One thousand food fans boarded the M/S New Yorker for a 13-chef dinner cruise to celebrate the first-ever James Beard Awards on May 6, 1991. This Monday night, nearly 25 years later, a crowd nearly quadruple that size packed Chicago's Lyric Opera House to pay homage to the chefs, mixologists, sommeliers, hospitality experts and restaurateurs who have been recognized by their peers for their contribution to the craft.
Though the award carries no monetary value, the prestige associated with a win—or even a nomination—can significantly boost a restaurant's profile and transform it into a national dining destination.
Here are the winners of the 2015 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards—with some recipes and tips we've scored from them along their journeys to greatness:
Blue Hill at Stone Barns—Pocantico Hills, NY
Make use of scraps with Dan Barber's root vegetable peel chips.
Best New Restaurant
Jim Lahey—Sullivan Street Bakery, NYC
There's no need to knead with Lahey's pizza dough recipe.
Outstanding Bar Program
The Violet Hour—Chicago
Michael Anthony—Gramercy Tavern, NYC
Get the dirt on Anthony's custom garlic.
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Christina Tosi—Momofuku, NYC
Crunch through Tosi's addictive Crackle.
Donnie Madia—One Off Hospitality Group (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, and others), Chicago
The Barn at Blackberry Farm—Walland, TN
Get wine advice from the Farm's wine director, Andy Chabot.
Outstanding Wine Program
Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
Rajat Parr—Mina Group, San Francisco
Rising Star Chef of the Year
Jessica Largey—Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
Best Chef: Great Lakes
Jonathon Sawyer—Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland
Make Sawyer's oozy, cheesy dumplings.
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Spike Gjerde—Woodberry Kitchen, Baltimore
Best Chef: Midwest
Gerard Craft—Niche, Clayton, MO
Best Chef: New York City
Mark Ladner—Del Posto
Go gluten free (or not) with Ladner's vibrant fusilli recipe.
Best Chef: Northeast
Barry Maiden—Hungry Mother, Cambridge, MA
Best Chef: Northwest
Blaine Wetzel—The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, WA
Best Chef: South
Alon Shaya—Domenica, New Orleans
Fry a batch of Shaya's pillowy, sugar-dusted doughnuts.
Best Chef: Southeast
Jason Stanhope—FIG, Charleston, SC
Best Chef: Southwest
Aaron Franklin—Franklin Barbecue, Austin, TX
Bookmark Franklin's barbecue bible.
Best Chef: West
Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski—State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
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