Despite this city’s bustling, diverse, lauded culinary scene, Los Angeles chefs and restaurants didn’t win a single award at Monday night’s 27th annual James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago.
Michael Cimarusti (Providence and Connie and Ted’s), Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen), Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec, Petit Trois, Trois Familia) and Travis Lett (Gjelina and Gjusta), four chefs who have contributed greatly to elevating L.A.’s dining scene, were all nominated for Best Chef West. (All four of these L.A. chefs are fixtures on Jonathan Gold's list of 101 Best Restaurants.) The award went to Corey Lee of Benu in San Francisco.
Margarita Manzke of Republique, nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef, was edged out by Ghaya Oliveria of Daniel in New York City. Caroline Styne of the Lucques Group (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, etc.) was nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur; the award went to Stephen Starr of the Philadelphia-based Starr Restaurants.
The night wasn’t a complete loss for the Los Angeles industry, as Suzanne Goin of the Lucques Group (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, etc.) and Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW’s “Good Food” and frequent contributor to The Times food section, were named inductees into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.
Last year, L.A. restaurants fared far better at the awards, with Goin winning Outstanding Chef, Dahlia Narvaez of Mozza winning Outsanding Pastry Chef and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Jon & Vinny’s, Animal and Son of a Gun taking home the title of Best Chef West.
Here’s to hoping this city’s great, hardworking chefs get a little more recognition next year.
For a complete list of awards, which were announced at a ceremony hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, visit the James Beard website.
The James Beard Book, Broadcast and Journalism awards were presented April 25 in New York.
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