The 2018 James Beard Foundation Award Winners were announced on Monday, May 7, 2018, at the James Beard Foundation Awards at Lyric Opera of Chicago. During a ceremony emceed by Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s The Chew, awards were presented in the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories, as well as several special achievement awards, including Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, America’s Classics, and Humanitarian of the Year. A complete list of award winners can be found at the end of this article.
Highlights from the list of 2018 James Beard Foundation Award Winners include:
Best New Restaurant: JuneBaby, Seattle
Outstanding Baker: Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco
Outstanding Chef: Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, NYC
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL
Outstanding Restaurant: Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL
Outstanding Restaurateur: Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, Los Angeles (Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern, and others)
Rising Star Chef: Camille Cogswell, Zahav, Philadelphia
Industry leaders from across the country attended the highly anticipated ceremony, whose theme this year was “Rise,” celebrating the collective spirit of the culinary community and the power of food. Attendees and participants donned vibrant pins stating what they rise for, from “equality” to “locally sourced food” to “no waste” and “integrity.”
In keeping with the theme, the nearly 30 gala reception chefs consisted mostly of former James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change participants; JBF Chefs Boot Camps are retreats wherein civically and politically minded chefs have a unique opportunity to become more effective leaders for food-system change; they receive advocacy and media training while learning about important issues, challenges, and opportunities within the food world. Their thoughtful dishes fed the nearly 2,000 attendees at this year’s Awards gala.
Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and furthers the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Each award category has an individual committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program. All JBF Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. There are no cash prizes.
The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. For more than 30 years the Foundation has accomplished this mission through programs that highlight food’s central role in our lives. In addition to hosting guest-chef dinners throughout the year at the historic James Beard House in New York City, the Foundation administers the James Beard Awards; grants scholarships for culinary students; produces national events that include our Taste America tour; and creates educational programs for the culinary community and food lovers. The Foundation addresses the growing challenges facing our food system through its Impact Programs, which include the Leadership Awards; Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change; Issue Summits; and Culinary Labs. Industry issues, such as gender imbalance and diversity in culinary leadership, are addressed through our Industry Programs. For more information, please visit their website.
2018 James Beard Foundation Award Winners
2018 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards
For the best restaurant design or renovation in North America since January 1, 2015.
75 Seats and Under Firm: The MP Shift
Designers: Amy Morris, Anna Polonsky, and Julie Nerenberg
Project: De Maria, NYC
76 Seats and Over Firms: Aidlin Darling Design with a l m project
Designers: Joshua Aidlin, David Darling, Adam Rouse, and Andrea Lenardin Madden
Project: In Situ, San Francisco
The American Restaurant Kansas City, MO
2018 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards
Best New Restaurant
A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.
Outstanding Baker (Presented by Taylor Precision Products)
A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries, or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.
Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco
Outstanding Bar Program (Presented by Woodford Reserve Bourbon)
A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.
Cure, New Orleans
Outstanding Chef (Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters)
A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years.
Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, NYC
Outstanding Pastry Chef (Presented by Lavazza)
A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence. Must have been a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.
Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL
Outstanding Restaurant (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)
A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere, and service. Eligible restaurants must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.
Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL
A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Candidates must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.
Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, Los Angeles (Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern, and others)
A restaurant in operation five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service.
Zuni Café, San Francisco
Outstanding Wine Program (Presented by Robert Mondavi Winery)
A restaurant in operation five or more years that serves as a standard bearer for excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine.
FIG, Charleston, SC
Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional
A beer, wine, or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.
Miljenko Grgich, Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford, CA
Rising Star Chef of the Year (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)
A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.
Camille Cogswell, Zahav, Philadelphia
Best Chefs in America
Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years with the three most recent years spent in the region.
Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice, Chicago
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Jeremiah Langhorne, The Dabney, Washington, D.C.
Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
Gavin Kaysen, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis
Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)
Missy Robbins, Lilia, Brooklyn, NY
Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT)
Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston
Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
Edouardo Jordan, Salare, Seattle
Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)
Nina Compton, Compère Lapin, New Orleans
Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)
Rodney Scott, Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Charleston, SC
Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)
Alex Seidel, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Denver
Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)
Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
2018 James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees
Jody Adams Chef/Owner, TRADE, Porto, and Saloniki Boston
Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin Co-Proprietors, Commander’s Palace New Orleans
Allison Hooper Co-Founder, Vermont Creamery Websterville, VT
Daniel Johnnes Wine Director, The Dinex Group New York City, NY
2018 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics (Presented by TABASCO® Sauce)
Sun Wah Chicago, IL Owners: Kelly Cheng, Laura Cheng and Michael Cheng
Galleria Umberto Boston, MA Owners: Paul Deuterio and Ralph Deuterio
Los Hernandez Union Gap, WA Owner: Felipe Hernandez
El Guero Canelo Tucson, AZ Owner: Daniel Contreras
Dong Phuong Bakery New Orleans, LA Owner: Linh Tran Garza
2018 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year (Presented by HOODZ: a BELFOR Company)
Multiple James Beard Award–Winning Chef; Owner, ThinkFoodGroup; Founder, World Central Kitchen
2018 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
Paula Wolfert Multiple James Beard Award–Winning Author