James Beard Awards Step Into 2010: Eatocracy’s Kat Kinsman declares that she and the rest of the committee for the James Beard Journalism Awards have “gone and blown the whole thing up,” changing the award categories to put print and online journalism on a level playing field, “an acknowledgment that online contributions should no longer be relegated to the kids’ table.” via Eatocracy
Walmart Gets On the Road to Redemption: Walmart outlined operating practices and goals in a new initiative aimed to “support farmers and their communities.” via The Atlantic
Food Blogging Conference Called Out: The blog EverydayAlice.com recaps BlogHer Food, a food blogging conference, and it’s not all pretty pictures of muffins. “Somehow in the course of this past year food blogging evolved into an industry. What used to be a creative outlet and hobby for so many people has now become a vehicle to a fame and fortune focused world where hierarchies and cast[e] systems are established by who you know, what you’ve accomplished, and how well you’ve branded your blog.” via EverydayAlice.com
Michelin Inspectors Shouldn’t Tweet: Chef Chris Cosentino of San Francisco’s Incanto and Food Network fame thinks he spotted the local Michelin inspector after the inspector tweeted his whereabouts. Cover blown? Meanwhile, Josh Ozersky wonders about the growing irrelevance of the guide. via Grub Street SF
A Good Read: On the heels of last month’s exposé by Kim Severson on Gourmet Live‘s inadvertent endorsement of Diageo products via a “brand ambassador” who put together a cocktail feature for digital mag, Ike DeLorenzo finds more media doing the same. This time, Marco Pierre White, acting as a shill for Knorr products, ropes in a number of newspapers, which write up his visits to their towns with lots of mentions of Knorr.
Deaths, Firings, Recalls, and Other Endings:
• Marcel Lapierre, responsible for helping take Beaujolais way beyond nouveau, died.
Debuts, Openings, and Other Beginnings:
• Bitter Feast, the film starring Mario Batali as a restaurant owner whose chef kidnaps and tortures a food blogger who’s done him wrong, debuts in New York.
• Food & Wine launches an iPad app with recipes, video, and a wine guide to pretty good reviews.