The James Beard Awards may be the highest culinary honor in the land but, it's hard to avoid making prom comparisons. Dudes usually sporting jeans and scrubby shirts don tuxes, women I've never seen out of chef coats pull out sparkly dresses (and tuxes with bolo ties!). Limos and party buses are rented and selfies are taken. Superlatives are handed out. Then everyone departs the event itself to get boisterously hammered, with national culinary beacons like the Spotted Pig and Eleven Madison Park subbing for basement rec rooms and houses where someone's parents are out of town.
In all seriousness, Blaine Wetzel's win for Rising Star Chef of the Year was a big damn deal, and it looks like the rest of the Seattle delegation—which included Joshua Henderson, Renee Erickson, Brian Canlis, and Jason Franey—had fun walking the red carpet (which was actually yellow) outside Lincoln Center, and dancing (and drinking) until very small hours after the ceremony. Photographer Tracey Salazar was on hand to capture it all. Sign my yearbook, guys?