The James Beard Foundation named José Andrés Outstanding Chef at its annual awards gala in New York yesterday.

Recently named “Hot Restaurateur” by Conde Nast Traveler, Andrés served as one of the chef co-chairs for the awards gala, considered the food world’s Oscars.

Moved by the recognition from his peers and leaders in the culinary industry and surrounded on stage by his partners and dozens of his ThinkFoodGroup team members, Andrés accepted his award saying ”we have the responsibility to make sure that not only our great nation, but the world will always be better using food in the right way.”

This award is the culmination of a busy year for Andrés during which he successfully opened three new restaurants at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, taught at Harvard as part of a course “Science and Cooking,” and launched new nonprofit World Central Kitchen dedicated to fighting global hunger.

Recent accolades for Andrés and his restaurants also include the 2011 Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award given by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) in recognition of his dedication and leadership in the D.C. area restaurant industry. Across the country, his four-star dining destination in Los Angeles, The Bazaar by José Andrés was just named to the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2011, as one of the top 100 restaurants in the world.

A world-renowned culinary innovator, Andrés is credited with introducing Americans to both avant-garde and traditional Spanish cooking. Along with his partner Rob Wilder, they are the team responsible for Washington’s popular and award-winning dining concepts Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, Café Atlántico and the critically-acclaimed minibar by josé andrés, as well as The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles.

They recently opened three new restaurants at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas: the award-winning Spanish tapas concept Jaleo, the Chinese-Mexican restaurant China Poblano and the intimate eight-seat é by José Andrés.

Spain’s unofficial ambassador to the U.S., Andrés is also the host and producer of the PBS series Made in Spain, a program about Spanish food, wine and travel.

 A chef-advocate, Andrés is a highly sought after speaker on a variety of food policy issues including hunger, food security, nutrition education and childhood obesity. He has appeared before a number of high level policy forums including The Atlantic Monthly’s “Food Summit”, The Economist’s “World in…” conference and the Center for American Progress’ “Food Matters” conference.

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