Esca's Beard Awards After-Party

May 1, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

James Beard Foundation Awards official after-party Esca Monday, 04.30.01, 10 PM onward
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Just like at the real Oscars, the party never ends. Several big-name attendees of the James Beard Foundation awards (also billed as the “Oscars of the food world") made their way over to Esca, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's Times Square seafood hotspot for the event's official after-party. Roberta Herman of Party Art Productions hired actors from the Manhattan
Performing Arts Company
to dress in blue, green, silver and gold mermaid costumes and hand out strings of plastic pearls, Swedish fish candy and red Fortune Teller fish to arriving guests, who were already riding a gastronomic high of fabulous food and drinks from the tasting reception that followed the awards show.

Inside, wine and cocktails were flowing, and more food, including frites, mortadella, and prosciutto and cheese on a cracker stick were offered to guests. The new raw bar trend wasn't missed by Esca, who put out clams on a bed of ice with lemons. By 11 PM, the restaurant and the tent outside were packed, and more guests were trying to fit themselves in. Those who managed to squeeze in were serenaded with Italian songs by three of the MGM Guarnera Brothers.

Among some of the big names in the restaurant and food industry we spotted were Olives' Todd English; Peter Kump's pastry guru Nick Malgieri; Zarela Martinez and her son Aaron Sanchez (head chef at Paladar); Gordon Elliott of the Food Network; Bobby Flay and his TV co-host Jacqui Malouf; Food & Wine editor in chief Dana Cowin; Gourmet editor in chief Ruth Reichl; Aquavit's Marcus Samuelsson and Bastianich family matriarch Lidia Bastianich.

--Suzanne Ito

Read our coverage of the awards ceremony...

See a list of the restaurant and chef award winners...

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