Announcing the 2014 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award Winners

05/06/2014 at 09:00 AM ET

James Beard medal
Victor Spinelli/WireImage

Think of it as Oscar night in the food world: On Monday at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, the James Beard Foundation gave out its prestigious Restaurant and Chef Awards, considered the highest gastronomic honor in the country.

Cronut mastermind Dominique Ansel took home the award for Outstanding Pastry Chef, proving that his prowess with dessert is more than just hype. (It’s worth noting that he was also nominated for the category last year, months before the now-famous pastry was introduced at his Soho bakery.)

In the Rising Star Chef of the Year category, the judges couldn’t choose just one, so they declared a tie between Jimmy Bannos Jr. of The Purple Pig in Chicago and Blaine Wetzel of The Willow Inn, which is on Lummi Island in Washington State.

Best Chef in the South was another tight race, so the honor is shared by two New Orleans biggies: Ryan Prewitt of Pêche Seafood Grill (which also nabbed Best New Restaurant) and Sue Zemanick of Gautreau’s.

Whether or not you agree with the choices, one thing is certain: If you’re hoping to snag a reservation at one of the winning restaurants, now is the time to act.

2014 JAMES BEARD RESTAURANT AND CHEF AWARDS

Rising Star Chef of the Year (TIE)
Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig, Chicago

Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, WA

Outstanding Bar Program
The Bar at the NoMad Hotel, New York City

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY

Outstanding Wine Program
The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

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, WI

Best Chef: New York City
April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig, NYC

Best Chef: Northwest
Naomi Pomeroy, Beast, Portland, OR

Best Chef: West
Daniel Patterson, Coi, San Francisco

Best Chef: Northeast
Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa, Boston

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, NC

Best Chef: Southwest
Chris Shepherd, Underbelly, Houston, TX

2013 Who’s Who Inductees
Edward Behr, John Besh, David Chang, Barry Estabrook, Paul Kahan, Sherry Yard

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sirio Maccioni, Le Cirque, NYC

Humanitarian of the Year
Matt Haley (Philanthropist and Restaurateur), Rehoboth Beach, DE

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Bakery, NYC

Best New Restaurant
Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans

Outstanding Service
The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA

Outstanding Restaurateur
Barbara Lynch, Barbara Lynch Gruppo, Boston

Outstanding Restaurant
The Slanted Door, San Francisco

Outstanding Chef
Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, LA

America’s Classics
Hansen’s Sno Bliz, New Orleans
Nick’s Italian Café, McMinnvile, OR
Olneyville New York System, Providence, RI
Perini Ranch Steakhouse, Buffalo Gap, TX
Sokolowski’s University Inn, Cleveland, OH

—Lexi Dwyer

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Showing 3 comments

JD on

No way can I agree with Naomi Pomeroy winning, Beast was a disappointment on SO many levels.
My advice for anyone thinking of going … skip it!

Kerry on

Have any of these winners appeared on Top Chef?

Lisa on

Kerry- a number of them have appeared on Top Chef Masters: Naomi Pomeroy, Sue Zemanick, and John Besh that I know of and possibly more.

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