Pêche Seafood Grill in New Orleans was the big winner of the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards, held in New York City on Monday. It was named Best New Restaurant, and its chef, Ryan Prewitt, split the award for best chef in the South with Sue Zemanick of Gautreau’s, also in New Orleans.

The annual gala honors chefs and restaurateurs and celebrates the foodservice industry as a whole.

“It gives us a reason to come to New York,” said Andy Chabot, sommelier and director of food and beverage at the Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn., which won the award for best wine program.

Another big award, Rising Star Chef of the Year, which goes to chefs aged 30 or younger, was split by Jimmy Bannos, Jr., of The Purple Pig in Chicago and Blaine Wetzel of The Willow Inn on Lummi Island in Lummi Island, Wash.

Of the 21 awardees this year, six were women, which was one more than last year, and included veteran restaurateur Nancy Silverton, chef of Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, who was named Outstanding Chef, and Barbara Lynch of Barbara Lynch Gruppo in Boston, who was named Outstanding Restaurateur.

In accepting her award, Silverton, commented on how surreal the accolade was, saying: “I go to sleep every night, like I’m sure many of you do, thinking, ‘Well, I fooled them again.’”

The Outstanding Restaurant award, which goes to a restaurant that’s at least 10 years old and “serves as a national standard-bearer for consistent quality and excellence in food,” according to the Beard Foundation, went to The Slanted Door in San Francisco.

“It’s all about what you did today, and Lord knows they don’t care about what you did yesterday,” the restaurant’s executive chef and owner, Charles Phan, said.

Dominique Ansel, chef and owner of Dominique Ansel bakery in New York City, best known for his invention of the Cronut, was named Outstanding Pastry Chef.

The Bar at the NoMad Hotel in New York City won the award for Outstanding Bar Program, and Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, N.Y., was named the year’s Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional.

The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, Calif., won the Outstanding Service award.

The Beard Foundation also gave two Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards for restaurants designed or renovated in North America since Jan. 1, 2011. Designers Scott Davis, Mark Jensen, Lincoln Lighthill, Dean Orr and Andy Pluess of Jensen Architects won the award for best restaurant design for a restaurant of 76 or more seats, for Shed in Healdsburg, Calif.

The award for restaurants with 75 or fewer seats went to Lawton Stanley Architects and designers Maria Contreras, Christopher Lawton and Micah Stanley for their design of Grace in Chicago.

The regional chef awards, apart from the best chef in the South, which Prewitt and Zemanick split, are as follows:

• Great Lakes (Ill., Ind., Mich., and Ohio): Dave Beran of Next in Chicago
• Mid-Atlantic (D.C., Del., Md., N.J., Pa., and Va.): Vikram Sunderam of Rasika in Washington, D.C.
• Midwest (Iowa, Kan., Minn., Mo., N.D., Neb., S.D., and Wis.): Justin Aprahamian of Sanford in Milwaukee
• New York City: April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig
• Northeast: (Conn., Mass., Maine, N.H., N.Y. outside of the city, R.I., and Vt.): Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa in Boston (although Bissonnette is currently executive chef of sister restaurant Toro in New York City)
•Northwest (Alaska, Idaho, Mont., Ore., Wash., and Wyo.,): Naomi Pomeroy of Beast in Portland, Ore.
• Southeast (Ga., Ky., N.C., S.C., Tenn., and W. Va.) Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Downtown Diner in Raleigh, N.C.
• Southwest (Ariz., Colo., N.M., Okla., Texas and Utah), Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston
• West (Calif., Hawaii and Nev.): Daniel Patterson of Coi in San Francisco
 
Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@penton.com.
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