NEW YORK, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Food Network premiered its first-ever awards show, the Food Network Awards, on Sunday, April 15th at 9 PM ET/PT. The 90-minute show, which was taped at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami, FL, on Friday, February 23rd, honored achievements in the world of food and entertaining in an offbeat awards ceremony unlike any other on television. World-renowned chef Emeril Lagasse served as Master of Ceremonies for the awards, introducing members of the Food Network family who presented awards throughout the show. Lagasse is host of Emeril Live! on Food Network, as well as a master chef, restaurateur, cookbook author among other accolades. Other Food Network star presenters included: Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, Paula Deen, Bobby Deen, Sandra Lee, Alton Brown, and Nigella Lawson. George Duran serves as the floor reporter in the audience. Academy Award winner for Chicago, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Golden Globe nominee for Thank You for Smoking, Aaron Eckhart, stars of the upcoming film No Reservations (opening July 27), made a special presentation to Matthew Finkel, age 18, who was selected as the first-ever winner of The Culinary Institute of America Scholarship and Food Network Opportunity of a Lifetime. Matthew was one of more than 30 students considered for the award. Matthew, a Bronx native, has dreamed about attending the CIA to gain knowledge in pastry arts and learn leadership skills that will help to advance his career as his long-term goal is to open his own bakery. Matthew started his journey March 6, 2007, as a student in the CIA's Bachelor's Degree program. Julia Child, the beloved TV pioneer who inspired generations of cooks, was inducted into the Food Network Hall of Fame, and Bill Shore, founder of anti- hunger group Share Our Strength presented the award for Humanitarian of the Year to Floyd Cardoz of Tabla Restaurant in New York City. For nearly twenty years, Union Square Hospitality Group - first as the restaurant Union Square Cafe, and now as a restaurant group - has been actively involved with Share Our Strength. When Chef Floyd Cardoz joined USHG in 1998 as the opening chef of Tabla, he naturally participated in fundraisers for long-time USHG charitable partner Share Our Strength, including annual participation in Taste of the Nation, a guest chef commitment at the Autumn Harvest Dinner, and other anti-hunger efforts. However, a Share Our Strength Hinges of Hope trip to New Orleans this year took Chef Cardoz from willing participant to engaging advocate. Other Food Network Award winners include: -- Delicious Destination of the Year - A rising city with a fast-growing food scene! - Portland, Oregon -- Play With Your Food - Art with an edible twist! - Jell-O Artist - Liz Hickok -- Icy Innovations - Inroads in Ice Cream! - MooBella Ice Cream -- Tasty Technology - Tomorrow's appliances for today's kitchens! - PoliScience Anti-Griddle -- "Hot" Chocolate - Artisan confectioners raising the bar! - Andrew Shotts of Garrison Confections -- Delectable Delivery of the Year - Not your Grandmother's Food-of-the- Month Club! - Zingerman's: Z - Club (winner) -- Super Market - Building a better grocery store! - Wegmans Food Market, Inc. -- Better Burger - Fast-food with character! - Burgerville -- Edible Entrepreneur of the Year - Passionate pursuit of bright ideas! - Alicia Polak - Khaya Cookie Company -- Viewers' Choice: Favorite Food Combo - Burger & Fries -- Viewers' Choice: Best Ballpark Eats - Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia) -- Viewers' Choice: The Professional Grade Kitchen Appliance You Can't Live Without - Microwave -- Viewers' Choice: Favorite Classic Read - Green Eggs & Ham -- Viewers' Choice: Favorite Cool & Classic Cocktail - Margarita An internal panel led by Food Network Kitchens selected the nominees for the awards; the same panel, which represents all departments at the network, chose the winners, in addition to five viewer's choice categories that were determined by votes on http://www.foodnetwork.com. The Food Network Awards is produced by Triage Entertainment in conjunction with Food Network. Triage also produces the popular series Iron Chef America for the network. About Food Network: FOOD NETWORK (http://www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network and Web site that strives to be way more than cooking. The network is committed to exploring new and different ways to approach food - through pop culture, competition, adventure, and travel - while also expanding its repertoire of technique-based information. Food Network is distributed to more than 90 million U.S. households and averages more than seven million Web site users monthly. With headquarters in New York City and offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Knoxville, Food Network can be seen internationally in Canada, Australia, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Monaco, Andorra, Africa, France, and the French-speaking territories in the Caribbean and Polynesia. The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP), which also owns and operates HGTV (http://www.hgtv.com), DIY Network (http://www.diynetwork.com), Great American Country (http://www.gactv.com) and FINE LIVING (http://www.fineliving.com), is the manager and general partner.
SOURCE Food Network