The James Beard 2011 winners are...
May 9th, 2011
09:25 PM ET
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On Monday night, food and drink professionals swapped out their toques for tuxes to honor and celebrate the talent of their peers at the James Beard Awards, regularly referred to as the "Oscars of the food world."

Celebrity chefs and past James Beard Award-winners Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and Traci Des Jardins announced the winners of the 2011 James Beard Foundation Chef and Restaurant Awards at New York City's Lincoln Center.

Since 1990, the not-for-profit organization named after "the father of American cuisine," has been honoring the outstanding names in the food and beverage industry.

There is no cash reward, but a win - or even a nomination - can substantially increase the buzz for business, according to foundation President Susan Ungaro.

Below are this year's winners in bold:

* ABC Kitchen, NYC
Benu, San Francisco
Girl & the Goat, Chicago
Menton, Boston
Torrisi Italian Specialties, NYC

* José Andrés, minibar by José Andrés, Washington, D.C.
Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco
Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles
Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago
Charles Phan, The Slanted Door, San Francisco

Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Boston
Patrick Fahy, Blackbird, Chicago
Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles
* Angela Pinkerton, Eleven Madison Park, NYC
Mindy Segal, Mindy’s HotChocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar, Chicago

Blue Hill, NYC
Boulevard, San Francisco
* Eleven Madison Park, NYC
Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL
Vetri, Philadelphia

Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg
Tom Douglas
Pat Kuleto
* Richard Melman
Phil Suarez

Canlis, Seattle
Emeril’s, New Orleans
La Grenouille, NYC
* Per Se, NYC
Topolobampo, Chicago

A16, San Francisco, Shelley Lindgren
Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN, Andy Chabot
Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO, Bobby Stuckey
* The Modern, NYC, Belinda Chang
Picasso at Bellagio, Las Vegas, Robert Smith

Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
Merry Edwards, Merry Edwards Winery, Sebastopol, CA
Paul Grieco, Hearth and Terroir, NYC
Rajat Parr, Mina Group, San Francisco
* Julian Van Winkle III, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, Louisville, KY

Aaron London, Ubuntu, Napa, CA
Thomas McNaughton, flour + water, San Francisco
* Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR
Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC
Sue Zemanick, Gautreau’s, New Orleans

Michael Carlson, Schwa, Chicago
Curtis Duffy, Avenues at the Peninsula, Chicago
Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Chicago
Paul Virant, Vie, Western Springs, IL
* Alex Young, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI

Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA
Johnny Monis, Komi, Washington, D.C.
Peter Pastan, Obelisk, Washington, D.C.
Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, NJ
* Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia

Justin Aprahamian, Sanford, Milwaukee
* Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery, Minneapolis
Colby Garrelts, Bluestem, Kansas City, MO
Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, WI
Lenny Russo, Heartland, St. Paul, MN

Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern
April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig
Wylie Dufresne, wd~50
* Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune
Michael White, Marea

Tim Cushman, o ya, Boston
Krista Kern Desjarlais, Bresca, Portland, ME
Gerry Hayden, The North Fork Table & Inn, Southold, NY
Matt Jennings, La Laiterie, Providence
* Tony Maws, Craigie On Main, Cambridge, MA
Eric Warnstedt, Hen of the Wood, Waterbury, VT

Matt Dillon, Sitka & Spruce, Seattle
Christopher Israel, Grüner, Portland, OR
* Andy Ricker, Pok Pok, Portland, OR
Ethan Stowell, Staple & Fancy, Mercantile, Seattle
Cathy Whims, Nostrana, Portland, OR

Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA
Daniel Patterson, COI, San Francisco
Richard Reddington, Redd, Yountville, CA
* Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco

Zach Bell, Café Boulud, Palm Beach, FL
John Harris, Lilette, New Orleans
Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL
Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans
* Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon, New Orleans

Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten, Athens, GA
Craig Deihl, Cypress, Charleston, SC
John Fleer, Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley, Cashiers, NC
Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta
Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY
* Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC

Bruce Auden, Biga on the Banks, San Antonio
Bryan Caswell, Reef, Houston
*TIE Saipin Chutima, Lotus of Siam, Las Vegas
*TIE Tyson Cole, Uchi, Austin, TX

Ryan Hardy, Montagna at the Little Nell, Aspen, CO

Locally owned restaurants "beloved in their regions for quality food that reflects the character of their community," according to the Foundation.
Chef Vola’s (Atlantic City, NJ)
Crook’s Corner (Chapel Hill, NC)
Noriega Restaurant and Hotel (Bakersfield, CA)
Le Veau d’Or (New York, NY)
Watts Tea Shop (Milwaukee, WI)

Jonathan Gold
Writer, LA Weekly
Los Angeles

Lee Jones
Farmer/ Owner, Chef’s Garden
Huron, OH

Charles Phan
Chef/Owner, The Slanted Door
San Francisco

Frank Stitt
Chef/Owner, Highlands Bar and Grill
Birmingham, AL

Nick Valenti
CEO, Patina Restaurant Group

Kevin Zraly


Editor's note: Eatocracy Editor Kat Kinsman is the vice chair of the James Beard Journalism Committee, the group that oversees the journalism category's awards. An independent accounting firm oversees the process.

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Jack Riley

    Read the Best Chef: Midwest!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Lenny Russo-Heartland Restaurant.

    May 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  2. TD

    Way to go Portland!

    May 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  3. thank you

    Congratulations to all of these hardworking chefs.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:51 am |
  4. get-a-clue

    What kind of list is this? Where's Grant Achatz, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, etc. And please do not bring up the made-for-tv celebrity chefs which do not compete and no one in the real major leagues of high end gastronomy has ever heard of. Long live Ferran Adria.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  5. Name*stave a

    Congrats Kevin Zraly, loved your wine course at Window's on the World in the late 80's. Best course on wines there ever was. Congratulations. SA

    May 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  6. Jim

    I like the Hardee's out on Five Chop Road in Orangeburg, SC.

    May 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  7. grimdoggie

    Props to Jonathan Gold and the LA Weekly. I have been a longtime fan of his writing going back to his LA Times days. Keep up he good work JG!!

    May 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  8. cybotron500


    May 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  9. Bob

    Tony Maws might be the most overrated chef on the list. His restaurant is entirely pretentious, and his food is often over-salted. Tony should also hire a sommelier, because his own wine selections are average at best.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Chris

      Too bad you had a mediocre experience, but as a person who has dined regularly at Craigie, I have never had anything but a great meal there, with salt never an issue (why does every critic always suggest that chefs toss in too much salt when this is obviously an abberation?). Also, to call Craigie pretentious is just so far off the mark I have to question whether you have actually been there. They are very deliberately (almost excessively!) unpretentious, given the standard of the food.

      May 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
      • Ben

        I have also found it pretentious for exactly the reason you are giving for it not being so. The staff is so wrapped up in itself and working for "chef tony" that they don't even realize it. The attitude is "oh, you must not understand. Everything we do is great and we are great and we know exactly how to respond to people like you". It's a very false politeness. The staff's attitude borders on being insulting.

        May 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  10. TSEdwards

    I'm so glad this area of the food industry is concerned about world hunger. Pure Elitism.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • AleeD, Thread Dominatrix@TSEdwards

      Is it any worse than, say, the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys or Grammys? They are awards given to honor the best of the best in their respective industry. What is wrong with that?

      If the article's focus-of-the-moment isn't on what you think it should be, then maybe, instead of posting sarcastic & judgmental comments, your time would be better spent organizing food donations or having a nice lunch in the stfu cafe.

      May 10, 2011 at 10:53 am |
      • The Witty One@TSEdwards

        Your face.

        May 10, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Jerv@TSEdwards

      And to think, we were all getting along perfectly alright without your opinion. And with your opinion now posted, nothing has changed.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Mildred

      And how do you know that some of these restaurants don't have some sort of food outreach program? Or training program to help out disadvantaged kids?

      May 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • Jerv@Mil


        May 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  11. Dean

    Where's Taco Bus? (St. Pete, FL)

    May 10, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  12. Elizabeth

    Hugh Acheson's specialty is horses a$$. Not sure if he can cook one, but he sure knows how to be one!!!

    May 10, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Sir Biddle@Elizabeth

      Horse is pretty good actually. Not sure if the rump-roast cut is a quality cut as you mentioned, but mmmmm,mmmm yummy!

      May 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Jerv@Liz

      You smell like azz.

      May 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Sinister Sister@Elizabeth

      There are horse-flies circling Uranus.

      May 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
      • Jerv@SS

        You made my morning!

        May 11, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  13. lifelong nyer/restaurant goer

    Blue Hill – NYC – biggest disappointment ever. Several items served were inedible. Too salty or just plain disgusting. Folks will still go because of the hype and probably convince themselves that it's supposed to taste that way. No. It's not!

    May 10, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Rosemary Molinari

      BLUE HILL NY IS INCREDIBLE...have been blessed to eat there at least four times and each time was more magical than the time before...also love the incredibly gorgeous BLUE HILL AT THE STONE BARNS in Pocantico Hills, a foodie, I appreciate the spectacular creativity and deliciousness of these foods...anyone not liking this food must have been raised at the "Golden Arches"...the beauty of the food itself is celebrated here.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:02 am |
      • dbfco

        Anyone can have an off day, I'll give you that but to say anyone who doesn't like them was raised under the Golden Arches, come on, maybe you work there????

        May 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
      • kathy griffin@RosiePalm

        MMM...McDonald's french fries!

        May 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • dbfco

      I agree, I'm a wine importer and eat all over and while my first meal at Blue Hill was great, the next two were horrible, then I gave up!

      May 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  14. SHRIKE

    Anthony Bourdain spurned again. I also note that none of the Iron Chefs were even nominated!

    May 10, 2011 at 9:23 am |
  15. K N C


    May 10, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • MeanJeanne

      Or as my discerning 3-year-old friend calls it, Happy Donalds!

      May 11, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  16. shackdelrio

    New categories I can suggest: Best restaurant/chef/pastry chef not in NYC, Chicago, LA or DC.

    May 10, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Sean

      I was thinking the same thing.. You could have the best restaurant in the world, but if you are out side of Sheboygan, youre screwed..

      May 10, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  17. Steven Gordon

    Two comments:

    1) Why does all great restaurant food have to be so expensive?
    2)ANYTHING in Las Vegas is expensive! Why not have something in Vegas that's even remotely affordable?

    Is there anything for those of us with not so deep pockets? One can only go so far on a meager budget and we like good food too.

    May 10, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  18. PieceOfCrap

    No Salt or Seasoning or Spice...Tacos taste better than these socalled royal food joints...waste of time and money...

    May 10, 2011 at 8:44 am |
  19. mmi16

    Can they do a decent PB&J?

    May 10, 2011 at 1:28 am |
  20. JKav

    Noriega's (America's Classics) is great! Basque food is what's missing in today's culinary landscape.

    May 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  21. df

    i'm hungry

    May 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
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