Unlike in 2011 when Rich Melman brought home the sole award, Chicago fared much better at this year's James Beard Awards ceremony held in New York monday night. After being nominated six times, Mindy Segal (HotChocolate) finally was honored with the Outstanding Pastry Chef award, while Bruce Sherman (North Pond), also on his sixth nomination, took home the award for Best Chef: Great Lakes. He bested other local chefs Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat), Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia) and Michael Carlson (Schwa).
Next was named the Best New Restaurant. Dave Beran, who lost to Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar) in the Rising Star Chef category, accepted the award on the restaurant's behalf before co-owner Nick Kokonas stepped up to say a few words as well.
Grant Achatz was included in the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America list, and as previously reported, Charlie Trotter was honored with the Humanitarian of the Year award for his Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation.
While this wasn't Paul Kahan's year (he was nominated for Outstanding Chef for a third time in four years) and neither Topolobampo nor Spiaggia claimed the Outstanding Service award, all in all, Chicago represented well. To see the full list of winners, head over to Eater National.
· Rich Melman Gets Chicago's Sole James Beard Award [~EChi~]
· Winners: 2012 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards [~E~]