Culinary World’s Best

Every year (for the last 17 years) the Jame Beard Foundation awards the best restaurants for a variety of reasons. This years awards were announced on Monday in USA Today.

The traditionally strong dining scenes of New York, Chicago and the West Coast were joined by markets as diverse as Durham, N.C.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; New Orleans; and Walland, Tenn.

The awards in 62 categories honor the nation’s top chefs, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, waitstaffs, journalists and beverage makers. Winners will be announced May 7 at a gala in New York that will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the foundation, which is named after a pioneer of American cooking.

The nominees in top categories:

Outstanding restaurant

(open at least 10 years): Boulevard, San Francisco; Frontera Grill, Chicago; Magnolia Grill, Durham, N.C.; Picholene, New York; Spiaggia, Chicago.

Best new restaurant

(opened in 2006): A Voce, New York; Cochon, New Orleans; Cut, Beverly Hills; Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas; L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, New York; Momofuku Ssäm Bar, New York.

Restaurateur:

Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.; Keith McNally, Balthazar, New York; Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Chicago; Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group, New York; Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges, New York.

Pastry chef:

Will Goldfarb, Room 4 Dessert, New York; Michael Laskonis, Le Bernardin, New York; Leslie Mackie, Macrina Bakery & Café, Seattle; Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson, Tartine Bakery, San Francisco; Mindy Segal, HotChocolate, Chicago.

Rising-star chef

(age 30 or younger): Nate Appleman, A16, San Francisco; Graham Elliot Bowles, Avenues at the Peninsula Hotel, Chicago; David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York; Patrick Connolly, Radius, Boston; Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York.

Restaurant service:

Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn.; Canlis, Seattle; La Grenouille, New York; Terra, St. Helena, Calif.; Tru, Chicago.

Wine service:

Bin 36, Chicago; I Trulli, New York; Mary Elaine’s at the Phoenician, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, D.C.; Picasso, Las Vegas.

Wine/spirits professional

Dale DeGroff, King Cocktail, New York; Paul Draper, Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, Calif.; Dan Duckhorn, Duckhorn Vineyards, St. Helena, Calif.; Terry Theise, Terry Theise Estate Selections, Silver Spring, Md.; Helen Turley, Marcassin Winery, Calistoga, Calif.

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