Clean Plate Awards

Industry pros share their favorite restaurant dishes of the year.


The panel of restaurant-industry pros that judged this year’s Clean Plate Awards eats for a living. They scout places as diverse as food trucks, airport kiosks, taco joints and four-star restaurants. Our 12 judges work in different segments and have unique palates, but their favorite meals of 2014 share similar threads. More vegetable preps were among the winning dishes than in years past. Raw seafood, roasted duck and one-pot meals also emerged on top. Here are our tastemakers’ picks for the dishes that made them clean their plates.

Clean Plate Awards
Homaro Cantu
  • Ramen, Yusho, Chicago

  • Beijing Duck Feast, Sun Wah BBQ, Chicago

Stephanie Izard
  • Ahi Yakusugi, Momotaro, Chicago

  • Hamachi crudo, qui, Austin, Texas

  • Peking duck, Decoy, New York City

José Andrés
  • Omakase Menu, Zuma at Epic Hotel, Miami

  • Preserved vegetables, buckwheat, marrow and dried beef, Bar Tartine, San Francisco

  • Oysters, Rappahannock Oyster Co., Washington, D.C.

Nate Appleman
  • Artisan Cheese Plate with Castelfranco radicchio “ham,” Meadowood, St. Helena, Calif.

  • Bologna sandwich on rye with onions, Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop, New York City

  • Tortillas, Cosme, New York City

Emeril Lagasse
  • Tiradito, Matsuhisa, Los Angeles

  • Wise Guy Pizza, Freds at Barneys, New York City

  • Uovo in Raviolo, SD26, New York City 

Greg Dollarhyde
  • Cauliflower T-Bone, Superba Snack Bar, Venice, Calif.

  • Portobello Fries, Bottega Louie, Los Angeles

  • Japanese Red, Snapper Sashimi

Kerry Diamond
  • Burger and frozen custard, Shake Shack at JFK Airport, New York City

  • Coconut rose water cake, Lantern, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Seasonal pizza, Napolese, Indianapolis

Carla Hall
  • Meatloaf sandwich on brioche, Gjelina Take Away, Long Beach, Calif.

  • Chicken and dumplings, Reserve Wine & Food, Grand Rapids, Mich.

  • Biscuits, Sweet Cheeks Q, Boston

Beverly Kim
  • Eggplant and Ricotta Casoncelli with veal ragu, Lula Cafe, Chicago

  • Pozole Rojo, Dove’s Luncheonette, Chicago

  • Kimchee Bokkum, Ban Po Jung, Chicago

Jimmy Bannos, Jr.
  • Beef on tasting menu, Eleven Madison Park, New York City

  • Eel Pie with broccoli ice cream, radish and grilled broccoli, Le Pigeon, Portland, Ore.

  • Mapo Dofou, Xiao Bao Biscuit, Charleston, S.C.

Maeve Webster
  • Fried hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, Elizabeth Restaurant, Chicago

  • Boudin Noir, Parachute, Chicago

  • Fried Brussels sprouts, The Radler, Chicago

Kat Cole
  • Mini Wafels, Wafels & Dinges, New York City

  • Spinach Chickpea Cazuela with cumin and roasted garlic, Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant, Atlanta

  • Maple-Bacon Doughnut, Dutch Monkey Doughnuts, Cumming, Ga.

  • Filet of beef steak, Quality Meats, New York City

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