2012 James Beard Foundation Awards Winners Announced

2012 James Beard Foundation Awards Winners Announced
2012 James Beard Foundation Awards Winners Announced

New York  (RestaurantNews.com)  Winners were announced this evening at the annual 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation’s most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries. During a ceremony hosted by chef and television personality Alton Brown at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, awards in the Restaurant and Chef and the Design and Graphics categories were presented, as well as a number of special achievement awards including Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, America’s Classics, Lifetime Achievement, and Humanitarian of the Year. Winners of the Foundation’s annual Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards were presented on May 4, 2012, at the ceremony and dinner at Gotham Hall in New York City, co-hosted by celebrity chef Michael Symon and CBS News Correspondent Martha Teichner.  A complete list of all award winners can be found at the end of this release, as well as at jamesbeard.org.

Highlights from this year’s list of winners include:

Outstanding Chef: Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park, NYC)
Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard (San Francisco)
Rising Star Chef: Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC)
Best New Restaurant:  Next (Chicago)

In addition, special achievement award honorees included:

Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America: 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)

America’s Classics: The Fry Bread House (Owner: Cecelia Miller, Phoenix); Nora’s Fish Creek Inn (Owners:  Nora Tygum, Trace Tygum, and Kathryn Tygum Taylor, Wilson, WY); St. Elmo Steak House (Owners: Stephen Huse and Craig Huse, Indianapolis); Jones Bar-B-Q Diner (Owners: James and Betty Jones, Marianna, AR); Shady Glen (Owners: William and Annette Hoch, Manchester, CT)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Wolfgang Puck (Chef and Restaurateur, Los Angeles)

Humanitarian of the Year: Charlie Trotter (Chef and Restaurateur, Chicago)

Industry leaders from across the country attended the highly anticipated festivities, which celebrated this year’s Awards theme of “25 Years of Food at its Best,” in tribute to the Foundation’s silver anniversary and mission that honors James Beard’s legacy by celebrating, nurturing, and preserving America’s diverse culinary heritage and future. In recognition of James Beard’s influence on our culinary world, the Foundation invited chefs who had the privilege of knowing James Beard personally, as well as those who have been influenced by his legacy, to prepare dishes inspired by recipes from his more than 20 cookbooks. At the Gala Reception immediately following the Awards Ceremony, guests enjoyed a dine-around gala prepared by these notable chefs, including many of this year’s winners and nominees, among them Gary Danko of Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco, Paul Kahan of Blackbird in Chicago, and Emily Luchetti of Farallon in San Francisco.

The annual James Beard Foundation Awards honor the best and the brightest talents in the food and beverage industries, celebrating outstanding achievement in each of the following categories: Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design and Graphics, Books, Broadcast and New Media, and Journalism, as well as several special achievement awards. Each 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.

Highlights from the Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards announced on Friday, May 4, 2012, at the Awards dinner at Gotham Hall in New York City included:

Cookbook of the Year: Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet (The Cooking Lab)

Cookbook Hall of Fame:  Laurie Cowin, Home Cooking and More Home Cooking

Publications of the Year: Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, Food52 and Darra Goldstein, Gastronomica

MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award: John T. Edge, Saveur “BBQ Nation”

Radio Show or Audio Webcast:  Fear of Frying: Culinary Nightmares, Host: Nina Barrett, Area: WBEZ, Producer: Jason Marck

Television Program, In Studio or Fixed Location: Chopped, Host: Ted Allen and judges

Television Program, On Location: Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Host: Andrew Zimmern, Network: Travel Channel, Producer: Andrew Zimmern

Media Personality/Host: Ted Allen, Show, Chopped, Food Network

Food Coverage in a General Interest Publication: Lesley Bargar Suter, Los Angeles, “Chinese Food in L.A.,” “It’s Time for Breakfast in L.A.” “Food Lovers Guide”

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review: Alan Richman, GQ, “The Very Tasty Liberation of Paris,” “I Heart SF,” “Diner for Schmucks”

Group Food Blog: The Salt: NPR’s Food Blog, Maria Godoy, npr.org/blogs/thesalt

Individual Food Blog: Poor Man’s Feast, Elissa Altman, Poormansfeast.com “Craving the Food of Depravity”

The 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards are presented with support by the following partners: Premier Sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters, Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate, Lenox Tableware and Gifts, Mercedes-Benz; Supporting Sponsors: Campari, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Jade Range LLC, Lavazza, Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, Stella Artois®, Urbanspoon; Gala Reception Sponsors: Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water, Ecolab, Pernod Ricard USA, Rums of Puerto Rico, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water; and with additional support from Chefwear, St Giles Hotel New York, and Visa Signature®.

About the James Beard Foundation

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, and publications, and by maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org.  Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter.


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