Last night the James Beard Foundation announced this year’s chef and restaurant awards, and it was a very good evening for Los Angeles. Suzanne Goin of Lucques won for Outstanding Chef, an award most recently won by an L.A. chef in 2014, when Nancy Silverton took home the honor. Goin won Best Chef of the West in 2006 and had previously been nominated for Outstanding Chef a number of times.
“Night night #jbfaaward...you were worth the wait! Thanks to my family, friends and crew for all the support and love!” wrote Goin on Instagram.
Goin wasn’t the only Los Angeles chef to win. Dahlia Narvaez, Mozza’s longtime pastry chef, won Outstanding Pastry Chef. And Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal, Son of a Gun and Jon & Vinny’s jointly won Best Chef of the West.
This is deserved recognition for a group of dedicated, hard-working and remarkably talented chefs who have collectively elevated the dining scene in Los Angeles over the years. Which means that getting a table at Lucques, Mozza and Animal — all three fixtures on Jonathan Gold’s list of 101 Best Restaurants — likely won’t be any easier.
The impressive regional showing comes after last year’s relative silence, with the only L.A. award going to the Lopez family of Guelaguetza, who won one of five America’s Classic awards for their beloved Oaxacan restaurant.
In other top prizes, Grant Achatz’s Chicago restaurant Alinea, won Outstanding Restaurant. Rising Star Chef of the Year went to Daniela Soto-Innes of Cosme in New York City, and Ken Friedman of the Spotted Pig and other restaurants won Outstanding Restaurateur. Eleven Madison Park was recognized for Outstanding Service. Shaya in New Orleans won Best New Restaurant, and Joanne Cheng of Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston was named Outstanding Baker.
For a complete list of awards, which were named last night during a ceremony hosted by Carla Hall at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, visit the James Beard website.
The James Beard Book, Broadcast and Journalism awards were presented April 26 in New York.
Earlier this year, Father Gregory Boyle was awarded the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award for his work with Los Angeles’ Homeboy Industries.