Jesse Tyler Ferguson

The 2017 James Beard Awards Gala was hosted last night, May 1, by Jesse Tyler Ferguson of ABC’s award-winning comedy Modern Family at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Industry leaders from across the country attended the ceremony and celebration where the theme of the evening was “Powered by Food,” which celebrated the exciting ways technology has sparked and strengthened our connections to food.

The James Beard Foundation Awards are the “Oscars” of the restaurant world. The country’s top culinary talent is showcased and awards are given in various categories covering everything from chefs to service, culinary writing to  education, and restaurant design to lifetime achievements.

Established in 1990, the awards are named for the late James Beard, cookbook author, teacher and champion of American cuisine. The James Beard Foundation continues his spirit through a variety of diverse programs, scholarships, publications and events.

JBF is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City.

Best New Restaurant: Le Coucou, NYC
Outstanding Baker: Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst, Washington, D.C.
Outstanding Bar Program: Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, New Orleans
Outstanding Chef: Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Ghaya Oliveira, Daniel, NYC
Outstanding Restaurant: Topolobampo, Chicago
Outstanding Restaurateur: Stephen Starr, Starr Restaurants (Le Coucou, Serpico, Upland, and others), Philadelphia
Outstanding Service: Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY
Outstanding Wine Program: Canlis, Seattle
Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional: Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
Rising Star Chef of the Year: Zachary Engel, Shaya, New Orleans
Best Chef: Great Lakes: Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde, Chicago
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic: Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia
Best Chef: Midwest: Kevin Nashan, Sidney Street Cafe, St. Louis
Best Chef: New York City: Marco Canora, Hearth
Best Chef: Northeast: Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley, Eventide Oyster Co., Portland, ME
Best Chef: Northwest: Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox Portland, OR
Best Chef: South: Rebecca Wilcomb, Herbsaint, New Orleans
Best Chef: Southeast: Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta
Best Chef: Southwest: Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s, Houston
Best Chef: West: Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco
Restaurant Design Awards: 75 Seats and Under
Firm: AvroKO
Designers: Kristina O’Neal, William Harris, Adam Farmerie, Greg Bradshaw
Project: SingleThread, Healdsburg, California
Restaurant Design Awards: 76 Seats and Over Firm: Meyer DavisDesigners: Will Meyer, Gray Davis, Katie McPhersonProject: St. Cecilia, Atlanta

2017 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics
Bertha’s Kitchen, North Charleston, SC
Owners: Julia Grant, Linda Pinckney and Sharon Coakley

Gioia’s Deli, St. Louis
Owner: Alex Donley

La Taqueria, San Francisco
Owner: Miguel Jara

Sahadi’s, Brooklyn, NY
Owners: Christine Sahadi Whelan, and Ron Sahadi

Schultz’s Crab House, Essex, MD
Owners: Chrissy Burkman, Stephanie Kell, Jason McKinney, Michelle McKinney, Robert A. McKinney Jr., and Stephen McKinney

2017 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year
Denise Cerreta,One World Everybody Eats, Salt Lake City

2017 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
Nora Pouillon, Restaurant Nora, Washington, D.C.







Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.