Art of the Pie Goes to the James Beard Awards
How about 36 hours in New York City for a once in a lifetime event? Well, that’s what I just did. On Monday I packed up my pink sneakers, drove to Seattle with my son Duncan, and we hopped on the plane to the Big Apple. What for? The James Beard Awards! Art of the Pie was a nominee in Baking and Desserts Category. Here’s the run down on our most excellent trip.
We left the Olympic Peninsula…
and headed to SeaTac to catch the non-stop to Newark.
We arrived just about midnight but since we were still on West Coast time, it didn’t seem all that late. A cab was next to get to my dear friend Amy’s home in the East Village. She had waited up for us with tea and a snack. Thank you so much Amy!
That West Coast time thing didn’t work out so well in the morning though as 9AM came awfully early! Amy plied us with mugs of strong coffee, breakfast and good conversation. Before we knew it, it was time to get dressed and ready for the big event. I had brought my pink sneakers laced with new pink ribbon, and new Pi socks that I had bought just for the occasion.
Duncan had borrowed a snazzy red jacket and tie from my neighbor, Michael, and after a visit to the local thrift store, put this stylish outfit together. Pretty handsome don’t you think?
We caught a ride uptown and walked a bit on 5th Avenue, stopping in for a few minutes at St Patrick’s Cathedral, passing by Rockefeller Center, and seeing the lions outside of the New York Public Library. Then we opened the doors at 500 5th Avenue and took the elevator up to the offices of my publisher, W.W. Norton/The Countryman Press. My wonderful agent, Ann Treistman, took us around to meet everybody in the office, most all of whom had worked in some capacity on the book. It was really special to meet W. Drake McFeely, the chairman and president of W.W. Norton, too!
Then Ann, Duncan and I piled in a cab and off we headed to the big event, the James Beard Media Awards held at the Chelsea Piers.
A lot of luminaries in the food world were there like Mario Batali…
and a ton more but I didn’t want to look like too much of a country girl asking if I might take photos of everyone. We did share the table with Ed Levine of Serious Eats which was pretty nifty, too! Now, it may be a mom’s prejudice, but I think I had the handsomest date there that night.
Art of the Pie didn’t win; that honor went to Dorie Greenspan for her latest book on cookies. But what an experience to be one of three finalists. I totally feel that it was a winner just by being nominated.
We headed home the next day and landed in Seattle just as the sun was setting, picked up my trusty piemobile and headed home to those mountains in the west.
If Art of the Pie had been chosen I had a few words prepared and since I didn’t get to say them that night, I would like to share them with you now.
Never in my wildest dreams was there one in which a home-baker from a very remote area of Washington State would be standing here tonight. In real life it took a team to make this happen.
- Andrew Scrivani, my incredible photographer who has believed in me and this project from before I knew I had it in me
- Joy Tutela, the best agent in the world
- Ann Treistman, my very visionary editor at The Countryman Press
- Nick Caruso, amazing book designer
- And my beloved son Duncan who is here sharing this special night with me.
If you know how to do something, practice and share it with as many people as you can. On behalf of all the generations of pie makers who stand behind me, and all those pie makers to come…I am honored to accept this award.
Yesterday on our Facebook Pie Nation Group, Ken Haedrich posted these words. “Awards are nice, but they come and go. Knowing that you’ve made a difference in the lives of others, as you have, is a prize that endures.” You are so right, Ken. Now let’s all Be Happy and Make Pie!