Sampler Plate: This Week in Food Blogs, the James Beard Awards Edition

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Each week, we put together a sampler plate of the most interesting links from both local and national food blogs. Know a blog we should be paying particular attention to? Leave the address in the comments section below.

29-95: Yes, it's true: There was a tie this year at the James Beard Foundation Awards. Texan chef Tyson Cole from the Austin sushi restaurant Uchi shared the Best Chef Southwest honors with Saipin Chutima from Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas. Houston chef Bryan Caswell lives to fight another day, and was just happy to see the award return to Texas after 20 long years.

Robb Walsh: Speaking of James Beard award winners, former Houston Press food critic Robb Walsh, who won his third award this year, has some thoughts on the classic puffy taco and how difficult it is to create and maintain its fragile structural integrity.

Weapons Grade: If there's any justice in this world, Justin Vann's spirits blog will be nominated for a James Beard award next year in the humor category. Want proof? Just read his latest entry on the increasingly inane marketing gimmicks used by beer giants like Miller-Coors and Anheuser-Busch.

Homesick Texan: I finally, happily met displaced Texan Lisa Fain -- the woman behind Homesick Texan -- at the Beard awards this past Friday. Fain will soon have her own cookbook, The Homesick Texan Cookbook out this fall, which will undoubtedly be nominated for an award next year. I mean, have you read her blog? If not, start here, with luscious lavender brownies, made for Mother's Day.

City of Ate: Lastly, check out our sister blog in Dallas, which was nominated for an award this year (and lost, just as I did) and a roundup of the six biggest letdowns at the awards ceremony (besides the fact that author Alice Laussade, like me, lost in her category). I'm just glad to hear I'm not the only one who was confused by the angry mob of PETA protesters outside the front door...

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