Food Oscars : The James Beard Awards

Humanitarian of the Year

To Bill Shore, who started Share Our Strength in 1984, an organization of chefs dedicated to ending hunger. SOS is now the largest private nonprofit source of funds for hunger relief in the country. The other nominee was Gael Green, who worked with James Beard to raise money for Meals on Wheels.

Lifetime Achievement Award

To writer Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, author of many books including "The Art of Eating." She once said, "I didn't want to write like other people"--and she certainly doesn't.

Inductees into Who's Who of American Food

Michel Richard, chef, Citrus, Los Angeles.

David Bouley, chef, Bouley's, New York. Ken Hom, author. Bryan Miller, restaurant critic, New York Times. Nancy Silverton, pastry chef, Campanile and La Brea Bakery, Los Angeles.

Pastry Chef of the Year

Nancy Silverton of Campanile and La Brea Bakery was the surprise winner, besting Jacques Torres of Le Cirque in New York and Albert Kumin of Vie de France's International Pastry Arts Center in Elmsford, N.Y.

Silverton has not only given Los Angeles great bread, but through her work at Campanile, she has virtually redefined what dessert is.

Rising Star Chef--chefs younger than 30 years of age

Todd English of Olives in Cambridge, Mass., beat Bobby Flay of Mesa Grill in New York, Caprial Pence of Fuller's in Seattle and Douglas Rodriguez of Yuca Restaurant in Miami.

English started working in restaurants at 15, went to the Culinary Institute of America at 20 and then to La Cote Basque in New York. But it was an apprenticeship in Italy that really formed his style; at 25 he became executive chef at Michela's in Cambridge--and then went on to open his own Olives, a storefront place he owns with his wife.

Outstanding Wine Service Award

Square One sommelier Peter Granoff and wine consultant Evan Goldstein were chosen over Jeff Prather of Ray's Boathouse in Seattle and Larry Stone of Charlie Trotter's in Chicago.

Wine Professional of the Year

Robert Mondavi, the grand old man of American wine, beat out youngsters Randall Grahm of Bonnie Doon and Allen Shop of Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Best Chef in the Northwest

Caprial Pence of Fuller's beat Tom Douglas of Dahlia Lounge and Bruce Naftaly of Le Gourmand.

Best Chef in California

Joachim Splichal of Patina thanked his mentor, Jacques Maximin, as he accepted the award. The other nominees were Mark Peel of Campanile in Los Angeles and Bruce Cost of Monsoon in San Francisco.

Best Chef in the Southwest

Stephan Pyles of Routh Street Cafe in Dallas beat his good friends, Robert Del Grande of Cafe Annie in Houston and Mark Miller of Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe. Accepting the award, he also mentioned his other good friend, Dean Fearing of the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas.

Best Chef in the Southeast

Emeril Lagasse of Emeril's in New Orleans won over two Florida chefs: Mark Militello of Mark's Place in Miami and Allen Susser of Chef Allen's, Aventura.

Best Chef in the Midwest

Rick Bayless of Topolombampo and Frontera Grill in Chicago could not be at the ceremonies: he was with his wife, who was having a baby. (It was a girl.)

The other nominees were Charlie Trotter of Chicago and Sanford D'Amato of Sanford, Milwaukee.

Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic

All three nominees were from Washington, D.C.: winner Jean-Louis Palladin, of Jean-Louis at the Watergate; Roberto Donna of Galileo, and Robert Kinkead of Twenty-One Federal.

Best Chef in the Northeast

Jasper White of Boston beat a couple from Providence--Johanne Killeen and George Germon of Al Forno--and two New Yorkers: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who just left Lafayette to open the brand new Jojo, and David Bouley, who got a consolation prize.

Best Restaurant of the Year

All three nominees were from New York. Le Bernardin and Union Square Cafe did not win. Bouley, an elegant, expensive and excellent restaurant in TriBeCa, with a chef/owner from Connecticut, did.

Chef of the Year

Wolfgang Puck, of course. The man who changed the way America eats beat fellow Angelenos Michel Richard and Joachim Splichal. Both had already received other honors.

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