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D.C. Chefs Get No Medals at Beard

Local fave and previous winner José Andrés did not bring home any medals from this year's Beard Awards. (Alfredo Duarte Pereira -- El Tiempo Latino)

Washington chefs were shut out at the James Beard Foundation Awards in New York tonight, falling in three national categories and in the mid-Atlantic competition to chefs from other cities.

José Andrés of Minibar lost to Dan Barber of New York's Blue Hill for the national Outstanding Chef award and to David Chang's Momofuku Ko, also in New York, for Best New Restaurant honors. Andrés, who won Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic in 2003, has been nominated many times before, including a Rising Star Chef nomination in 1999 for Café Atlantico and Jaleo; a Best New Restaurant nomination in 2003 for Zaytinya; and an Outstanding Chef nomination in 2008.

Johnny Monis of Komi, nominated for the second year in a row for Rising Star Chef, lost to Nate Appleman of A16 in San Francisco. This has been Appleman's year; his first cookbook, "A16: Food + Wine," won Best First Book and Book of the Year honors at the International Association of Culinary Professionals' conference last month.

In the Best Chef-Mid-Atlantic category, Jose Garces of tapas restaurant Amada in Philadelphia won over Washington chefs Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve, Vikram Sunderam of Rasika and Peter Pastan of Obelisk. It was the first nomination for Sunderam, the third consecutive one for Armstrong and the sixth for Pastan. (Cue Susan Lucci jokes here.)

In other major awards:
* Outstanding Restaurant honors went Jean Georges in New York City, owned by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Phil Suarez.
* Cookbook of the Year is "Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes" by Jennifer McLagan.

The ceremony at Lincoln Center was hosted by Cat Cora, Emeril Lagasse and Stanley Tucci, and presented awards in 38 categories. The event's theme this year was a celebration of women in food, and the gala reception led by Lidia Bastianich featured female chefs, sommeliers, mixologists and artisanal producers.

Sunday night, at the separate Beard media awards dinner, yours truly won for Best Newspaper Food section, while fellow Post nominee Tom Sietsema lost the Restaurant Reviews competition to Adam Platt of New York magazine and the Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants And/Or Chefs award to Katy McLaughlin of The Wall Street Journal for this piece about sushi. It was our first section nomination, and Sietsema's fourth.

For a full list of award recipients, go to the Beard awards web site.

-- Joe Yonan

By The Food Section  |  May 4, 2009; 9:00 PM ET
 | Tags: James Beard, Joe Yonan, awards  
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Congrats to the Post food section for being named best of its kind nationally. The "new" editor and his staff have made it an interesting read each week. And they continue to improve it step by step.

Two further suggested improvements.
1. Bring back the science columnist who wrote about the science of food and cooking (or, if he's lost interest, have somebody else pick up that ball). 2. Continue to expand the Post's coverage of wine.

Posted by: PostToastie | May 5, 2009 3:01 AM | Report abuse

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