James Beard Goes South


(Photo of Charleston’s Beard-winner, Hominy Grill, by Shayna Anne)

Foodie powers-that-be recently announced this year’s James Beard Awards, the highest culinary accolade out there, America’s meal medal of honor. The shindig, which you can see via pictures on the JB Foundation website, looked to be a real tony affair, with the tops of our nation’s restauranteurs/chefs/food writers toasting their love of cuisine. And once again the  contingent who call our proud region home showed up bigtime at the celebration.


Below, we list all the winners and nominees Southern Living can applaud in the region, especially Robert Stehling and Michelle Bernstein, winners in regional chefs categories. Scroll down, click away, and go see for yourself why these places and people continue making the South so special and delicious.

And if Southern food is your fancy, you MUST read this story from Gourmet’s January "Southern" issue. It’s reading that tastes like grandmother’s cooking.

Enough already, here are our best and brightest.

Best Chef: Southeast
Robert Stehling
Hominy Grill, Charleston

Best Chef: South
Michelle Bernstein
Michy’s, Miami

Outstanding Chef Award

Frank Stitt
Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL

Best New Restaurant
Fearings at the Ritz Carlton, Dallas
Chef/Owner: Dean Fearing

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Sean Brock
McCrady’s, Charleston

Johnny Monis
Komi, Washington DC

Outstanding Wine Service
Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
Wine Director: Andy Chabot

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Cathal Armstrong
Restaurant Eve, Old Town Alexandria, VA

Cindy Wolf
Charleston, Baltimore, MD

Best Chef: Southeast
Hugh Acheson
Five and Ten, Athens, GA

Arnaud Berthelier
The Dining Room
The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, Atlanta

Linton Hopkins
Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta

Mike Lata
Fig, Charleston, SC

Best Chef: Southwest
Sharon Hage
York Street, Dallas

Andrew Weissman
Restaurant Le Rêve, San Antonio, TX

Best Chef: South
Zach Bell
Café Boulud, Palm Beach, FL

John Currence
City Grocery, Oxford, MS

Chris Hastings
Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL

Douglas Rodriguez
Ola, Miami Beach, FL

America’s Classics Restaurants Awards
Irma’s Restaurant
22 N. Chenevert Street, Houston, TX
Owner: Irma Galvan

7501 NW 7th Avenue, Miami, FL
Owner: Robert Flam


Other notable awards in cookbooks, Americana food writing, and journalism included:

The Glory of Southern Cooking by James Villas

A Love Affair with Southern Cooking by Jean Anderson

– Brett Anderson’s five-part newspaper series in The Times-Picayune, “Landmark Decisions: A Five-Part Series Chronicling the Ruin and Restoration of a Classic New Orleans Restaurant"

– Radio Food Show out of Austin, TX called “Hidden Kitchens Texas,” as hosted by Willie Nelson, Robin Wright Penn, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore


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