New York, NY (7 May 2007) – Winners were announced for the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards tonight at a ceremony held at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. The Awards, now in their 17th year, recognize excellence and achievement in the culinary profession. More than 60 awards were presented, and over 1,600 industry leaders attended the ceremony, which was followed by a reception dedicated to “Celebrating the Art of American Food,” featuring guest chefs from an esteemed group of Rising Star Chef award winners and nominees.
“Tonight’s winners represent the best and the brightest in the food world,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the Foundation. “Winning a James Beard Foundation award is like taking home an Olympic gold medal, a Pulitzer or a Grammy. For many, being selected by their peers is confirmation of achievement of excellence, marking the pinnacle of their careers.”
Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognize outstanding achievement within the fine food and beverage industry. The Awards honor professionals including book authors, chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, journalists, broadcasters, and restaurant and graphic designers in North America. To select the nominees and winners, independent volunteer panels of more than 600 food and beverage professionals from around the country vote on specific Award categories. The trustees and staff of the James Beard Foundation do not vote. The independent accounting firm Lutz & Carr tabulates ballots. Winners’ identities remain confidential until the Awards ceremonies. Award winners receive a bronze medallion engraved with the image of James Beard, the late journalist, cookbook author, chef, and cooking teacher.
A full listing of awards nominees and results can be found at www.jamesbeard.org. Event photos will be available for press purposes at www.jamesbeard.org/awards/2007/awardphotos/ on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, after 10:30 A.M.
Summary of Awards highlights:
On Sunday, May 6th, 21 awards were presented for articles published in 2006, and for television, webcast, and radio programs that aired in 2006. The San Francisco Chronicle was named best newspaper food section; Jesse Katz received the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award for his article in Los Angeles entitled “Wheels of Fortune;” and Leite’s Culinaria received the award for Website Focusing on Food, Beverage, Restaurant, or Nutrition.
Broadcast Media Award winners, presented by Viking Range, for television included: Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie, hosted by Ruth Reichl for Food Show, National; Food Trip with Todd English, hosted by Todd English, for Food Special; CBS News “Sunday Morning,” hosted by Charles Osgood, for Food Segment, National or Local; and Check, Please! Bay Area, hosted by Leslie Sbrocco for Food Show, Local. The Radio Food Show winner was The Leonard Lopate Show’s “Holiday Recipe Swap,” hosted by Leonard Lopate, and the Webcast award went to Savoring the Best of World Flavors, Volume One: India, Spain, Mexico, and Thailand, hosted by Bill Briwa.
The Foundation presented awards in 14 categories for food and beverage books published in 2006. Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (Ten Speed Press, 1977) was inducted into the Cookbook Hall of Fame and The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook (W. W. Norton, 2006) was named Cookbook of the Year.
Chicago’s Frontera Grill was named Outstanding Restaurant of the Year, presented by S.Pellegrino; Michel Richard (Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington D.C.) received the Outstanding Chef Award, presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters; New York’s L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon was named Best New Restaurant; and Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Yountville, CA) received the award for Outstanding Restaurateur, presented by Waterford Wedgwood.
David Chang (Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York) was named Rising Star Chef of the Year, presented by Contessa Premium Foods. Michael Laskonis (Le Bernardin, New York) received the Outstanding Pastry Chef Award, presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters. Chicago’s Tru was
presented with the Outstanding Service Award, and Michel Richard Citronelle presented with Outstanding Wine Service. Paul Draper (Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, CA) was named Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional, presented by Southern Wine & Spirits.
Best Chefs in America, presented by American Express Company, awarded recipients in 10 regions: Great Lakes, Grant Achatz (Alinea, Chicago, IL); Mid-Atlantic, TIE R.J. Cooper (Vidalia, Washington D.C.) and Frank Ruta (Palena, Washington D.C.); Pacific, Traci Des
Jardins (Jardinière, San Francisco, CA); Southwest, Nobuo Fukuda (Sea Saw, Scottsdale, AZ); South, Donald Link (Herbsaint, New Orleans, LA); Southeast, Scott Peacock (Watershed, Decatur, GA); Northeast, Frank McClelland (L’Espalier, Boston, MA); Northwest, John Sundstrom (Lark, Seattle, WA); Midwest, Celina Tio (The American Restaurant, Kansas City, MO); and New York City, David Waltuck (Chanterelle).
Art Smith was named Humanitarian of the Year, and Barbara Kafka received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Five new inductees were added to the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, presented by Contessa Premium Foods: José Andrés, Jim Clendenen, Bobby Flay, Dorie Greenspan and Michael Pollan.
Six small regional restaurants received America’s Classics Awards: Aunt Carrie’s (Narragansett, RI); Brookville Hotel (Abilene, KS); Doe’s Eat Place (Greenville, MS); The Pickwick (Duluth, MN); Primanti Brothers (Pittsburgh, PA); and Weaver D’s (Athens, GA).
Restaurant Design and Graphic Awards
For the best restaurant design or renovation and graphics executed in North America since January 1, 2004: New York design firms Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis LTL Architects received the Outstanding Restaurant Design award for Xing Restaurant (New York), and Baron and Baron received Outstanding Restaurant Graphics award for Buddakan (New York).
The James Beard Foundation presents its 2007 Awards with generous support from the following sponsors:
In Association Sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters and American Express®; Supporting Sponsors: Contessa Premium Foods, illy caffé North America, Inc., Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, Viking Range Corporation, and Waterford Wedgwood; Gala Reception Sponsors: Chefwear, Ecolab, Hellenic Fine Oils, Le Cordon Bleu International, and Rums of Puerto Rico. Additional support is provided by Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, National Cattlemen’s Beef on behalf of The Beef Checkoff, and The Chefs’ Warehouse. The Millennium Broadway Hotel is the official hotel and Restaurant Associates is the host caterer of the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards.
How to Enter for 2008
Entry forms for the 2008 awards will be available in mid-October on www.jamesbeard.org, or by faxing requests to: 212-627-1064. Membership in, service to, and fundraising for the James Beard Foundation are neither requirements for, nor in any way relevant to consideration for an Award. For information on membership, call 1-800-36-BEARD (800-362-3273).
ABOUT THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, 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 was a champion of American cuisine, helping to educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts before his death in 1985. Today, the James Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, culinary scholarships, publications, and 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 www.jamesbeard.org or call 212-675-4984.