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Big Winners at the 'Oscars of Food'

Time to start calling in your reservations
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2018 8:35 AM CDT
Big Winners at the 'Oscars of Food'
This 2011 photo shows a red snapper dish at Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Ala.   (Wikimedia/Ralph Daily)

(Newser) – Though the Met Gala probably drew more eyes, Monday night also marked the "Oscars of the food world," per Eater. Some 600 culinary professionals voted to honor some of the top chefs, restaurants, and restaurateurs in the country at the James Beard Awards in Chicago. Since you'll need to start booking reservations now, per Grub Street, check out the big winners:

  • 'Runaway winner': Bloomberg reports Frank Stitt's Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Ala., stole the show. It was voted best restaurant in America by a panel of chefs, restaurateurs, and food journalists, while its pastry chef, Dolester Miles, was also awarded.

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  • Seattle spotlight: Another big winner was Edouardo Jordan. He was named best chef in the northwest for his Seattle restaurant Salare, while his second Seattle eatery, JuneBaby, was named best new restaurant, per Eater. Both restaurants serve Southern-style food.
  • Sweet speech: Jordan "made everyone with a heart tear up" when he dedicated his awards to his 4-year-old son, reports the Seattle Times. "I want you to dream big, my little star. We're making history tonight, and daddy wants you to know that if you can dream it, you can achieve it," he said.

  • Service crown: The award for outstanding service went to San Francisco's Zuni Cafe. But it was one of only a few awards to recognize the food scene in San Francisco and New York, per Bloomberg.
  • Women rule: In what Bloomberg calls "a very good year for women," Gabrielle Hamilton of Manhattan's Prune restaurant was named outstanding chef. Missy Robbins of Brooklyn's Lilia was named best chef in New York, while Los Angeles' Carolina Styne was named outstanding restaurateur.
  • Sending a message: "It couldn't have been clearer: 'Move over, white male chefs,'" reports Forbes, noting those awarded Monday "included a number of female, black, and Latino winners." Both Miles and Jordan are African American.
(Read more James Beard Awards stories.)

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