Los Angeles won big at the James Beard Foundation Awards on Monday evening, for the first time in a very long time. Nancy Silverton, founder of Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, took the culinary equivalent of a Best Actor Oscar when she was named Outstanding Chef, the Beard Awards' most prestigious chefs' honor.
It's a rare victory for Los Angeles, which hasn't taken that category since 1998 when Spago's Wolfgang Puck won. (In a tie, he shared the award with Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Jean Georges in New York.)
In another L.A. success story, Sherry Yard, cookbook author and former Spago pastry chef, was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America. Yard won Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2002.
Silverton bumped out another local favorite, Suzanne Goin of Lucques, who has been nominated for Outstanding Chef several times (in every year since 2006, except for 2007). Maybe 2015 will be her year.
Other nominees in the same category were Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern in New York; Sean Brock of McCrady's in Charleston, S.C.; David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif.; and Marc Vetri of Vetri in Philadelphia.
Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Jon Shook and Vinny Doloto of Animal were edged out in the Best Chef West category by Daniel Patterson of Coi in San Francisco. (When will the James Beard Foundation finally award this category to Cimarusti?)
Dominique Ansel, of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York (and creator of the Cronut), beat local Dahlia Nervaez of Osteria Mozza for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
Meanwhile, another West Coast victory went to the Slanted Door, Charles Phan's acclaimed Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco.
2014 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards
Outstanding Restaurant: The Slanted Door, San Francisco
Outstanding Chef: Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York
Outstanding Restaurateur: Barbara Lynch, Barbara Lynch Gruppo (No. 9 Park, Menton, B&G Oysters and others), Boston
Rising Star Chefs (tie): Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig, Chicago, and Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, Wash.
Best New Restaurant
Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans
Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Outstanding Wine Program
The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn.
Outstanding Bar Program
The Bar at the NoMad Hotel, New York
The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, Calif.
Best Chefs in America
Best Chef: Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio)
Dave Beran, Next, Chicago
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia)
Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C.
Best Chef: Midwest (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin)
Justin Aprahamian, Sanford, Milwaukee
Best Chef: New York City (Five boroughs)
April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig
Best Chef: Northeast (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York State, Rhode Island, Vermont)
Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa, Boston
Best Chef: Northwest (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming)
Naomi Pomeroy, Beast, Portland, Ore.
Best Chef: South (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico)
Ryan Prewitt, Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans
Sue Zemanick, Gautreau's, New Orleans
Best Chef: Southeast (Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia)
Ashley Christensen, Poole's Downtown Diner, Raleigh, N.C.
Best Chef: Southwest (Arizona, Colorda, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah)
Chris Shepherd, Underbelly, Houston
Best Chef: West (California, Hawaii, Nevada)
Daniel Patterson, Coi, San Francisco
Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America: Edward Behr (Food Writer, Vermont); John Besh (Chef and Restaurateur, New Orleans); David Chang (Momofuku Restaurant Group, New York); Barry Estabrook (Writer, Vermont); Paul Kahan (Executive Chef and Partner, Chicago); Sherry Yard (Pastry Chef, Cookbook Author, Los Angeles)
America's Classics: Hansen's Sno Bliz (Owner: Ashley Hansen, New Orleans, La.); Nick's Italian Café (Owners: Nick Peirano, Carmen Peirano and Eric Ferguson, McMinnville, Ore.); Olneyville New York System (Owners: Stephanie Stevens Turini and Greg Stevens, Providence, R.I.); Perini Ranch Steakhouse (Owners: Lisa and Tom Perini, Buffalo Gap, Texas); Sokolowski's University Inn (Owners: Bernard Sokolowski, Mary Balbier and Michael Sokolowski, Cleveland)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Sirio Maccioni (Restaurateur, New York)
Humanitarian of the Year: Matt Haley (Chef, Restaurateur and Philanthropist, Delaware)
2014 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards
75 Seats and Under: Grace, Chicago. Design Firm: Lawton Stanley Architects; Designers: Maria Contreras, Christopher Lawton and Micah Stanley