It's official: the 2011 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards were announced at a schmancy event in New York this evening. New York's Eleven Madison Park (previous employer of Canlis chef Jason Franey) won the Outstanding Restaurant, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ABC Kitchen was crowned Best New Restaurant. Chef-wise, Jose Andres received the Outstanding Chef Award and Portland's Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon) is the Rising Star Chef of the Year.
Sadly, it wasn't a spectacular night for Seattle. The big shocker of the night was Rose City chef Andy Ricker winning the Best Chef: Northwest award, beating out odds-on favorite Ethan Stowell and fellow Seattle nominee Matt Dillon. It's the first time a Portland Chef has snagged the honor since 2005. We'll be classy and extend our congratulations to Ricker (we do love those fish sauce chicken wings at Pok Pok). In his speech, he said, "the City of Portland allows us to do what we do." Somehow we doubt any local chefs have ever extended a similar thank you to the City of Seattle.
Read on to see how other local contenders fared.
Damn, New York City's Per Se beat out our own Canlis, but I guess if you've got to lose to someone, you could do worse than Thomas Keller. Brian Canlis did manage to have some fun while he was in New York City. His Twitter feed was an enviable blend of party time and Central Park wanderings.
Richard Melman of Chicago snatched up this one, dashing our final hopes of a Seattle chef coming home victorious. The silver lining...we're pretty sure Tom Douglas will be nominated again next year, and who knows how many restaurants he'll have by then.
Humanitarian of the Year
FareStart's award was announced in March, but it's still so exciting to see our local organization get national recognition. Seeing Tom Douglas and Chris Canlis present the award was pretty much the bright spot of the evening for Seattle.
· @bcanlis [Twitter]
· Winners: 2011 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards [Eater National]
· All Previous James Beard Coverage on Eater Seattle [-ESEA-]