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James Beard Awards Honor Chicago's Topolobampo, Others

Image: James Beard Awards Honor Chicago's Topolobampo, Others

The 2017 James Beard Foundation Media Award winners were announced May 1. (James Beard Foundation)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 May 2017 02:42 PM

James Beard Awards announced its chef and restaurant winners in Chicago Monday night, honoring many of those who have impacted the American hospitality industry.

The awards show that's been referred to as the "Oscars of the culinary world" was held at Chicago's Lyric Opera, where there were recipients for the National Restaurant and Chef Awards, Restaurant Design Awards, Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, and several other honors, according to Fox News.

Rick Bayless' Mexican eatery Topolobampo in Chicago took home the Outstanding Restaurant honor -- just one of the many awards Bayless has won at the James Beard Awards in the past 26 years.

"We just wanted to bring some of the heart and soul that people have shared with us in Mexico and share it with the people in this country," Bayless said as he accepted the award. "We have in our restaurants always sought to put heart first."

"The flavors that carry best on the plate, are the very best we create when we're living our own truth," Bayless said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "[Our team] cares for the people that work with us, they care about creating an unforgettable experience for everyone that comes into our restaurant whether they come through the front door or the back."

Chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia won the Outstanding Chef award — an honor he was nominated for at last year's ceremony, but didn't win.

"I'm incredibly lucky that my work is my life's work," Solomonov said.

It was also a big night for Stephen Starr, who won the Outstanding Restauranteur award and the Best New Restaurant honor for his New York City food spot, Le Coucou, Eater noted.

The Beard Awards was hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who not only appears on popular TV sitcom "Modern Family," but who also has a food blog, the Chicago Tribune noted.

Here's a full list of all the talented winners from the 2017 James Beard Awards.


  • Best New Restaurant: Le Coucou in New York
  • Outstanding Baker: Mark Furstenberg of Bread Furst in Washington
  • Outstanding Bar Program: Arnaud's French 75 Bar in New Orleans
  • Outstanding Chef: Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia
  • Outstanding Pastry Chef: Ghaya Oliveira of Daniel in New York
  • Outstanding Restaurant: Topolobampo in Chicago
  • Outstanding Restaurateur: Stephen Starr of Starr Restaurants in Philadelphia
  • Outstanding Service: Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York
  • Outstanding Wine Program: Canlis in Seattle
  • Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional: Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Zachary Engel of Shaya in New Orleans


  • Firm: AvroKO
  • Designers: Kristina O'Neal, William Harris, Adam Farmerie and Greg Bradshaw
  • Project: SingleThread, Healdsburg, California


  • Design Firm: Meyer Davis
  • Designers: Will Meyer, Gray Davis and Katie McPherson
  • Project: St. Cecilia, Atlanta

Design Icon

  • Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant, New York


  • Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH): Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde in Chicago
  • Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA): Greg Vernick of Vernick Food and Drink in Philadelphia
  • Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI) : Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe in St. Louis
  • Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs): Marco Canora of Hearth
  • Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT): Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley of Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine
  • Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY): Gabrielle Quinonez Denton and Greg Denton of Ox in Portland, Oregon
  • Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR): Rebecca Wilcomb of Herbsaint in New Orleans
  • Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV): Steven Satterfield of Miller Union in Atlanta
  • Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT): Hugo Ortega of Hugo's in Houston
  • Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV): Corey Lee of Benu in San Francisco

America's Classics

  • Bertha's Kitchen, Charleston, S.C., Owners: Julia Grant, Linda Pinckney and Sharon Coakley
  • Gioia's Deli, St. Louis, Owner: Alex Donley
  • La Taqueria, San Francisco, Owner: Miguel Jara
  • Sahadi's, Brooklyn, N.Y., Owners: Christine Sahadi Whelan and Ron Sahadi
  • Schultz's Crab House, Essex, Md., Owners: Chrissy Burkman, Stephanie Kell, Jason McKinney, Michelle McKinney, Robert A. McKinney Jr. and Stephan McKinney

Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America

  • Roger Berkowitz, President and CEO, Legal Sea Foods, Boston
  • Suzanne Goin, Multiple James Beard Award-winning chef and restauranteur, Los Angeles
  • Evan Kleiman, Culinarian, Host of KCRW's "Good Food," Los Angeles
  • Michel Nischan, Multiple James Beard Award-winning chef; Founder, president and CEO of Wholesome Wave, Bridgeport, Conn.
  • Rajat Parr, Domaine de la Cote, Lompac, Calif.

Humanitarian of the Year

  • Denise Cerreta of One World Everybody Eats in Salt Lake City

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora in Washington

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James Beard Awards announced its chef and restaurant winners in Chicago Monday night, honoring many of those who have impacted the American hospitality industry.
james beard, awards, chicago, topolobampo
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 02:42 PM
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