It's no surprise that New York and Napa Valley restaurants dominated the top spots at Monday night's James Beard Awards held at Lincoln Center. Foodies of every stripe -- from Food Network stars to French Laundry chefs -- were in attendance at the black-tie event. A red carpet was even set up in the new courtyard outside Avery Fisher Hall so the truly food-obsessed could catch a glimpse of chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Lidia Bastianich and Alton Brown, the evenings co-hosts. (Pictured above is Brown, JBF president Susan Ungaro, Bastianich and Ted Allen arriving on the red carpet.)
The big awards of the evening went to New York's Marea for Best New Restaurant; Tom Colicchio of the Craft restaurants (and a regular "Top Chef" judge) won the Outstanding Chef Award; Daniel Boulud won the Outstanding Restaurant Award for Daniel, another New York restaurant; the Outstanding Pastry Chef award went to Nichole Plue of Redd in Napa Valley; and Timothy Hollingsworth of Napa's famous The French Laundry, won the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award.
Backstage, talk turned to to food trends -- something fine-dining chefs don't look kindly on -- and the seemingly omnipresent locavore movement. And we even found out where these top chefs are excited to eat.