Seattle's outstanding restaurateur Tom Douglas lost his bid for the title of "Outstanding Restaurateur" Monday night as the nation's fooderati converged in New York City for the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards. Drew Nieporent, of NYC's Myriad Restaurant Group, took home the honors at the culinary equivalent of the Oscars.

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Seattle’s outstanding restaurateur Tom Douglas lost his bid for the title of “Outstanding Restaurateur” Monday night as the nation’s fooderati converged at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York for the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards.

Drew Nieporent, of NYC’s Myriad Restaurant Group, took the honor at the culinary equivalent of the Oscars.

Maria Hines, owner/chef of Seattle’s certified organic restaurant Tilth and a third-time nominee, barely made it to the stage to accept her Best Chef Northwest medal, won at the expense of her pals Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez (of The Harvest Vine), Jason Wilson (Crush), Ethan Stowell (Union) and Cathy Whims (of Portland’s Nostrana).

Hines was preparing to feed the crush of luminaries at the after-party, including the evening’s hosts Emeril Lagasse, Iron Chef Cat Cora and actor Stanley Tucci.

But once she got to the mic, she offered a “big thanks to my crew at Tilth and a very special thanks to my wife for letting me put a lien on the house for Tilth.”

“I promise we’ll pay it off soon now, honey,” Hines added.

Former Seattle Post-Intelligencer food writer Rebekah Denn, now blogging at www.eatallaboutit.com, did her former newspaper colleagues proud by accepting a James Beard Foundation Media Award for “High on the Hairy Hogs: Super-Succulent Imports are Everything U.S. Pork Isn’t” — a profile of Seattle-based Mangalitsa pig-breeder Heath Putnam, owner of Wooly Pigs.

Denn accepted her award at Broadway’s Hudson Theatre on Saturday night, where, she says, “After I got my jaw off the floor, I remembered to thank my mom for taking Amtrak up from Delaware” — and her team of editors and photographers at the P-I.

Nancy Leson: 206-464-8838 or nleson@seattletimes.com. To read her blog, go to www.seattletimes.com/

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