Best Chef Alert
The James Beard Awards' Best Chefs in America recognize this year's leaders throughout the country.user rating
Online restaurant recommendations are a dime a dozen these days. But if you want to know which chefs have received the highest honor for their grub, look no further than the James Beard Foundation’s Awards. Here are the winners for 2012's Best Chefs in America by region, so no matter where you live or where you’re traveling to, you’re guaranteed an amazing meal.
Chef Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Chicago
Situated in Lincoln Park at the edge of a pond overlooking the Chicago skyline, the food surpasses the view at Sherman’s restaurant, where dishes are inspired by the local markets and farmers.
Chef Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, NJ
This elegant restaurant’s central hub is the huge wood-burning oven, out of which comes Presilla’s award-winning South American dishes. But it’s the 40+ small Latin dishes that make this a spot not to miss.
Chef Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, WI
Miller’s French-inspired dishes are seasonally based and support the products and produce of artisans and small sustainable farms in the Midwest. Every item on his award-winning seasonal menus are locally inspired.
New York City
Chef Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, Manhattan
Gramercy Tavern, part of Danny Meyer’s restaurant empire, is a refined American tavern offering elegant contemporary American cuisine. Led since 2006 by Anthony who’s built his reputation for delicious, simple cuisine and a rigorous commitment to using local, seasonal ingredients.
Chef Tim Cushman, O Ya, Boston
This contemporary Japanese restaurant shows not only quality but consistency: The New York Times dubbed it the best new restaurant in the United States in 2008, in addition to numerous other accolades since. If you love sushi, you won’t want to miss a chance to taste Cushman's take on the cuisine.
Chef Matt Dillon, Sitka & Spruce, Seattle
Dillon’s award-winning food is based on a small menu that features local foods that highlight simple, delicious flavors. Meals are served up at the large butcher-block communal table at this Capitol Hill favorite.
Chef Matt Molina, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles
The young Chef Molina is running the kitchens of some of Los Angeles’ top restaurants: Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, co-owned by culinary masterminds Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich. Known for the mozzarella bar and signature dishes, you’ll wait months for a reservation at Osteria, but the wait is worth it.
Chef Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL
Located in a historic building on Birmingham’s Southside, this award-winning restaurant serves some of the finest, freshest dishes in the region. While the menu changes daily based on the freshest ingredients available, you can expect to have the chance to try popular signature items any time you visit.
Chef Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten, Athens, GA
Acheson combines the beauty of the South with the flavors of Europe at his critically acclaimed restaurant. The chef's fresh approach to Southern food can be experienced through his two restaurants—with a third in the works—as well as a wine shop and an upcoming cookbook, A New Turn in the South: The Cuisine of Hugh Acheson.
Chef Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta
Allowing a local, housemade pantry to drive the menu, Hopkins’ approach is at once traditional and urbane. Names of farmers and artisans are sprinkled throughout the menu. You won’t want to miss the five-course chef’s tasting menu.
Chef Paul Qui, Uchiko, Austin, TX
Japanese farmhouse dining is what you’ll find at Uchiko, the sister restaurant to the equally revered Uchi. Combining local, seasonal ingredients with a spectrum of seafood from around the globe is the basis of the award-winning menu conceived by "Top Chef: Texas" winner Qui.