Letter from the Editor: Hats off to James Beard Nominees Vol: 86

May 2, 2012

We love awards season. We’re excited to see that some of our favorite chefs and International Chefs Congress presenters made San Pellegrino’s newest top 50 list. We’re still high from our Rising Stars Awards in Austin and New Orleans, and the StarChefs.com staff is gearing up for an Atlanta Rising Stars like no other (to be hosted on the eclectic Goat Farm Art Center).

And this week we’re getting ready for the industry love fest of the 25nd Annual James Beard Awards. Since 1986, JBF has provided a national platform for chefs, bringing chefs’ cooking to a broader audience through their Beard House events and dinners. While we’ve scouted for the young gun chefs just coming into their prime, Beard Awards have become the standard in recognizing a more mature talent base.

We'd like to tip our hats to this year’s talented James Beard nominees, many of whom we have recognized with our own Rising Stars Awards throughout the years (since 2002, more than 533 young culinary leaders have earned the award). Good luck to the entire group, including Rising Stars Hugh Acheson, Daniel Humm, Stephanie Izard, Andrew Zimmerman, Cathal Armstrong, Wylie Dufresne, Jamie Bissonnette, Naomi Pomeroy, Chris Cosentino, Christopher Kostow, Alon Shaya, Linton Hopkins, Paul Qui, Shelley Lindgren, Jim Meehan, Joanne Chang, Melissa Chou, Mindy Segal, Thomas McNaughton, Sue Zemanick, and Donald Link. We can’t wait to celebrate with you at the Beard Awards Gala on May 7!

And with Beard on our minds, we’re digging into the StarChefs.com vault, highlighting some old-school content that features nominees front and center. From our behind the scenes look at Humanitarian of the Year Charlie Trotter’s 19th Anniversary Dinner and a first look at Best Chef: Northeast nominee Jamie Bissonnette’s Coppa to butchery tips with Best Chef: New York candidate April Bloomfield, we’ve lined up some of our best coverage of the nominated talent.

For a taste of some of our newest Rising Stars in action, don't forget to purchase your tickets for the Atlanta Rising Stars Gala on June 13. Sign up before we sell out! And keep your nominations for chefs, pastry chefs, mixologists, and sommeliers coming. We'll soon be traveling to Chicago, South Carolina, Italy, Hawaii, Japan, and the Bay Area. For real-time updates on our whereabouts and meals, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Editorial Note: The results are in. Find out which chefs and restaurants took home medals at this year's James Beard Awards.

Antoinette Bruno
Will Blunt
Managing Editor