Congratulations are in order for Tory McPhail. The chef of Commander's Palace received his first James Beard award last night. McPhail beat out such other local chefs as Justin Devillier, Alon Shaya, and Sue Zemanick, not to mention Jeff McInnis of Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami Beach , for the honor.
During his speech, McPhail asked the audience to join him in thanking his boss ladies/Brennan family icons Ti Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan, as well as Ella Brennan and the entire family, holding up his medal and saying, "Ladies, this one's for you."
McPhail wasn't the only New Orleans chef to take home an honor last night in New York. Emeril Lagasse? also a former Commander's Palace chef? was also honored as Humanitarian of the Year for his work with his Emeril Foundation, which has granted over $5.3 million to children's education and culinary arts programs in New Orleans, Las Vegas, and the Gulf Coast, such as the Edible Schoolyard in New Orleans and the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Culinary Arts Studio at NOCCA.
While Restaurant August was up for Outstanding Restaurant, the honor was taken by New York City's Blue Hill.