2017 James Beard Foundation Award Winners Announced


Winners were revealed Monday, May 1, 2017 at the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards at Lyric Opera of Chicago. During a ceremony hosted by Emmy Award-nominated actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, awards in the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories were presented, as well as a number of special achievement awards, including Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, America’s Classics, and Humanitarian of the Year. Winners of the Foundation’s annual Media Awards were presented on April 25, 2017, at a ceremony and dinner at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers in New York City, hosted by James Beard Award winner, chef, writer, and television personality Andrew Zimmern. A complete list of award winners announced on May 1 can be found at the end of this release. Results from both events can be found at jamesbeard.org/awards.

Highlights from this year’s list of winners include:

  • Best New Restaurant: Le Coucou, NYC
  • Outstanding Chef: Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia
  • Outstanding Pastry Chef: Ghaya Oliveira, Daniel, NYC
  • Outstanding Restaurant: Topolobampo, Chicago
  • Outstanding Restaurateur: Stephen Starr, Starr Restaurants (Le Coucou, Serpico, Upland, and others), Philadelphia
  • Rising Star Chef: Zachary Engel, Shaya, New Orleans

Industry leaders from across the country attended the highly anticipated ceremony where the theme of the evening was “Powered by Food,” which celebrated the thrilling ways that technology has strengthened our connections through food, from the blog post that sparks a trend, to the Instagram that inspires us, and the shared images that become our portal to cuisine from far afield. The gala reception chefs, consisting of former James Beard Foundation Award recipients and nominees, shared their cuisine with nearly 2,000 attendees.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and furthers the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Each award category has an individual committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program. All JBF Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. There are no cash prizes.

The 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards are proudly hosted by Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association and presented in association with the Chicago Department of Aviation, HMSHost, Illinois Office of Tourism, and Mariano’s as well as the following partners: Premier Sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters, American Airlines, Lavazza, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, True Refrigeration®; Supporting Sponsors: Breville®, Hyatt, Robert Mondavi Winery, Skuna Bay Salmon, Valrhona; Gala Reception Sponsors: Ecolab, Front of the House®, Kendall College, Windstar Cruises; with additional support from: Chefwear, Creminelli Fine Meats, Emmi Roth, VerTerra Dinnerware.

About the James Beard Foundation (JBF)

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org. Get food news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation’s blog, or subscribe to the free digital newsletter Beard Bites. Follow @beardfoundation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Watch the James Beard House Kitchen Cam, James Beard Awards, and more on the Foundation’s Livestream channel. Find more JBF-related video on the Foundation’s YouTube channels.


2017 James Beard Foundation Award Winners


2017 James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Awards


75 Seats and Under (For the best restaurant design or renovation in North America since January 1, 2014)


Firm: AvroKO

Designers: Kristina O’Neal, William Harris, Adam Farmerie, and Greg Bradshaw

Project: SingleThread, Healdsburg, California


76 Seats and Over (For the best restaurant design or renovation in North America since January 1, 2014)


Firm: Meyer Davis

Designers: Will Meyer, Gray Davis, and Katie McPherson

Project: St. Cecilia, Atlanta


Design Icon


Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant



2017 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards


Best New Restaurant (Presented by True Refrigeration®)

A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.


Le Coucou



Outstanding Baker

A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries, or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been working as a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.


Mark Furstenberg

Bread Furst

Washington, D.C.


Outstanding Bar Program

A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.


Arnaud’s French 75 Bar

New Orleans


Outstanding Chef (Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters)

A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Must have been working as a chef for the past five years.


Michael Solomonov




Outstanding Pastry Chef (Presented by Lavazza)

A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence.  Must have been working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.


Ghaya Oliveira




Outstanding Restaurant (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)

A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service. Must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.





Outstanding Restaurateur

A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.


Stephen Starr

Starr Restaurants (Le Coucou, Serpico, Upland, and others)



Outstanding Service

A restaurant in operation five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service.


Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Pocantico Hills, NY


Outstanding Wine Program (Presented by Robert Mondavi Winery)

A restaurant in operation five or more years that serves as a standard bearer for excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine.





Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

A beer, wine, or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.


Sam Calagione

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Milton, DE


Rising Star Chef of the Year (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)

A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.


Zachary Engel


New Orleans


Best Chefs

Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years, with the three most recent years spent in the region.


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

Sarah Grueneberg




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

Greg Vernick

Vernick Food & Drink



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

Kevin Nashan

Sidney Street Cafe

St. Louis


Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)

Marco Canora



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

Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley

Eventide Oyster Co.

Portland, ME


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

Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton and Greg Denton


Portland, OR


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

Rebecca Wilcomb


New Orleans


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

Steven Satterfield

Miller Union



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

Hugo Ortega




Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)

Corey Lee


San Francisco


2017 James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees


Roger Berkowitz

President and CEO, Legal Sea Foods



Suzanne Goin

Multiple James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur, A.O.C., Lucques, and Tavern

Los Angeles


Evan Kleiman

Culinarian; Host of KCRW’s Good Food

Los Angeles


Michel Nischan

Multiple James Beard Award-Winning Chef; Founder, President, and CEO, Wholesome Wave

Bridgeport, CT


Rajat Parr

Domaine de la Cote

Lompac, CA


2017 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics


Bertha’s Kitchen

North Charleston, SC

Owners: Julia Grant, Linda Pinckney and Sharon Coakley


Gioia’s Deli

St. Louis

Owner: Alex Donley


La Taqueria

San Francisco

Owner: Miguel Jara



Brooklyn, NY

Owners: Christine Sahadi Whelan, and Ron Sahadi


Schultz’s Crab House

Essex, MD

Owners: Chrissy Burkman, Stephanie Kell, Jason McKinney, Michelle McKinney, Robert A. McKinney Jr., and Stephen McKinney


2017 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year


Denise Cerreta

One World Everybody Eats

Salt Lake City


2017 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award


Nora Pouillon

Restaurant Nora

Washington, D.C.

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