Next, Bruce Sherman of North Pond, and Mindy Segal of HotChocolate all won big last night at the 25th annual James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards, which livestreamed from Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.
"Covering all aspects of the industry—from chefs and restaurateurs to cookbook authors and food journalists to restaurant designers and architects and more—the Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in North America," says the Foundation.
Next won Best New Restaurant ("A restaurant opened in 2011 that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service and is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come.") over AQ in San Francisco, Fiola in Washington, D.C., Isa, and Tertulia—the last two in New York City. Executive Chef Dave Beran accepted the award with chef/owner Grant Achatz and owner Nick Kokonas.
Sixth time's the charm for new both Best Chef Great Lakes Sherman and Outstanding Pastry Chef Segal. Sherman prevailed this year over Michael Carlson of Schwa, Stephanie Izard of Girl & the Goat, Anne Kearney of Rue Dumaine in Dayton, OH, and Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia. Segal faced national competition from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Café in Cambridge, MA; Melissa Chou of Aziza in San Francisco; Hedy Goldsmith of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami; Dahlia Narvaez of Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles; and Ghaya Oliveira of Boulud Sud in New York City.
The JBF also recognized Charlie Trotter as Humanitarian of the Year. (BTW I hope he takes over his Twitter feed someday so we can get some real Charlie Trotter Raw.)
Achatz was also one of five inducted this year into the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, with journalist Mark Bittman, editor Dana Cowin, pastry chef Emily Luchetti, and publisher Marvin Shanken.
WBEZ's own Fear of Frying: Culinary Nightmares hosted by Nina Barrett and produced by Jason Marck won the Radio Show/Audio Webcast category in the JBF Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards held the last Friday night at Gotham Hall also in New York City. Fellow finalists included, also from WBEZ, Worldview's "From Bread Lines to Revolution: The Role of Food in the Arab Uprisings" hosted by Jerome McDonnell and produced by Alexandra Salomon and Joe Linstroth; and The Sporkful hosted and produced by Dan Pashman and Mark Garrison.
I spoke with Nina briefly yesterday about winning the Beard.
"He’s in my purse," she said, "I already think of him as JB."
And the series.
"I always tell people, don’t read them on the website. Just click the listen to the story button. These food stories are meant to be listened to."
The James Beard Foundation says, “Each award category has an individual Awards Committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program. All award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia."
"There are no cash prizes.”
And not everyone's a fan. Anthony Bourdain, a vocal critic of the JBF, shooting on location in Brazil, tweeted last night:
"..and to introduce our 3 minute musical homage to multiculturalism, special guest Jan Brewer!"
2012 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards
Best Chef Mid-Atlantic: Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, NJ
Best Chef Midwest: Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, WI
Best Chef NYC: Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern
Best Chef Northwest: Matt Dillon, Sitka & Spruce, Seattle
Best Chef Pacific: Matt Molina, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles
Best Chef Northeast: Tim Cushman, O Ya, Boston
Best Chef South: Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL
Best Chef Southeast: (tie) Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten, Athens, GA and Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta
Best Chef Southwest: Paul Qui, Uchiko, Austin, TX
Best New Restaurant: Next, Chicago
Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional: Paul Grieco, Terroir, NYC
Outstanding Wine Program: No. 9 Park, Boston
Outstanding Bar Program: PDT, NYC
Outstanding Service: La Grenouille, NYC
Outstanding Restaurateur: Tom Douglas, Tom Douglas Restaurants, Seattle
Rising Star Chef of the Year: Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC
Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard, San Francisco
Outstanding Chef: Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, NYC
The Fry Bread House, Phoenix
Nora’s Fish Creek Inn, Wilson, WY
St. Elmo Steakhouse, Indianapolis
Jones B-B-Q Diner, Mariana, AR
Grant Achatz, Chef and Author, Chicago
Mark Bittman, Journalist and Author, NYC
Dana Cowin, Editor and Journalist, NYC
Emily Luchetti, Pastry Chef and Author, San Francisco
Marvin Shanken, Publisher, NYC
Lifetime Achievement: Wolfgang Puck
Humanitarian of the Year: Charlie Trotter
2012 James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards
American Cooking: A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen by Hugh Acheson (publisher Clarkson Potter)
Focus on Health: Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson (publisher Ten Speed Press)
Photography: Notes from a Kitchen: A Journey Inside Culinary Obsession; Artist/Photographer: Jeff Scott; publisher Tatroux)
Reference and Scholarship: Turning the Tables: Restaurants and the Rise of the American Middle Class, 1880–1920 by Andrew P. Haley (publisher The University of North Carolina Press)
Writing and Literature: Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (publisher Random House)
Outstanding Restaurant Design: Bentel & Bentel Architects, Le Bernardin, NYC
Outstanding Restaurant Graphics: Pandiscio Co., The Americano at Hôtel Americano, NYC
Food-Related Columns: Lettie Teague in The Wall Street Journal for On Wine: Lettie Teague, “Drink, Memory: How to Remember that Wine,” “In Praise of the One-Cabernet Lunch,” and “May I recommend: Lessons of Great Sommeliers”
Health and Well-Being: Maureen O’Hagan in The Seattle Times for “Feeling the Weight: The Emotional Battle to Control Kids’ Diet”
Personal Essay: Cal Fussman on Esquire.com for “Drinking at 1,300 Ft: A 9/11 Story About Wine and Wisdom”