Friday, April 08, 2005

James Beard Nominees

The James Beard Foundation announced nominees last Tuesday for it's annual awards of excellence in the culinary community. Readers can locate a full list at the foundation website. Here are a few midwestern highlights:

Designers for Chicago's Avec were one of six nominees for Outstanding Restaurant Design. The restaurant also was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant Graphics. (Along with Keller's Per Se.)

The Waterford Wedgewood Outstanding Restauratear Award (I love how all these awards have corporate sponsors) nominees read like a who's who at the top of restaurant business today: Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Richard Melman (from Chicago), Danny Meyer, and Drew Nieporent.

For outstanding restaurant (that's the S. Pellegriano Outstanding Restaurant Award), Everest in Chicago gets a nod along with SF's Boulevard, New Orlean's Galatoire's, and New York's Montrachet.

For Best New Restaurant (sponsored by Illy!), only New Yorkers were nominated but three have already garnered national attention including Cru, Per Se, and Jean-Georges' Spice Market.

For the Gallo of Sonoma Rising Star Chef Award, all are coastal entries except Tre Wilcox from Dallas' Abacus. But don't count out Daniel Humm from SF's recently revamped Campton Place.

Ecolab's Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional Award this year will recognize one of five nominees including Paul Draper from Ridge Vineyards and Helen Turley from Calistoga.

Three Chicago restaurants get a nomination for outstanding service (from Smithfield Foods). Nominees include Spiaggia, Topolobamppo, and Tru. Other nominees are Spago Beverly Hills and St. Helena's Terra.

For Outstanding Chef in the Midwest, four Chicago nominees and one Minneapolis nominee are recognized: From Chicago, Sandro Gamba from NoMi at The Park Hyatt, Michael Kornick from MK, Tony Mantuano from Spiaggia, and Shawn McClain from Spring. In Minneapolis, it was Lucia Watson from Lucia's.

Awards will be announced on May 2.


Anonymous said...

Have you been to many of the restaurants on the list? With small kids I've really cut down on both business and pleasure travel. I have been to both Tru and Everest within the last 18 months.


braingirl said...

I'm woefully remedial in Chicago restaurants -- Avec and Blackbird being two of my faves (and Bin 36, of course.) SF and NY are another story -- Boulevard, Terra, Spice Market, and Daniel, I think are all on the list. I'm a big fan of any Jean George or Daniel Boulud. I have not yet been to PerSe but I have literally stood outside their doors and bowed, paying homage to the Keller.