Chicago's Frontera Grill won Outstanding Restaurant of the Year and Michel Richard of Michel Richard Citronelle in Washington, D.C. was named Outstanding Chef at the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony. Hosted by CBS Early Show anchor Hannah Storm, the Beard Awards were held May 7 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York's Lincoln Center. More than 60 awards were presented by the country's pre-eminent nonprofit culinary organization, in its 20th anniversary celebration, and more than 1,600 industry leaders attended the ceremony. Other top awards went to: New York's L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, named Best New Restaurant; Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca.) received the award for Outstanding Restaurateur; and David Chang (Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York) received the Rising Star Chef of the Year award. Celebrity and culinary superstar attendees included Stephanie March, Ted Allen, Katie Lee Joel, Martha Stewart, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, Tom Colicchio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Padma Lakshmi, and Marcus Samuelsson. The Foundation's Media Awards took place at a separate event at the Hudson Theatre at Millennium Broadway Hotel on May 6. All Award winners received a bronze medallion etched with the image of the late James Beard, the esteemed chef, cookbook author, and food journalist. There are no cash awards. Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognizes outstanding achievement within the fine food and beverage industry in North America. For full awards results, please visit http://www.jamesbeard.org.
Beard Award highlights are:
AMERICA'S CLASSICS: Primanti Brothers, Demetrios Patrinos, Pittsburgh, Pa.; The Pickwick, Christopher Wisocki, Duluth, Minn.; Doe's Eat Place, The Signa Family, Greenville, Miss.; Aunt Carrie's, Elsie Foy, Narragansett, R.I.; I
Brookville Hotel, Mark and Connie Martin, Abilene, Kan.; Weaver D's, Dexter Weaver, Athens, Ga.
BEST CHEF, GREAT LAKES: Grant Achatz, Alinea, Chicago
BEST CHEF, MID-ATLANTIC: R.J. Cooper, III, Vidalia, Washington, DC
BEST CHEF, MIDWEST: Celina Tio, The American Restaurant, Kansas City, Mo.
BEST CHEF, NEW YORK CITY: David Waltuck, Chanterelle, New York, NY
BEST CHEF, NORTHEAST: Frank McClelland, L'Espalier, Boston
BEST CHEF, NORTHWEST: John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle
BEST CHEF, PACIFIC: Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière, San Francisco
BEST CHEF, SOUTH: Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
BEST CHEF, SOUTHEAST: Scott Peacock, Watershed, Decatur, Ga.
BEST CHEF, SOUTHWEST: Nobuo Fukuda, Sea Saw, Scottsdale, Ariz.
BEST NEW RESTAURANT: L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Chef-Owner: Joël Robuchon, New York, NY
OUTSTANDING CHEF: Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF: Michael Laskonis, Le Bernardin, New York, NY
OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT: Frontera Grill, chef-owner: Rick and Deann Bayless, Chicago
OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.
OUTSTANDING SERVICE: Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, and Richard Melman, Tru, Chicago
OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL: Paul Draper, Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, Calif.
OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE: Mark Slater, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC
RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR: David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York, NY
IN THE NEWS: After years of advertising on local cable television and months of establishing franchise operators, Sonic has committed to its first Pittsburgh-area location, Pittsburgh Business Times reports. The Oklahoma-based drive-through restaurant chain announced that it will open at the Village at Pittsburgh Mills in Frazer Township. ... The paper also reports that the smoking ban in Allegheny County bars and restaurants has been snuffed again, at least temporarily. A state appellate court on May 1 issued a stay on the smoking ban, Allegheny County Solicitor Michael Wojcik said. The ban on smoking took effect at midnight April 30 when Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Michael A. Della Vecchia declined to extend an injunction he issued in January that delayed its implementation. But Commonwealth Court Judge James Gardner Collins effectively overruled Della Vecchia when he granted a request for a temporary injunction. Wojcik said the injunction request was filed by an attorney for Mitchell's Restaurant and Bar and the Smithfield Cafe, the restaurants that filed the original suit. The stay will be in place indefinitely, Wojcik said. ... Post-Gazette critic Elizabeth Downer awards three stars in her review of Seviche, 930 Penn Ave. in the Cultural District, while the Munch column visits Famous Dave's barbecue ... The Post-Gazette's Torsten Ove writes a worthy obituary of Josephine Giaramita, the owner of La Tavola Italiana (The Italian Table) restaurant on Mount Washington. ... Luis Fabregas of the Tribune-Review critiques downtown's Original Fish Market, 1000 Penn Avenue, at the Westin Convention Center Hotel -- as does Pittsburgh magazine -- while the Tribune-Review's Michael Machosky reviews Orchids International Vegetarian Restaurant, 4519 Centre Ave. in Oakland ... Pittsburgh City Paper considers Sewickley Speakeasy, 17 Ohio River Blvd. in Sewickley.