The "Oscars of the Food World" happened last night as the chef and restaurant portion of the annual James Beard Foundation Awards took place in Chicago on the traditional night off for chefs, a Monday. And while San Francisco was honored with a number of spots and talented people making the list of finalists this year, it was Los Angeles's turn to sweep the awards in many of these categories this despite the fact that SF has been consistently named the best food city in the country over the last couple of years, as Eater is quick to point out.
As noted earlier, Liholiho Yacht Club was nominated in the Best New Restaurant category, but that prize went to chef Alon Shaya's Shaya in New Orleans. State Bird Provisions took home this award a couple years ago, and its chefs, Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krazinski won in the Best Chef: West category in 2015.
Beating out our own Michael Tusk of Quince, longtime LA chef Suzanne Goin of the restaurants Lucques and A.O.C. took home the Outstanding Chef prize.
And in the Best Chef: West category, which typically oscillates between SF and LA winners, multi-year nominees Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, co-chefs at Animal, Son of a Gun, and Jon & Vinny's, took home the prize this time, beating out SF's Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn, Petit Crenn), Matt Accarrino (SPQR), and Corey Lee (Benu).
Dahlia Narvaez, of LA's Osteria Mozza, also took home the award for Outstanding Pastry Chef, a category in which SF had no finalists this year.
The big prize for Outstanding Restaurant in the nation, which in recent years has gone to Boulevard and Slanted Door in SF, went to Alinea in Chicago this time around.
Despite multiple years getting nominated in the Outstanding Bar Program category, Bar Agricole lost out this year to Brooklyn's Maison Premiere.
The James Beard Awards are, much like the Oscars, an insular and political affair in which, unlike at the Oscars, finalists/nominees tend to be re-nominated year after year until they win and cities that haven't gotten enough love in recent years, like LA, will see their fortunes turn all at once, as they did this year. So chances are SF will once again have a fine showing next year, and we just had to give this one to LA.
If you're a traveling foodinista and want to see all the awards, the full list is here.