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James Beard Awards 2017: Boston Goes Home Empty-Handed

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Aside from a ‘Who’s Who’ induction for Legal Sea Foods’ Roger Berkowitz

A silver James Beard medal is isolated on a black background James Beard Foundation

The night has arrived: It’s time for the James Beard Foundation’s 2017 Restaurant and Chef Awards, which are being presented on Monday, May 1 at a gala in Chicago. The Eater.com team is live-blogging the evening; check that out for updates, gossip, and more. The Foundation’s official live stream is over here.

On this page, we’ll post any local winners as they are announced, as well as any other locally relevant tidbits; refresh the page now and then to see any updates.

Here are the locals who are in the running tonight, spanning four categories (Outstanding Pastry Chef, Best Chef: Northeast, Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional, and Outstanding Restaurateur). Will any bring home a medal? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here’s some background reading:


Local notes (updating throughout the evening):

  • Barbara Lynch gets a shout-out in James Beard Foundation president Susan Ungaro’s opening remarks as the only chef named to Time’s recent list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
  • Joanne Chang (Flour, Myers + Chang) is part of the “Parade of Chefs,” a large group of chefs who are cooking for the event. Many, including Chang, are past Beard winners. Spot her below in the black skirt.
Joanne Chang and others in the “Parade of Chefs”
Joanne Chang and others in the “Parade of Chefs”
Screen capture from the 2017 JBF awards gala livestream
  • And Joanne Chang is back to present the Outstanding Baker and Outstanding Pastry Chef awards (with Dahlia Narvaez of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles), the first two awards of the night. Chang jokes that she might have become a pastry chef much earlier in life had Instagram been around. (Social media is a running theme of the night.)
  • The first category involving a local chef has come and gone; sadly Maura Kilpatrick (Oleana) is not bringing home the Outstanding Pastry Chef award. Ghaya Oliveira of Daniel in New York City wins this category.
  • Next up on the local front, Portland’s Rob Tod (Allagash Brewing Company) is up for the Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional award, but Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione wins.
  • Legal Sea Foods’ Roger Berkowitz is inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who; he’s one of five inductees this year. (Boston’s Todd English makes a quick cameo in the video segment for one of the other inductees, Suzanne Goin; she worked at Olives back in the day.)
Roger Berkowitz at the 2017 Beard Awards
Roger Berkowitz at the 2017 Beard Awards
Screen capture from the 2017 JBF awards gala livestream
  • Ken Oringer gets a thank you from the Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic winner, Greg Vernick (Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia); Vernick worked at Clio.
  • Finally, the Best Chef, Northeast winner is announced — or winners! Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley of Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland were nominated for the third year in a row and are finally taking home the award. The Eater-endorsed duo will soon open Eventide Fenway here in Boston. The other nominees in this category were Karen Akunowicz (Myers + Chang), Cassie Piuma (Sarma), Susan Regis (Shepard), and Benjamin Sukle (Birch in Providence).
Mike Wiley (left) and Andrew Taylor at the 2017 Beard Awards
Mike Wiley (left) and Andrew Taylor at the 2017 Beard Awards
Screen capture from the 2017 JBF awards gala livestream
  • And the final category with a Boston nominee is upon us: Outstanding Restaurateur. Ken Oringer (Uni, Toro, Coppa, Little Donkey) is up for the award, but Philadelphia’s Stephen Starr is going home with the award this year (after four previous nominations).
  • Here is the full list of winners.

Eventide Oyster Co.

86 Middle Street, , ME 04101 (207) 774-8538 Visit Website

Eventide Fenway

1321 Boylston Street, , MA 02215 (617) 545-1060 Visit Website

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