notes from the mexican kitchen

An Honor to be Nominated

We are positively buzzing today.

The James Beard Foundation has nominated Topolobampo as one of five finalists for its “Outstanding Service” Award.

We’re in remarkably good company: The Barn at Blackberry Farm (Walland, Tenn.), Marea (New York City), Quince (San Francisco) and Restaurant August (New Orleans) have also been named finalists.

And the good news is just getting started. The Feed, a podcast collaboration between Chef Rick Bayless and Chicago-based food journalist Steve Dolinsky, has been nominated by the Foundation as “Best Podcast.” The nominations for the podcast award also include “Eat This Podcast” by Jeremy Cherfas and Tina Antolini’s “Gravy.”

This morning’s announcement marks the fourth time Topolo has been nominated for the service award in total. We’ve never won.

But perhaps that changes this year, when the awards ceremony — dubbed the “Oscars” for the food world — comes to Chicago for the first time ever, when stars of the culinary scene will descend May 4 on Chicago’s regal Lyric Opera.

Also worth noting: Frontera Grill won the Foundation’s top restaurant prize for “Outstanding Restaurant” (2007),  and Chef Rick Bayless earned the Foundation’s top chef award “National Chef of the Year” (1995), as well as “Humanitarian of the Year” (1998). Rick is also in the Foundation’s “Who’s Who of American Food and Drink.”

There have been other Foundation awards and nominations too, including Rick’s 1991 prize for the Foundations’s “Top American Chef: Midwest” award, the International Cookbook of the Year award for “Mexico: One Plate at a Time” (2001) and nominations for two more acclaimed cookbooks, “Rick and Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures” (2005) and “Mexican Everyday” (2006).

But who’s counting?

For now, here’s a very sincere congratulations to our co-and nominees. Here’s to good eating and great service.

See you in May!


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