The theme of the James Beard Awards and its JB Foundation’s mission is to good food for good™.
As anyone traveling across the United States or living in some of its small towns can attest, there is some pretty good, locally grown and prepared food. Sometimes theses places make it to the James Beard Award and nomination level.
So it was interesting to see what towns dominated the ceremony at the Lyric Opera House when the JB Awards for chefs and restaurants (including design and bar) were announced May 4.
NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and Washington DC establishments and chefs received more than one acknowledgement. They were followed with one apiece for Boston, Boulder, Garden Grove (CA), Huntington (WV), Los Angeles, McCook (NE), Minneapolis, New Orleans, Oxford (MS), Philadelphia, Portland, Raleigh, Savannah, Scottsdale and Washington, VA.
Because there was a pre-dinner cocktail party at the Chicago Athletic Club honoring women nominees the question arose about trends and if there more female chefs and restaurateurs.
New Orleans pastry chef Kelly Fields of Willa Jean who later did win Outstanding Pastry Chef at the Awards ceremony, thought there was an “evening out of the playing field.” She added,” Women are getting more visibility.”
See the following list of award winners but to check out Beard initiatives, nominees and winners also go to James Beard Awards.
2019 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards
75 Seats and Under Firm: Studio Writers Project: Atomix, NYC
76 Seats and Over Firm: Parts and Labor Design Project: Pacific Standard Time, Chicago
Other Eating and Drinking Places
Firm: Schwartz and Architecture (S^A) Project: El Pípila, San Francisco and Design Icon Canlis, Seattle
2019 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards
Best New Restaurant Frenchette, NYC
Outstanding Baker Greg Wade Publican Quality Bread, Chicago
Outstanding Bar Program Bar Agricole, San Francisco
Outstanding Chef Ashley Christensen Poole’s Diner, Raleigh, NC
Outstanding Pastry Chef Kelly Fields Willa Jean, New Orleans
Outstanding Restaurant Zahav, Philadelphia
Outstanding Restaurateur Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz Boka Restaurant Group (Boka, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro, and others), Chicago
Outstanding Service Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO
Outstanding Wine Program Benu, San Francisco
Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer Rob Tod Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME
Rising Star Chef of the Year Kwame Onwuachi Kith and Kin, Washington, D.C.
Best Chefs in America:
Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH) Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark Parachute, Chicago
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA) Tom Cunanan Bad Saint, Washington, D.C.
Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI) Ann Kim Young Joni, Minneapolis
Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs) Jody Williams and Rita Sodi Via Carota
Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY State, RI, VT) Tony Messina Uni, Boston
Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY) Brady Williams Canlis, Seattle
Best Chef: South (AL, AR, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, FL, LA, MS) Vishwesh Bhatt Snackbar, Oxford, MS
Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV) Mashama Bailey The Grey, Savannah, GA
Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT) Charleen Badman FnB, Scottsdale, AZ
Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV) Michael Cimarusti Providence, Los Angeles
2019 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics Honorees
Pho 79 Garden Grove, CA Owners: Thọ Trần and Liễu Trần
Jim’s Steak & Spaghetti House Huntington, WV Owners: Jimmie Tweel Carder, Larry Tweel, and Ron Tweel
A&A Bake & Double Roti Shop Brooklyn, NY Owner: Noel and Geeta Brown
Sehnert’s Bakery & Bieroc Café McCook, NE Owners: Matt and Shelly Sehnert
Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse Washington, D.C. Owner: Paul Katinas
2019 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year
The Giving Kitchen Non-profit organization providing emergency assistance to food service workers through financial support and a network of community resources
2019 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
Patrick O’Connell Five-time James Beard Award winner, 3-star Michelin chef, author, and owner of The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, VA