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:
BEST NEW RESTAURANT
* ABC Kitchen, NYC
Benu, San Francisco
Girl & the Goat, Chicago
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
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF
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
Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg
* Richard Melman
Emeril’s, New Orleans
La Grenouille, NYC
* Per Se, NYC
OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE
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
OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL
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
RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR
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
BEST CHEF: GREAT LAKES
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
BEST CHEF: MID-ATLANTIC
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
BEST CHEF: MIDWEST
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
BEST CHEF: NEW YORK CITY
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern
April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig
Wylie Dufresne, wd~50
* Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune
Michael White, Marea
BEST CHEF: NORTHEAST
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
BEST CHEF: NORTHWEST
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
BEST CHEF: PACIFIC
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
BEST CHEF: SOUTH
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
BEST CHEF: SOUTHEAST
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
BEST CHEF: SOUTHWEST
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
AMERICA'S CLASSICS AWARDS
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)
WHO'S WHO OF FOOD & BEVERAGE IN AMERICA
Writer, LA Weekly
Farmer/ Owner, Chef’s Garden
Chef/Owner, The Slanted Door
Chef/Owner, Highlands Bar and Grill
CEO, Patina Restaurant Group
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR
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.
Read the Best Chef: Midwest!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lenny Russo-Heartland Restaurant.
Way to go Portland!
Congratulations to all of these hardworking chefs.
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.
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
I like the Hardee's out on Five Chop Road in Orangeburg, SC.
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!!
AWESOME, way to go ALEX YOUNG of ZIMMERMANS in ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN.. go BLUE!!!
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.
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.
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.
I'm so glad this area of the food industry is concerned about world hunger. Pure Elitism.
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.
And to think, we were all getting along perfectly alright without your opinion. And with your opinion now posted, nothing has changed.
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?
Where's Taco Bus? (St. Pete, FL)
Hugh Acheson's specialty is horses a$$. Not sure if he can cook one, but he sure knows how to be one!!!
Horse is pretty good actually. Not sure if the rump-roast cut is a quality cut as you mentioned, but mmmmm,mmmm yummy!
You smell like azz.
There are horse-flies circling Uranus.
You made my morning!
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!
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, NY...as 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.
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????
MMM...McDonald's french fries!
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!
Anthony Bourdain spurned again. I also note that none of the Iron Chefs were even nominated!
THEY FORGOT TO ADD MCDONALDS!!
Or as my discerning 3-year-old friend calls it, Happy Donalds!
New categories I can suggest: Best restaurant/chef/pastry chef not in NYC, Chicago, LA or DC.
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..
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.
No Salt or Seasoning or Spice...Tacos taste better than these socalled royal food joints...waste of time and money...
Can they do a decent PB&J?
Noriega's (America's Classics) is great! Basque food is what's missing in today's culinary landscape.
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