It’s no secret that Los Angeles hasn’t always gotten the culinary love that many people believe it deserves (ourselves included) at the James Beard Awards, the national ceremony held annually in New York colloquially dubbed "the Oscars of the food world."
This year, however, is definitely a step in the right direction.
Nancy Silverton, founder of Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, took home the coveted award for Outstanding Chef. To put that into perspective, no L.A. chef has won the award since 1998, when Wolfgang Puck tied for first alongside Jean-George Vongerichten.
Whom did Silverton beat out? Nominees included Michael Anthony of New York’s Gramercy Tavern, Sean Brock of McCrady's in Charleston, David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, Marc Vetri of Vetri in Philadelphia, and fellow Angeleno Suzanne Goin of Lucques (who has been nominated eight times in the past nine years).
Overall, it was a huge year for female chefs. The awards for Best Chef (divided by region) went to women chefs in five out of ten categories. Boston chef Barbara Lynch won the award for Outstanding Restaurateur.
In other L.A. award news, former Spago pastry chef Sherry Yard was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America. Daniel Patterson of Coi in San Francisco beat out Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook and Michael Cimarusti for the award for Best Chef: West, and pastry chef Dominique Ansel (the creator of the Cronut) beat out Osteria Mozza’s Dahlia Nervaez for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
See the complete list of winners below:
2014 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards
Outstanding Restaurant: The Slanted Door, San Francisco
Outstanding Chef: Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York
Outstanding Restaurateur: Barbara Lynch, Barbara Lynch Gruppo (No. 9 Park, Menton, B&G Oysters and others), Boston
Rising Star Chefs (tie): Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig, Chicago, and Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, Wash.
Best New Restaurant: Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans
Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional: Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Outstanding Wine Program: The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn.
Outstanding Bar Program: The Bar at the NoMad Hotel, New York
Outstanding Service: The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, Calif.
Best Chef, Great Lakes: Dave Beran, Next, Chicago
Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic: Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C.
Best Chef, Midwest: Justin Aprahamian, Sanford, Milwaukee
Best Chef, New York City: April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig
Best Chef, Northeast: Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa, Boston
Best Chef, Northwest: Naomi Pomeroy, Beast, Portland, Ore.
Best Chef, South (tie): Ryan Prewitt, Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans and Sue Zemanick, Gautreau's, New Orleans
Best Chef, Southeast: Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Downtown Diner, Raleigh, N.C.
Best Chef, Southwest: Chris Shepherd, Underbelly, Houston
Best Chef, West: Daniel Patterson, Coi, San Francisco
Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America:
Edward Behr (Food Writer, Vermont)
John Besh (Chef and Restaurateur, New Orleans)
David Chang (Momofuku Restaurant Group, New York)
Barry Estabrook (Writer, Vermont)
Paul Kahan (Executive Chef and Partner, Chicago)
Sherry Yard (Pastry Chef, Cookbook Author, Los Angeles)
Hansen’s Sno Bliz (Owner: Ashley Hansen, New Orleans)
Nick’s Italian Café (Owners: Nick Peirano, Carmen Peirano and Eric Ferguson, McMinnville, Ore.)
Olneyville New York System (Owners: Stephanie Stevens Turini and Greg Stevens, Providence, R.I.)
Perini Ranch Steakhouse (Owners: Lisa and Tom Perini, Buffalo Gap, Texas)
Sokolowski’s University Inn (Owners: Bernard Sokolowski, Mary Balbier and Michael Sokolowski, Cleveland)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Sirio Maccioni (Restaurateur, New York)
Humanitarian of the Year: Matt Haley (Chef, Restaurateur and Philanthropist, Delaware)
2014 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards:
75 Seats and Under
Project: Grace, Chicago; Design Firm: Lawton Stanley; Architects Designers: Maria Contreras, Christopher Lawton, and Micah Stanley
76 Seats and Over
Project: Shed, Healdsburg, CA; Design Firm: Jensen Architects Designers: Scott Davis, Mark Jensen, Lincoln Lighthill, Dean Orr, and Andy Pluess