NEW YORK, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Winners were announced this evening for the 2008 James Beard Foundation Awards during a gala ceremony hosted by Kim Cattrall and Bobby Flay at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City. More than 50 awards were presented at the ceremony which was attended by more than 1,800 industry leaders from around the country. The James Beard Foundation Awards recognize excellence and achievement in the culinary profession. Renowned chefs Dan Barber (Blue Hill, Blue Hill at Stone Barns) and Odessa Piper (L'Etoile) served as Chef Co-Chairs of the 2008 James Beard Foundation Awards reception. This year's events celebrated "Artisanal America: The Craft of Cuisine" and honored those artisans and craftsmen who work to provide the finest ingredients to the nation's top restaurants and chefs.
Highlights of this year's winners include: -- Outstanding Chef Award Presented By All-Clad Metalcrafters: Grant Achatz, Alinea (Chicago) -- Outstanding Restaurant Award Presented By S.Pellegrino: Gramercy Tavern, Owner: Danny Meyer (New York) -- Outstanding Restaurateur Award Presented By Waterford Wedgwood: Joe Bastianich/Mario Batali, Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca (New York) -- Best New Restaurant Presented by Lexus: Central Michel Richard, Chef/Owner: Michel Richard (Washington, DC) -- Rising Star Chef of the Year: Gavin Kaysen, Cafe Bould (New York) -- Cookbook of the Year Presented by Green & Black's(R): The River Cottage Meat Book, Author: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall; Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Editor: Clancy Drake -- Humanitarian of the Year: Francis Moore Lappe -- Lifetime Achievement Award: Fritz Maytag "We are so pleased to welcome tonight's winners into the celebrated circle of James Beard Foundation Awards recipients," said Susan Ungaro, president, James Beard Foundation. "This is truly an esteemed group and their work, efforts and dedication to their craft have been recognized by their peers as setting them apart from the rest. This was a wonderful year and we were very happy to also celebrate artisans from around the country, whose important work can some times be overshadowed, as part of the gala festivities." Five regional restaurants were honored at the ceremony with the America's Classic Award:
-- Bagaduce Lunch; Owner: Judy Astbury (Brookville, ME) -- Irma's Restaurant; Owner: Irma Galvan (Houston, TX) -- Maneki; Owner: Jean Nakamaya (Seattle, WA) -- Jumbo's; Owner: Bobby Flam (Miami, FL) -- Tufano's Vernon Park Tap; Owner: Joseph DiBuono (Chicago, IL) On Saturday, June 7, 2008, the James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America Awards were announced at an invitation-only reception hosted by Gourmet magazine, marking the first time the Foundation honored the new Who's Who inductees at a separate event. This year's inductees included:
-- Dan Barber; Chef/Owner: Blue Hill (NYC) and Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Pocantino Hills, NY) -- Anthony Bourdain; Author and Chef (NYC) -- Nancy Oakes; Chef: Boulevard (San Francisco) -- Russ Parsons; Writer, The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles) -- Zanne Early Stewart; Former Executive Food Editor, Gourmet (NYC) -- Steve Sullivan; Founder/Owner, Acme Bread Company (Berkeley, CA) The Journalism and Broadcast Media awards were announced at a separate dinner event on Friday, June 6, 2008 at the Hudson Theatre where Junot Diaz received the MFK Distinguished Writing Award for "He'll Take Alto" which appeared in the September 2007 issue of Gourmet. Other highlights include:
-- Television Food Special: Top Chef Holiday Special; hosts: Tom Collicchio and Padma Lakshmi -- Webcast: Stewards of the Land; Hosts: Jay Selman, Brian Clark, Eric Anderson -- Multimedia Writing on Food: Josh Ozersky and Daniel Maurer, NYMag.com's Grub Street Blog -- Website Focusing on Food, Beverage, Restaurant, or Nutrition: Epicurious.com; Tanya Steel -- Magazine Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs: Howie Kahn, GQ, "The Wandering Chef" (6/07) -- Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs: Brett Anderson, The Times-Picayune, "Landmark Decisions: A Five-Part Series Chroniciling the Ruin and Restoration of a Classic New Orleans Restaurant" (9/2/07-9/6/07) For complete list of winners in all categories, please visit www.jamesbeard.org. Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their field and, with each year, continues to emphasize the Foundation's mission: to celebrate, preserve, and nurture America's culinary heritage and diversity. All award winners receive a certificate and a bronze medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. There are no cash awards. To select the nominees and winners, independent volunteer panels of more than 600 food and beverage from around the country vote on specific Awards categories. The trustees and staff of the James Beard Foundation do not vote. The independent accounting firm of Lutz & Carr tabulates ballots. The 2008 James Beard Foundation Awards were presented in association with All-Clad Metalcrafters and American Express(R) (the official card of the James Beard Foundation); Supporting Sponsors: Green & Black's(R), illy Caffe North America, Inc., Lexus, Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, S.Pellegrino(R) Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, Viking Range Corporation, Waterford Wedgwood; and Gala Reception Sponsors: Chefwear, Ecolab, and Rums of Puerto Rico. About the James Beard Foundation - www.jamesbeard.org The James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America's culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, and publications, and by maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City's Greenwich Village as a "performance space" for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit www.jamesbeard.org .
SOURCE James Beard Foundation