Four graduates of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park were among the winners. They are, according to a CIA press release:
The Outstanding Chef Award was won by 1994 graduate Grant Achatz, chef and owner of Alinea in Chicago. The award is bestowed upon a chef whose career sets "industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals," according to the Beard Foundation. Chef Achatz is scheduled to return to his alma mater this fall to be the commencement speaker at the CIA's November baccalaureate graduation ceremony.
Chad Robertson '93 and his partner Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco shared the Outstanding Pastry Chef Award. That honor is presented to "a chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads and who serves as a national standard-bearer for excellence."
Craig Stoll '85 of Delfina in San Francisco was honored as Best Chef: Pacific and Eric Ziebold '94 of CityZen in Washington, DC won the award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.
Fifteen CIA alumni were nominated for James Beard Awards this year. In addition, during the awards ceremony, Anthony Bourdain '78 was inducted into Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America. This honor recognizes a prestigious group of culinary professionals who have made a significant and unique contribution to the industry. Bourdain also attended Vassar College, back in the day, and shows up in our area every so often. I've had the chance to sit and chat with Chef Bourdain, who is an intelligent and interesting conversationalist.