Boston Baker Joanne Chang Wins James Beard Award

Boston's Joanne Chang, the owner of Flour Bakery and Cafe, has been named the nation's best baker.

The James Beard Awards were handed out Monday night. 

Chef Suzanne Goin took home the outstanding chef award, and Chicago mainstay Alinea won the outstanding restaurant honor at a ceremony many consider the Academy Awards of the culinary world. 

It's the first outstanding restaurant win for Alinea. Its chef, Grant Achatz, won the outstanding chef award in 2008 and has earned other honors from the Beard Foundation over the years but never the top prize.

Achatz's ultramodern cooking style has come to define the molecular gastronomy movement. He thanked his staff during the awards Monday night at Chicago's Lyric Opera for trusting him, having courage and "taking the risk to innovate."

Goin's win comes after several nominations.

"Can I just say, hallelujah, thank God!" she shouted after receiving her medal. She told her staff: "Everyone pop open a bottle of Champagne. It happened."

Goin's current menu at Luques has a California-fresh feel, featuring dishes such as ricotta gnocchi with morels, carrot purée and black truffle butter, and halved asparagus and garden greens with anchovy, black olives, pecorino and walnuts.

Paired with Dahlia Narvaez's win for her work as pastry chef at Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, Goin's victory is a sign West Coast culinary work is earning its due from an awards ceremony that for 24 years was based in New York. The Beard Awards moved to Chicago last year. The host was Carla Hall, co-host of the television show "The Chew" and former "Top Chef" contestant.

This year's best new restaurant honor went to Shaya in New Orleans, which serves modern Israeli food. The outstanding baker award went to Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston. Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida, won outstanding wine program, and Ron Cooper of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, won the award for outstanding wine, beer or spirits professional.

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson credited the geographic diversity of this year's winners to chefs' ability to communicate better using social media.

"What you're seeing tonight is an evolution of the last 15 years," said Samuelsson, who was added to the Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America along with author Temple Grandin, among other inductees.

This year's outstanding restaurateur award went to Ken Friedman of The Spotted Pig, The Breslin and Tosca Cafe in New York. The foundation's lifetime achievement award went to Leah Chase, known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine at Dooky Case's Restaurant in New Orleans.

Maison Premiere in Brooklyn, New York, won outstanding bar program while the outstanding service award went to Eleven Madison Park in New York. This year's Rising Star Chef was Daniela Soto-Innes of Cosme in New York.

Below is a full list of the awards: 


- Best New Restaurant

Shaya in New Orleans

- Outstanding Baker

Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston

- Outstanding Bar Program

Maison Premiere in Brooklyn, New York

- Outstanding Chef

Suzanne Goin of Lucques in Los Angeles

- Outstanding Pastry Chef

Dahlia Narvaez of Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles

- Outstanding Restaurant

Alinea in Chicago

- Outstanding Restaurateur

Ken Friedman of The Spotted Pig, The Breslin and Tosca Cafe in New York

- Outstanding Service

Eleven Madison Park in New York

- Outstanding Wine Program

Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida

- Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional

Ron Cooper of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

- Rising Star Chef of the Year

Daniela Soto-Innes of Cosme in New York



- 75 Seats and Under


Firm: Demian Repucci Design

Designer: Demian Repucci

Project: Bruno, New York


Firm: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Designers: Renzo Piano Building Workshops in collaboration with Cooper Robertson and Bentel and Bentel

Project: Untitled, New York

- 76 Seats and Over

Design Firm: Land and Sea Dept.

Designers: Mode Carpentry, Land and Sea Dept. (Robert McAdams, Jon Martin, Peter Toalson and Cody Hudson)

Project: Cherry Circle Room, Chicago



-Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago

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

Aaron Silverman, Rose's Luxury, Washington D.C.

-Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis

-Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)

Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto

-Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT)

Zak Pelaccio, Fish & Game, Hudson, New York

-Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)

Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins, Seattle

-Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)

Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans

-Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville

-Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)

Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston

-Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)

Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles


America's Classics

-Al Ameer Restaurant, Dearborn, Michigan

Owners: Khalil Ammar and Zaki Hashem

-Brooks' House of BBQ, Oneonta, New York

Owners: Beth and Ryan Brooks

-Bully's Restaurant, Jackson, Mississippi

Owners: Greta Brown Bully and Tyrone Bully

-Matt's Place Drive-In, Butte, Montana

Owners: Robin and Brad Cockhill

-Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante, Chimayo, New Mexico

Owner: Florence Jaramillo


Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America

-Gina Gallo

Winemaker of Sonoma, California

-Jim Lahey

Baker and proprietor of New York

-Ed Levine

Author and founder of Serious Eats in New York

-Temple Grandin

Author and animal rights activist of Fort Collins, Colorado

-Marcus Samuelsson

Chef and restaurateur of New York


Humanitarian of the Year

Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles


Lifetime Achievement Award

Leah Chase of Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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