Since 1990, the not-for-profit James Beard Foundation 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.
The nominations for the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards were announced Monday night at the Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception by James Beard Award–winning author and television personality Alton Brown.
See all the winners below, or explore our Twitter feed for pictures and color from the star-studded night.
AMERICA'S CLASSICS AWARDS (pictured above)
OUTSTANDING WINE PROGRAM
OUTSTANDING WINE & SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL
BEST CHEF: GREAT LAKES
BEST CHEF: MID-ATLANTIC
BEST CHEF: MIDWEST
BEST CHEF: NORTHWEST
BEST CHEF: PACIFIC
BEST CHEF: NORTHEAST
BEST CHEF: SOUTH
BEST CHEF: SOUTHEAST
BEST CHEF: SOUTHWEST
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF
WHO'S WHO OF FOOD & BEVERAGE IN AMERICA INDUCTEES
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.