James Beard Award Winners 2018

It's the foundation's most diverse circle of honorees yet

After spending the last few months narrowing down a list of the country's best chefs, restaurants and hospitality professionals, the James Beard Foundation has announced the winners for this year's awards. The nominees of 2018 were the foundation's most diverse yet, with almost 40 percent of the list composed of women chefs; a large number of nominees were also chefs of color. (Earlier this year, the awards committee asked voting members to take into account the past behavior of potential nominees in light of the sexual harassment reckoning in the restaurant industry.)

Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York City took home the award for Outstanding Chef, while the medal for the country's most Outstanding Restaurant went to Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama—a restaurant that's been nominated for 10 years in a row. Meanwhile, Rising Star Chef of the Year went to pastry chef Camille Cogswell of Zahav in Philadelphia (the second time a pastry chef has ever won the award), while JuneBaby in Seattle was deemed the country's Best New Restaurant. Edouardo Jordan, JuneBaby's chef, also took home the award for Best Chef: Northwest. 

As the New York Times notes, what's been traditionally a white male-dominated roster has been replaced by a winners' circle "suddenly filled with women and people of color," with 11 of the 15 winning chefs being either a woman, person of color or both. 

Scroll through to see the big winners for the night.

Outstanding Chef

A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years.

Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, NYC

Outstanding Restaurant

A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere, and service. Eligible restaurants must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.

Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL

Best New Restaurant

A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

JuneBaby, Seattle

Rising Star Chef of the Year

A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come. 

Camille Cogswell, Zahav, Philadelphia

Outstanding Baker

A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries, or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been working as a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.

Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco

Outstanding Pastry Chef

A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence. Must have been working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years. 

Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL

Outstanding Restaurateur

A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Candidates must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.

Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group (Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern, and others), Los Angeles, CA

Outstanding Service

A restaurant in operation five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service.

Zuni Café, San Francisco, CA

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional 

A beer, wine, or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.

Miljenko Grgich, Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford, CA

Outstanding Wine Program

A restaurant in operation five or more years that serves as a standard bearer for excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine.

FIG, Charleston, SC

Outstanding Bar Program

A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.

Cure, New Orleans, LA

Best Regional Chefs

Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years, with the three most recent years spent in the region.

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

Jeremiah Langhorne, The Dabney, Washington, D.C.

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

Rodney Scott, Rodney Scott's BBQ, Charleston, SC

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)

Nina Compton, Compère Lapin, New Orleans, LA

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice, Chicago, IL

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

Gavin Kaysen, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis, MN

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)

Edouardo Jordan, Salare, Seattle, WA

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT)

Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston, MA

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)

Alex Seidel, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Denver, CO

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)

Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, CA

Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)

Missy Robbins, Lilia, Brooklyn, NY

See the full list here.