If there's any proof that food and chefs are now enterting the cultural mainstream, Jeopardy! might be a good measuring stick. Last night, The Braiser points out, the established trivia show featured a category under "Beard Award Winning Chefs," presumably in honor of James Beard's birthday, according to Alex Trebek.
Sample questions? "Tom Colicchio turned down the job of judge on this Bravo show three times before saying yes," was the $200 question, while up in $1,000 was, "If you know what mesclun & arugula are, it's because she opened Berkeley's Chez Panisse in 1971." Michel Richard, Grant Achatz, and Spago also get name-dropped in the hints. It's almost like the time we had to name celebrity chefs in a trivia round at a bar, except we didn't win $5,000. Watch the entire segment below (the first Beard question pops up early on, then it travels through psychology-oriented questions until we hit the 1:29 mark). That Betsy is good.