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2012 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards

The James Beard Foundation honored the country’s best chefs, restaurants, bars, sommeliers and other industry luminaries at a black-tie gala at New York’s Lincoln Center on Monday, May 7th.

Over 2,000 foodies attended to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the “Oscars” of the food world, eager to see who won and to sample the chefs’ dishes that were reinterpretations of James Beard’s best-loved recipes. Guests noshed on such favorites as Oregon Dungeness Crab Reuben, Crawfish and Gulf Shrimp Salad and Almond Joy Cake while sipping Perrier-Jouet champagne or one the many other offered libations.

The evening’s first award was the prestigious Rising Star Chef. As Momofuku’s Christina Tosi accepted it, she mentioned that her mom would be upset, as she had told her not to attend the awards ceremony as she’d never win! Others continued thanking their wives, moms and mentors—others apologized: Tory Miller was so excited about his winning Best Chef Midwest award that he almost knocked over Jacques Pepin as he ran to the stage to accept it. After apologizing to Jacques at the beginning of his acceptance speech, Tory thanked namesake James Beard for being “such a weird old dude” who did so much to support the culinary community.

Here’s a rundown of the night's stars, with links to their winning restaurants:

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Bruce Sherman
North Pond
Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Maricel Presilla
Cucharamama
Hoboken, NJ

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
Tory Miller
L’Etoile
Madison, WI

Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)
Michael Anthony
Gramercy Tavern

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT)
Tim Cushman
O Ya
Boston

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
Matt Dillon
Sitka & Spruce
Seattle

Best Chef: Pacific (CA, HI)
Matt Molina
Osteria Mozza
Los Angeles

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS)
Chris Hastings
Hot and Hot Fish Club
Birmingham, AL

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV): TIE
Linton Hopkins
Restaurant Eugene
Atlanta

Hugh Acheson
Five and Ten
Athens, GA

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT)
Paul Qui
Uchiko
Austin, TX

Best New Restaurant
Next
Chicago

Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional
Paul Griec
Terroir
New York City

Outstanding Wine Program
No. 9 Park
Boston

Outstanding Bar Program
PDT
New York City

Outstanding Service  
La Grenouille
New York City

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Mindy Segal
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate
Chicago

Outstanding Restaurateur
Tom Douglas
Tom Douglas Restaurants
Seattle

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Christina Tosi
Momofuku Milk Bar
New York City

Outstanding Restaurant
Boulevard
San Francisco

Outstanding Chef
Daniel Humm

Eleven Madison Park
New York City

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