James Beard Awards: The 2012 rookie class

Get to know the local talent that will be repping NYC for the first time this year.



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The James Beard Awards—the “Oscars of the food world” goes the old chestnut—unfold on Monday, May 7, with a star-studded NYC gala at Avery Fisher Hall. Your friendly Food & Drink staffers will be live on site, delivering all the juicy cocktail chatter, victory speech highlights and more from @thefeednyc. In advance of the big day, we sat down with six first-time nominees representing New York City to talk about the relevance of a Beard these days, and what taking home the coveted medal would mean for them.

Read on for interviews with Del Posto’s Mark Ladner, Seamus Mullen of Tertulia, Ghaya Oliveira of Boulud Sud and Isa’s Ignacio Mattos. We also hit up fellow rookie nominees Jim Meehan (PDT) and Audrey Saunders (Pegu Club) to discuss the Outstanding Bar Program category, new to the 2012 awards.

The James Beard Awards are Mon 7 at 6pm (Avery Fisher Hall [at Lincoln Center], 132 W 65th St at Broadway; 212-925-0054, jbfawards.com. $425 and up).

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