Congrats are in order. As Eater National predicted, chef Alon Shaya took home top honors at last night's 2015 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards for Best Chef: South. La Petite Grocery's Justin Devillier and Brennan's Slade Rushing were also nominated in the category.
While New Orleanians were up for awards in a few other categories—The French 75 bar for Oustanding Bar Program, Donald Link for Oustanding Chef, JoAnn Clevenger for Oustanding Restaurateur, and August for Oustanding Service—this was the city's only win.
In his acceptance speech, Shaya thanked the city of New Orleans for embracing him as a chef, calling himself an Israeli kid from Philly. He came to work for John Besh at August in 2003, and now heads both Domenica and his modern Israeli dream palace Shaya.
Shaya now becomes the twelfth local chef to win the regional award, according to Todd Price, a list that includes Emeril Lagasse, Susan Spicer, and Donald Link. Head to Eater National for a complete list of winners.