The venerable James Beard Foundation Awards, otherwise known as the Oscars of the food world, happened last night in New York and the Bay Area made a very strong showing this year with four locals taking home top honors. Here's the skinny:
Craig Stoll, chef and co-owner of Italian favorite Delfina, snagged the award for Best Chef, Pacific Region, beating out three other Bay Area chefs: Douglas Keane of Cyrus (Healdsburg), David Kinch of Manresa (Los Gatos), and Michael Tusk of Quince (S.F.)
St. Helena's own Terra (sister to S.F.'s excellent Ame in the St. Regis Hotel) -- both owned by chef Hiro Some and wife Lissa Doumani -- won honors for Outstanding Service Nationwide. Who says Bay Area restaurant service sucks?
In the Outstanding Pastry Chef category, a pair of Bay Area chefs took home top honors: Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson of the perennially crowded Tartine Bakery in the Mission's 18th Street gastro corridor. If you don't believe it, just try their vanilla custard-filled chocolate eclair and/or the incredible bread pudding with housemade brioche, caramel, and fresh fruit.
Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing Company took home a Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering work in the American microbrew industry. Now if only there was a Lifetime Achievement Award for drinking Anchor Steam ...
-- Brian Bernbaum