The James Beard Awards Gala, otherwise known as the Oscars of the food world, were held in Chicago last night. Carla Hall hosted the event, which took place at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Out of the long list of impressive nominees, which were later whittled down to semifinalists, all of the chefs and restaurants that were nominated were more than deserving.
Highlights from the ceremony included: a welcome speech from Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel; an equal parts touching and hilarious speech from Lifetime Achievement Award winner Leah Chase, who both teased presenters Marcus Samuelsson and John Besh, and said, "This gives me the courage to keep going for 10, 12 more years;" and chef Curtis Duffy of Chicago's own Grace bringing his daughters onstage with him to accept his award for Best Chef: Great Lakes.
Winners of some of the night's biggest prizes included Best New Restaurant, which went to Alon Shaya's New Orleans-based Shaya (he declared that "New Orleans is the most exciting food city in the world right now"), and Outstanding Restaurant to Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas's Alinea.
Perhaps most exciting was the long overdue representation of female chefs in some of the most anticipated categories, including Suzanne Goin of L.A.'s Lucques for Outstanding Chef, Joanne Chang of Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe for Outstanding Baker, Dahlia Narvaez of L.A.'s Osteria Mozza for Outstanding Pastry Chef and Daniela Soto-Innes of NYC's Cosme for Rising Star Chef.
Here's the final list of of winners from the Windy City this year:
2016 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards
Best New Restaurant
A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award that already displays excellence in food, beverage and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.
Winner: Shaya, New Orleans
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 a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.
Winner: Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Boston
Outstanding Bar Program
A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits and/or beer service.
Winner: Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, NY
A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Candidates must have been working as chefs for at least the past five years.
Winner: Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles
Outstanding Pastry Chef
A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries or breads, and who serves as a standard-bearer for excellence. Candidates must have been pastry chefs or bakers for at least the past five years.
Winner: Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles
A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard-bearer for consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service. Candidates must have been in operation for at least 10 or more consecutive years.
Winner: Alinea, Chicago
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.
A restaurant in operation five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service.
Winner: Eleven Madison Park, NYC
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.
Winner: Bern's Steak House, Tampa, FL
Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional
A beer, wine or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.
Winner: Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Ranchos de Taos, NM
Rising Star Chef of the Year
A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come.
Winner: Daniela Soto‐Innes, Cosme, NYC
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: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Aaron Silverman, Rose's Luxury, Washington, D.C.
Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis
Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto, New York
Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT)
Zak Pelaccio, Fish & Game, Hudson, NY
Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins, Seattle
Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)
Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans
Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)
Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville
Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)
Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston
Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles
2016 James Beard Foundation America's Classics
Al Ameer Restaurant, Dearborn, MI
Owners: Khalil Ammar and Zaki Hashem
Brooks' House of BBQ, Oneonta, NY
Owners: Beth and Ryan Brooks
Bully's Restaurant, Jackson, MS
Owners: Greta Brown Bully and Tyrone Bully
Matt's Place Drive-In, Butte, MT
Owners: Robin and Brad Cockhill
Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante, Chimayo, NM
Owner: Florence Jaramillo
2016 James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees
Winemaker, Sonoma, CA
Baker and Proprietor, NYC
Author and Founder of Serious Eats, NYC
Dr. Temple Grandin
Author and Animal Rights Activist, Fort Collins, CO
Chef and Restaurateur, NYC
2016 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year
Father Greg Boyle
Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles
2016 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
Leah Chase Dooky Chase's Restaurant, New Orleans
Find Lucques here, or in our DINE app.
Find Osteria Mozza here, or in our DINE app.
Find Cosme here, or in our DINE app.
Find Maison Premiere here, or in our DINE app.
Find The Spotted Pig here, or in our DINE app.
Find The Breslin Bar & Dining Room here, or in our DINE app.
Find Eleven Madison Park here, or in our DINE app.
Find Grace here, or in our DINE app.
Find Rose's Luxury here, or in our DINE app.
Find Barbuto here, or in our DINE app.
Find Oxheart here, or in our DINE app.
Find Animal here, or in our DINE app.
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