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2007 James Beard Foundation Awards PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   

Michel Richard - James Beard Outstanding Chef AwardThe James Beard Foundation Awards  is like the equivalent of the Oscars for Chefs, Restaurants, Restaurateurs, and others closely involved in the culinary world in the United States. Roll out the red carpet for the 2007 winners of the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards.


Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York on May 7, 2007, was the illustrious location for the James Beard Foundation Awards 2007, where culinary celebrities and of course, Luxury Experience Magazine walked the red carpet to enter the gala event. It was a star-studded night as invitees came to celebrate the achievement of the 2007 recipients. This year's award theme celebrated the Art of American Food and past Rising Star Chef award winners and nominees at a Gala reception.

The James Beard Foundation celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, honors the dedication and passion of the men and women who strive to create the perfect gastronomic experience for their guests.

Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation welcomed the nominees and invited guests, and Hannah Storm Co-Anchor The Early Show was the Master of Ceremonies. Presenters included Martha Stewart, Daniel Johannes and Regan W. Iglesia, Ted Allen and Jane Crump, Wolfgang Puck, Curtis Wilson, Marcus Samuelsson, Bobby Flay, Todd English, Barbara Fairchild, Madhur Jaffrey, Katie Lee Joel, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, Emily Luchetti, Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso, Padma Lakshmi, Gary Danko, Johnny Iuzzini and Isabella and Olivia Gerasole, Jacques Pépin, Danny Meyer, Daniel Boulud and Peter Cameron, Thomas Keller and Bob Davino, Alfred Portale and Marc Navarre.

James Beard Foundation Awards 2007:

Humanitarian Award:   

     Art Smith, Chef, Author, Television

Lifetime Achievement Award: 

Barbara Kafka, Cookbook Author

Art Smith  Barbara Kafka
       Art Smith                             Barbara Kafka  

James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees:

José Andrés, Chef/Owner:

Jaleo (Washington, DC, Arlington, VA and Bethesda, MD); Café Atlántico, Zaytinya, minibar by josé andrés at Café Atlántico, Oyamel (Washington, DC)

Jim Clendenen,

Au Bon Climat (Santa Maria, CA)

Bobby Flay, Chef/Owner:

Mesa Grill, Bolo, Bar Americain (New York City); Mesa Grill (Las Vegas), Bobby Flay Steak (Atlantic City, NJ)

Dorie Greenspan, Cookbook
   Author and Journalist

New York City

Michael Pollan, Author and 

Bay Area, CA

Award recipients in the Chef categories:

Outstanding Chef:

Michel Richard

      Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC

Debra C. Argen and Michel Richard
Debra C. Argen and Michel Richard

Category Best Chef



Great Lakes                 

Grant Achatz

Alinea, Chicago, IL


Celina Tio

The American Restaurant, Kansas City, MO


John Sundstrom    

Lark, Seattle, WA


Nubuo Fukuda

Sea Saw, Scottsdale, AZ

Mid-Atlantic (Tie)

R.J. Cooper III Frank Ruta

Vidalia, Washington, DC
Palena, Washington, DC

New York City

David Waltuck

Chanterelle, New York, NY


Traci Des Jardins

Jardinière, San Francisco, CA


Donald Link

Herbsaint, New Orleans, LA


Frank McClelland

É'Espalier, Boston, MA


Scott Peacock

Watershed, Decatur, GA

Grant Achatz Eelina Tio John Sundstrom
Grant Achatz       Celina Tio         John Sundstrom

Nuobuo Fukuda R.J. Copper III
Nobuo Fukuda          R.J. Cooper III

David Waltuck Traci des Jardins Donald Link
David Waltuck      Traci Des Jardins         Donald Link

Frank McClelland Scott Peacock
Frank McClelland         Scott Peacock  

Rising Star Chef of the Year:

David Chang

 Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York, NY

David Chang
David Chang 

Outstanding Pastry Chef:  

Michael Laiskonis

Le Bernardin, New York, NY

Michael Laiskonis
Michael Laiskonis

Outstanding Restaurateur:

Thomas Keller

The French Laundry, Yountville, CA

Thomas Keller
Thomas Keller

Best New Restaurant:

L'Espalier de Joël Robuchon

Chef/Owner: Joël Robuchon, New York, NY

Outstanding Restaurant:

Frontera Grill

Chef/Owners: Rick and Deann Bayless,
    Chicago, IL

Rick and Deann Bayless
Rick and Deann Bayless

Outstanding Service:


 Owners: Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, and
      Richard Melman, Chicago, IL

Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto of Tru
Gale Gand and Rick Tramonto

Outstanding Wine Service:

Michel Richard Citronelle

Wine Director: Mark Slater, Washington, DC

Mark Slater
Mark Slater    

Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional:

Paul Draper

Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, CA

America's Classics:

Aunt Carrie's

Owner: Elsie Foy, Narragansett, RI

Brookville Hotel

Owners: Mark and Connie Martin, Abilene, KS

Doe's Eat Place

Owners: The Signa Family, Greenville, MS

Primanti Brothers

President: Demetrios Patrinos, Pittsburgh, PA

The Pickwick

Owner: Christopher Wisocki, Duluth, MN

Weaver D's

Owner: Dexter Weaver, Athens, GA

Connie Martin  Demetrios Patrinos
   Connie Martin                        Demetrios Patrinos

The Signa Family of Doe's Eat Place
The Signa Family

Barbara Kafka and Jacques Pepin
Barbara Kafka, Jacques Pepin

I had the opportunity to interview several of the recipients after they received their awards. Barbara Kafka on receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award, "This is a double honor to reassure oneself that one is still alive and not receiving it posthumously, and I am also very touched as Mr. Beard was important in my life. As a writer and a cook, one works mostly in solitude and it is wonderful to receive recognition for the work. There is also such a long time between when you write something and when it actually runs which can be several months out or even a year, and it helps to reconnect you to what you wrote." When I asked her what's next, she replied, "I do not know. Perhaps another book ..."

David Chang on receiving Rising Star Chef of the Year, "This is surreal. I have been in New York 8 years, and I was the last person that came out of the French Culinary Institute that I thought would ever receive this award. I am thankful for everyone who helped me get here; it is a team effort."

Frank McClelland on receiving Best Chef of the Northeast, "This is my 10th, 11th or 12th nomination. It is an honor and I am very pleased. It is really an honor for the restaurant and the people that I work with, it is a great team."

Scott Peacock on receiving Best Chef of the Southeast, "This was my third nomination, and the third time was a charm."

Grant Achatz on receiving Best Chef of the Great Lakes, "I feel great; the moment is choking me up right now. It is nice to be recognized." No stranger to the James Beard Foundation Awards, Grant Achatz was the Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2003, and his restaurant was nominated in 2007.

David Waltuck on receiving Best Chef New York City, "I still love what I do after 28 years, and I hope for another 28 years."

Connie Martin on receiving America's Classic award, "This is surreal, it has been a great experience. Not sure how we were nominated, but it was a nice surprise."

Sug Signa on receiving America's Classic award, "The family is so proud."

Wolfgang Puck and Debra C. Argen
Wolfgang Puck and Debra C. Argen

A Gala Reception followed the award ceremony with an all-star menu where guests had the opportunity to sample creations from some of the best chefs and restaurants in the United States. This was the ultimate tasting menu, and Edward F. Nesta and I thoroughly enjoyed sampling our way through the exquisite presentations. Of course with a gastronomic reception, the champagne, wine, and cocktails flowed to perfection.


Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck
Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck

The Gala Reception Menu

Grant Achatz: Puffed Morels with Ramps and Black Pepper, Morel Financièrs with Smoked Paprika and Jamón Ibérico
Carina Alhin: White Chocolate Cheesecake with Rhubarb and Almond Crumb
José Andrés: Savory Feuilles de Brik Cones
Dominique Ansel: Tahitian Vanilla Bavarois with Mango-Cilantro Gelée, Passion Fruit, and Banana Sorbet
Armando Baisas, Hervé Chabert and Christian Faure: Fondue of Caramel, Maple Syrup, and Apple Icewine; Raspberry-Filled Valrhona Manjari Chocolate Domes
Dante Boccuzzi: Hand-cut Tuna and Port-Glazed Foie Gras Torchons
Jean-François Bruel: Four Terrine Tasting: Duck à la Orange, Guinea Hen with Jack Daniels, Rabbit Porchetta, and Pressed Foie Gras with Four-Spiced Turnips
Andrew Carmellini: Duck Agnolotti
David Carmichael: Marionberry Brûlée Strudel with Muscovado Granité
David Chang: Poached Green Asparagus with Miso Butter and Rice Crackers
Traci Des Jardins: Sonoma Rabbit Escabèche with Fava Bean Crostini
Todd English: Free-Form Morel Lasagna with Maine Crab, Fava beans, and Parmesan
Bobby Flay: Oyster and Lobster Shooters
Sandro Gamba: Sunchoke Bisque with Lobster Gelée and Spring Vegetables
Daniel Humm: Peekytoe Crab Cappuccinos with Lemon Verbena
Christopher Lee: Smoked Japanese Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with Pickled White Asparagus and Spring Garlic Vinaigrette
Corey Lee: Cornets of Scottish Salmon Tartare with Red Onion Crème Fraîche
Keith Luce: Seafood Escabèche with Herbed Almond Crisps
Michael Mina: Japanese Kobe Beef Shabu-Shabu
Melissa Perello: Green Garlic Custards with Bacon, Morels, and Spring Vegetable Ragoût Debra Ponzek: Spring Mushroom Salad with Roasted Corn Polenta and Field Greens
April Robinson: Chocolate Diablo Panna Cotta with Amarena Cherries and Cocoa Nibs
Douglas Rodriguez: Duck Breast Salad with Hearts of Palm and Coconut

Marcus Samuelsson: Herring-Potato Salad; Cured Salmon with Burnt Leek Nougatine
Aarón Sanchez: Lump Crabmeat Tostadas with Avocado and Chipotle-Lime Aïoli
Charlene Shade: Seared Scallops in Tomato Broth with Asparagus Batons
Fabio Trabocchi: Slow-Braised Veal Cheeks with Osso Buco Jus and Alba Hazelnuts
Roberto Treviño: Seared Pork Belly Profiteroles with Spiced Caramel
Allison Vines-Rushing: Banana Pudding Brûlée with Cat's Tongue Cookies
Tre Wilcox: Seared Scallops with Truffled Potato Sauce and Wilted Baby Spinach

Luxury Experience Magazine would like to congratulate all of the nominees and the award recipients of the James Beard Foundation Awards 2007!

For a list of all of the James Beard Foundation Awards 2007, as well as information on the 2008 awards, please visit their website at:

The James Beard Foundation
167 West 12th Street
New York, New York 10011
Telephone:      +1 212-627-4984
Telephone:      +1 800-36-BEARD

This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

© August 2007. Luxury Experience. All rights reserved.

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