entree is Dead” portion of the previous column. Y’all stop by if you’d like to cast a vote. Especially welcome are those who DO NOT currently live in a cutting-edge culinary place.


  • Dave C from NY

    I’m sure Mike Symon will put in a few votes for you (rim shot)! Thank you, I’ll be here all week, try the fish.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Good luck with the award.

  • Brad

    ARTFUL: you posted a large swath of Kim Severson’s article from the NY Times without giving clear and prominent citation to the author/source or citing permission to do so from it’s publisher. You need to be very careful about respecting intellectual property rights and copyrighted material in general, because people, websites, and companies have and do get into hot water over such things.

    As the host of a book-related site, I’m sensitive to these things, and I’m just sharing a helpful tip.


  • Anonymous

    I still think the French Laundry Cookbook is probably one of the best written and most beautiful books out there. Always a great way to spend an hour or so.

  • Big Red

    Voted. Very good choices in the nominees however. But all in all, as much as I despise people asking for votes like cheap politicians, (who when not kissing babies are screwing their moms) Ruhlman is of course the best. I get such a charge out of this blog, and the characters that poke a lurk about. It’s a good thing…as Tony…I mean Martha would say. I get them mixed up, their both so witty. *Sarcasm anyone?*

  • Adele

    I live in Chicago, and I have the “vote early and often” thing down. However, I’ve now clicked Ruhlman so many times in both categories that my right hand has assumed a claw-like shape.

    Michael, if you win the prize, will you take us all to the Velvet Tango Lounge for drinks?

  • Egaeus

    The French Laundry Cookbook didn’t win because the James Beard Foundation doesn’t have a “food porn” category! Didn’t Bourdain explain that?

  • Artful

    RE: Brad. Thanks for the politely-worded helpful tip. Can’t fix it, but a more innernets-savvy reader (and food blogger) put the link/credit in the comment section for me.

    RE: The awards. I really liked that Wellfed.Net had so many categories. Especially glad to see a RURAL category.

  • Brad

    ARTFUL: you’re very welcome. On a related note, I’m still in the process of helping to cull several thousand old limited-use book blurbs from my own site’s database (material that predated our current and far more industry compliant data entry policies), so I hope you didn’t think I was gigging you … I was just trying to pass along something I have been working hard to help fix on my own site.

    Article citations are generally best limited to a short excerpt (that’s clearly delinated through quotes and/or italics or a special indent), plus credit to the author and source by name and/or hyperlink. Mike Ruhlman showed one of the commonly accepted forms for doing that in his 12/07 “Food notes” post. When using longer excerpts, the general good form modus operandi is to first obtain written e-permission from the publisher and/or author, as applicable.

    Again, just passing along what I’ve learned to the blog community. 🙂

  • Lisa

    @Derrick; @Brad:
    Derrick, thanks for the book rec; Brad, thanks for the A-zon link. The Economy of Prestige sounds like a must-read for those of us who annually find ourselves whirring in the Cuisinart of Awards Judgment. Sometimes the outcome is great, sometimes it’s not. But the results often don’t seem to correlate to the quality of the work, and the lack of control feels maddening. Think I’ll wait til after the holidays to dive into the book, however–no need to OD on cynicism now.

    Don’t mind our friend’s shilling for votes. Kinda wish I had that opportunity myself! Voted early; will vote often!

  • Brad

    Personally, I’m not really keen on sites whose voting protocols allow people to vote repeatedly on the same thing, like crazed chimps. I voted one, and only once, and only in the categories I knew at least one candidate for.

    Shilling for votes is fine, but I’m a diehard one-person one-vote kinda guy at heart.

  • Tags

    I voted for Ruhlman legally, as did my family.

    Try the fish, except on Monday. (rimshot)

  • javafiend

    ntsc – the dead are just as politically active here in Philadelphia…lol

  • Vincent

    I voted for you as well as amatuer gourmet, ideas in food and 101 cookbooks in different categories.

    Good luck man.

  • Ed

    Happy holidays, but I have to say, putting you and the others in your category up against Alex and Aki is a little unfair. Not sure who made the nominations…but you are a self described non-chef, right?

    Your philosophy as espoused in your writing is beautiful and deeply respected. Alex and Aki produce new food every day…outside the realm of tradition and several other contexts. Not really sure how all of these people are lumped together…but I will say all listed deserve some recognition. If you win the 10k, I hope you will spend a G on a dinner with the runners up.

    I understand that the modern approach is not your bag most of the time…but I hope you will give them an open minded shot some time. Crispy cocks comb w/ bee pollen and grains of paradise (or whatever the title was) was among the best things I tasted all year…and that was only one of (100+) dishes created by them this year.

    Writing is an art, unto itself and you do win in spades as far as that goes…whether or not I think your trussing technique is the truth. Peace to all the nominees for making a difference in this world.

  • Bill Brigden


    I remember when you did not win the Beard award for The French Laundry Cookbook but I do recall that when Chef Trotter’s Cookbook won instead that he thought that you should have won and offered you the reward – in a way I am sure that meant something to you – that in fact you really did deserve the award – you did!

    Anyway, I think you are just getting started and I look forward to many awards gracing your path in the future!

  • Claudia

    OK, every time I logged on to the blog, I clicked on Michael in both categories. I now have “carpal tunnel finger” but Michael has a cool $20K, so my work here is done. Enjoy, Michael – and my regards to the IRS!