Food-dom's Finest MomentBy Gregg Rosenzweig
Restaurants may come and go, but few can boast of having a James Beard Award -- the most prestigious shout out in food-dom. As the virtual Oscars of the food world, the James Beard Foundation Awards shine a spotlight on the best and brightest talent in the food and beverage industry, covering all areas of culinary excellence -- from top chefs to best service to finest new restaurants.
To see who won 2012's top prizes, feel free to gobble up the list below. Winners were announced on Monday, May 7, 2012 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.
Best New Restaurant - Finalists
If you're a new restaurant that opened in 2011 and demonstrated unsurpassed expertise in terms of food, drink and service, the Beard board put you on this list.
Outstanding Restaurant Award - Finalists
Considering most restaurants open and close in their first few years, it's no small feat to stay open for a decade. But these places have. That they also demonstrate quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service is just icing on the proverbial cake.
Outstanding Chef Award - Finalists
These gods of gastronomy are defined as being working chefs for at least five years -- who have helped set an industry standard, while serving as an inspiration to other food professionals. No small order.
David Chang, Momofuku Ssam Bar - New York, NY
Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko - San Francisco, CA
Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park - New York, NY - WINNER!
Paul Kahan, Blackbird - Chicago, IL
Donald Link, Herbsaint - New Orleans, LA
Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza - Los Angeles, CA
Outstanding Service Award - Finalists
We all love good service, which is why these restaurants scratch more than the surface when it comes to exhibiting high standards of hospitality and service for five-plus years.