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Jazzing up James Beard: Kim Cattrall to Host this Year's Awards

In an effort to "elevate the nation’s consciousness of America’s culinary culture" the James Beard Foundation announced Kim Cattrall a.k.a SATC's sexpot Samantha will be hosting the 2008 awards ceremony this June. Strange choice, you wonder? Not at all, says the JBF. Cattrall has a keen interest in food through her boyfriend, personal chef Alan Wyse. And let's be real kids, Padma can't bring all the sex appeal on her own. The JBF points out that these days, as an increasing number of chefs become celebrities and as more movies and TV shows center on food, "restaurants and chefs are an ever increasing presence and significance in pop culture". Ergo, they should secure a big celeb host—with all the mainstream attention she can muster—instead of some foodie personality only famous within the world of James Beard. The Foundation will announce Cattrall's co-host at a later date, but no word as to whether they'll balance the ticket with someone with more food experience or add to the mainstream appeal by choosing another celeb. See the full press release:


New York, NY (April 2, 2008) - The James Beard Foundation announced today that celebrated actress Kim Cattrall will host this year’s Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception. The highly-anticipated annual celebration will take place at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center on June 8, 2008 and will celebrate winners of the prestigious 2008 James Beard Awards in the Restaurant and Chef, Books, and Design and Graphics categories. A leading figure in the entertainment industry, Kim will shine a new light on the awards and further enhance the Foundation’s mission to elevate the nation’s consciousness of America’s culinary culture. The James Beard Foundation will announce Kim’s co-host at a later date.

Perhaps most well known around the globe as the sultry femme fatale “Samantha,” Kim was a leading force in turning the groundbreaking HBO series, Sex and the City into a global phenomenon. The honesty, spontaneity and onscreen presence she brought to the role established her as one of today’s most memorable characters. She is currently reprising her infamous role in Sex and the City: The Movie, which will be released by New Line Cinema in May 2008. Kim has been highly praised by critics and recognized with a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards plus five additional Golden Globes, four Emmy and three Screen Actors’ Guild nominations. She will also be seen this year in John Boorman’s The Tiger’s Tail with Brenden Gleeson for Sony Classics. Beyond the stage and screen, Kim has a known interest in the culinary world which has been enhanced through her boyfriend Alan Wyse, a personal chef.

“We are excited to welcome Kim as one of our hosts at this year’s awards ceremony,” said Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation. “The US restaurant world is a $500 billion industry and its impact has been significant to our nation on both a social and economic level. With the rise of celebrity owned restaurants, the increase in food/restaurant themed movies and chefs who have established themselves as celebrities in their own right, restaurants and chefs are an ever increasing presence and significance in pop culture. Kim’s genuine interest in the food and restaurant world will make her a perfect host.”

· 2008 James Beard Awards, Final Nominees Announced [~E~]
—photo credit