Each spring since 1990, the James Beard Foundation honors the outstanding food and beverage professionals working in North America.

Capturing a James Beard Foundation award—or even being one of the select few nominated is considered one of the highest achievements for culinary professionals.

Chef and restaurant winners were announced on Monday, May 5, at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. Chefs in New Orleans, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles each did their cities proud.

A separate event was held on Friday, May 2, at Gotham Hall in New York City, where the Foundation’s winners of Journalism, Books and Broadcast were announced.

And the winners are:

Outstanding Restaurant

The Slanted Door (San Francisco)

Executive Chef and owner Charles Phan creates contemporary cuisine using local ingredients, spun from a foundation of traditional Vietnamese flavors and techniques.

Outstanding Chef

Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza (Los Angeles)

A widely acclaimed chef and baker—she’s won numerous awards, including the 1990 James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Pastry Chef—Silverton’s Pizzeria Mozza co-owners are Mario Batali and Joe Bastianic. She uses her baker training to create a signature pizza crust described as both crisp and chewy, and topped with ingredients that run the gamut of traditional to elusive, such as squash blossoms, tomato, and burrata.

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Bakery (New York City)

Infamous for creating the cronut, Ansel has received an abundance of accolades from the moment he opened his Soho bakery in 2011. Ansel’s other famous inventions include the Frozen S’more, Magic Soufflé, Cookie Shot, and Waffle Affogato.

Outstanding Restaurateur

Barbara Lynch, Barbara Lynch Gruppo—No. 9 Park, Menton, B&G Oysters, The Butcher Shop, Drink, and catering. (Boston)

Founded by Chef Barbara Lynch, who has an additional three James Beard awards, the hospitality group employs 260 and earns about $20 million annually. Lynch is one of only two women to win this latest award.

Outstanding Service

The Restaurant at Meadwood (St. Helena, California)

The love keeps coming for this Napa Valley restaurant, which is receiving its second James Beard Foundation award. Last year, Chef Christopher Kostow garnered the Best Chef in the Western Region of the United States, and earlier this year it was named one of Elite Traveler’s 100 Best Restaurants in the World.

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Tie: Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig, Chicago and Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island (Lummi Island, Washington)

The two winners of this award—both under 30 years of age—have raised the bar for North American chefs. Bannos is a fourth-generation restaurateur, whose passion for Italian food, pork, wine, and cheese infuse the menu. Wetzel showcases island and locally sourced ingredients, along with farm-to-table prep.

Best New Restaurant

Pêche Seafood Grill (New Orleans)

Chefs and partners Ryan Prewitt, Stephen Stryjewski, and Donald Link,bring open-fire cooking to the traditional seafood restaurant space, creating meals that are both classic and unique.

Best Chef: NYC

April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig

Best Chef: Great Lakes

Dave Beran, Next (Chicago)

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

Vikram Sunderam, Rasika (Washington, D.C.)

Best Chef: Midwest

Justin Aprahamian, Sanford (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Best Chef: Northeast

Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa (Boston)

Best Chef: Northwest

Naomi Pomeroy, Beast (Portland, Oregon)

Best Chef: South

Tie: Ryan Prewitt, Pêche Seafood Grill (New Orleans) and Sue Zemanick, Gautreau's (New Orleans)

Best Chef: Southeast

Ashley Christensen, Poole's Downtown Diner (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Best Chef: Southwest

Chris Shepherd, Underbelly (Houston)

Best Chef: West

Daniel Patterson, Coi (San Francisco)

America’s Classics
Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, owner: Ashley Hansen (New Orleans)
Nick’s Italian Café
, owners: Nick Peirano, Carmen Peirano, and Eric Ferguson(McMinnville, Oregon)
Olneyville New York System
, owners: Stephanie Stevens Turini and Greg Stevens (Providence, Rhode Island) 

Perini Ranch Steakhouse, 0wners: Lisa and Tom Perini (Buffalo Gap, Texas) 

Sokolowski’s University Inn,
 Owners: Bernard Sokolowski, Mary Balbier, and Michael Sokolowski (Cleveland

Outstanding Bar Program

The Bar at the NoMad Hotel (New York City)

Outstanding Wine Program

The Barn at Blackberry Farm (Walland, Tennessee)

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional

Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, New York)

Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards
For the best restaurant design or renovation in North America since January 1, 2011

75 Seats and Under
Design Firm: Lawton Stanley Architects
Designers: Maria Contreras, Christopher Lawton, and Micah Stanley

Project: Grace, Chicago

76 Seats and Over
Design Firm: Jensen Architects

Designers: Scott Davis, Mark Jensen, Lincoln Lighthill, Dean Orr, and Andy Pluess

Project: Shed, Healdsburg, California

Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America
Edward Behr, Food Writer
 (St. Johnsbury, Vermont)
John Besh, 
Chef and Restaurateur (New Orleans)
David Chang
, Chef and Restaurateur (New York City)
Barry Estabrook, Writer (Vergennes, Vermont)
Paul Kahan
, Chef and Restaurateur (Chicago)
Sherry Yard
, Pastry Chef and Author (Los Angeles)

Humanitarian of the Year
Matt Haley, Philanthropist and Restaurateur (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sirio Maccioni, Le Cirque (New York City)


By Joann Whitcher

Industry News