Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The 2008 James Beard Awards

Congratulations to Alinea's Grant Achatz for winning the 2008 James Beard Foundation awards for Outstanding Chef and to Naha's Carrie Nahabedian for winning the Best Chef: Great Lakes award. The three-hour awards ceremony held on Sunday, June 8, at NYC's Lincoln Center, is often referred to as the Academy Awards of the restaurant industry. More than 1000 people attend the posh affair that rewards and highlights the best of the best in the culinary world. The three-hour awards ceremony was followed by a walk-around tasting with an "artisanal America" theme and featured several Chicago chefs including JBF winner Sarah Stegner, her partner at Prairie Grass Cafe, George Bumbaris; North Pond's Bruce Sherman;

The American Classic Award went to Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap, 1073 Vernon Park Place, Chicago, owner Joseph DiBuono. One of the few remnants of Chicago’s Little Italy, Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap has been owned and operated by the same family since it opened as a bar in the early 1930s. The small table in the bar’s kitchen has since expanded to include two dining rooms that are regularly packed with businessmen, police officers, families, and pre-game sports fans. The restaurant’s chalkboard menu offers diners Italian-American classics like lemon chicken, eggplant Parmesan, and fettuccini Alfredo at prices that make just about everyone a regular.

Wish you were there? Visit the various coverage on YouTube.

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