The James Beard Foundation announced the winners of the 2014 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards last night, the highest honor for food and beverage professionals, and New Orleans actually fared pretty well this year. Congrats are in order for:
· Peche, which beat out NYC favorites Betony, Carbone, and Estela and SF's Coqueta for Best New Restaurant honors. As Brett Anderson points out, this is the FIRST TIME a New Orleans restaurant has won the award.
· Gautreau's/Ivy's Sue Zemanick and Peche's Ryan Prewitt, who TIED for Best Chef South.
Iconic snoball stand Hansen's Sno-Bliz was also honored with a James Beard America's Classic award, and John Besh was inducted into the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America along with five other culinary leaders from around the country.
San Francisco's The Slanted Door won the award for Outstanding Restaurant, The Restaurant at Meadowood (St. Helena, CA) took home the gold for Outstanding Service, Boston's Barbara Lynch won for Outstanding Restaurateur, and Nancy Silverton (Pizzeria Mozza in LA) got a medal in the Outstanding Chef category. Two nominees tied for Rising Star Chef: Jimmy Bannos Jr. of Chicago's The Purple Pig, and Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Inn on Lummi Island.