2018 James Beard Chef and Restaurant Awards


Yesterday, the James Beard Foundation announced the winners of its Chef and Restaurant Awards in a ceremony emceed by Carla Hall at Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

The theme for the 2018 awards was “Rise,” celebrating the collective spirit of the culinary community and the power of food. Attendees and participants donned pins stating what they rise for, from “equality” to “locally sourced food” to “no waste” and “integrity.” In keeping with the theme, the nearly 30 gala reception chefs consisted mostly of former James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change participants, where civically and politically minded chefs have a unique opportunity to become more effective leaders for food-system change.

Many of the award winners have released cookbooks featuring either food from their award-winning restaurants, or things that they cook at home and serve to friends and family. The winners who have published cookbooks are listed below – I tried to make sure I got everyone; please let me know if I have overlooked anyone.

Although she doesn’t have a cookbook (at least not yet), it was a delight to see that Dolester Miles of Birmingham, Alabama’s Highlands Bar & Grill (named as Outstanding Restaurant) won the title of Outstanding Pastry Chef. Miles has worked at Highlands since it opened in 1982, and has been a nominee for the award several times before winning. Another one to watch out for is Rising Star Chef of the Year Camille Cogswell of Philadelphia’s Zahav, Michael Solomonov’s restaurant. Zuni Cafe won the award for Outstanding Service, and one of the most popular books in the EYB Library is the The Zuni Cafe Cookbook.

Outstanding Chef
Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in NYC

Outstanding Baker
Belinda Leong and Michel Suas of B. Patisserie in San Francisco

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice in Chicago

Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)
Missy Robbins of  Lilia in Brooklyn

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT)
Karen Akunowicz of Myers+Chang in Boston

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)
Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco

2018 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year
José Andrés, Multiple James Beard Award-Winning Chef; Owner, ThinkFoodGroup; Founder, World Central Kitchen

2018 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
Paula Wolfert, Multiple James Beard Award-Winning Author

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