These Are the Country’s Best Chefs and Restaurants of 2016

Crowning a new crop of culinary talent, from New York City to L.A.


Last night, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the James Beard Foundation named the best restaurants and chefs across the country. The awards, chosen by an independent volunteer committee that’s comprised mainly of food journalists, are distributed annually, and recognize the country’s new crop of culinary talent from different regions, and the country as a whole.

First place for Best New Restaurant went to Israeli restaurant Shaya in New Orleans, owned and operated by past James Beard Award-winner Alon Shaya (and an entry on our list of the country’s best new restaurants). Suzanne Goin of Lucques in Los Angeles won Outstanding Chef, while Dahlia Narvaez of Osteria Mozza and Daniela Soto-Innes of Cosme in New York City won Outstanding Pastry Chef and Rising Star Chef of the Year, respectively. According to The New York Times, it’s been 12 years since those three awards were all taken home by women in the same year. For the full list of winners, see below. Keep in mind, however: if you plan on visiting any of the awarded restaurants, reservations are strongly recommended. The word is out.

The Winners

From NYC to L.A.

Best Chef: Great Lakes
Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Aaron Silverman, Rose’s Luxury, Washington D.C.

Best Chef: Midwest
Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis

Best Chef: New York City
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto

Best Chef: Northeast
Zak Pelaccio, Fish & Game, Hudson, NY

Best Chef: Northwest
Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins, Seattle

Best Chef: South
Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast
Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville

Best Chef: Southwest
Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston

Best Chef: West
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles

Best New Restaurant
Shaya, New Orleans

Oustanding Baker
Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Boston

Outstanding Bar Program
Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, NY

Outstanding Chef
Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

Outstanding Restaurant
Alinea, Chicago

Outstanding Restaurateur
Ken Friedman, The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, Tosca Café

Outstanding Service
Eleven Madison Park, NYC

Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits
Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Ranchos de Taos, NM

Outstanding Wine Program
Bern’s Steakhouse, Tampa, FL

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Daniela Soto-Innes, Cosme, NYC

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