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Judging the 2015 James Beard Awards

This year, I had the honor of judging the 2015 James Beard Book and Broadcast Awards and the pleasure of meeting famed lifestyle expert, (and amateur comedian) Martha Stewart.

Just having viewed her genius on Justin Bieber’s roast I was so excited to compliment her comedic prowess in person. This was just one highlight of the evening.

For those of us in the the culinary world, this is like our Oscar’s- complete with red carpet and after parties galore. It was inspiring to be in a room full of such amazing talent and wisdom and be able to call so many of them my friends. The very first award announced went to thekitchn.com for their cookbook. I was screaming like a lunatic because as you may or may not know the site is near and dear to my heart, housing my column The 10- Minute Happy Hour. My colleagues Faith Durand, Sara Kate Gillingham and Leela Cyd, and an entourage of other talent including Emma Christensen, knocked out a killer book that truly deserved the award. Since the team is scattered across the country, I apparently felt it was my job to cheer on behalf of all of us. I was also overjoyed knowing a few of my drink recipes were included in those pages.

Once I caught my breath from that high, it was as you can imagine a night full of delicious sips and spoonfuls, all while toasting my role models including Martha, Dan Barber and Gale Gand- just to name a few.

For a complete list of this year’s winners click here.