JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION HONORS CULINARY MERIT
Rick Bayless, co-owner of Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, and Zinfandel in Chicago, took home the top award -- Chef of the Year -- at the food world's ''Oscars'' show Monday.
Each year since 1990, the James Beard Awards have recognized leaders like Bayless for their excellence and achievement in America's culinary-arts field.
The late James Beard advocated American cookery in his popular teaching and prolific writing (19 cookbooks).
Beard's cooking school was housed in a Greenwich Village brownstone now home to the James Beard Foundation, but the awards were given at the Marriott Marquis in New York.
Other awards include:
Best American Chef/ California: Gary Danko, the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco
Best American Chef/ MidWest: Jean Joho, the LaSalle Club, Chicago
Best American Chef/ Northeast: Gordon Hamersley, Hamersley's Bistro, Boston
Best American Chef/ Southeast: Elizabeth Terry, Savannah, Ga.
Best American Chef/ Mid-Atlantic: Robert Kinkead, Kinkead's, Washington
Best American Chef/ New York City: Gray Kunz, Lespinasse, St. Regis Hotel
Best American Chef/ Pacific Northwest: Tamara Murphy, Campagne, Pike Place Market, Seattle
Best American Chef/ Southwest: Christopher Gross, Christopher's and the Bistro, Phoenix
Rising Star Chef of the Year: Traci Des Jardins, Rubicon, San Francisco
Pastry Chef of the Year: Francois Payard, Restaurant Daniel, New York
Cookbook of the Year:
Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts, by Alice Medrich (Warner Books)
Outstanding Restaurant Award: Le Cirque, New York (Sirio Maccioni, owner; Sylvain Portay, chef)
Cookbook Hall of Fame: Greene on Greens, by Bert Greene (Workman)
Best Vegetarian Cookbook: Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, by the Moosewood Collective (Simon & Schuster/Fireside)
Best Food Photography:
Roger Verge's Vegetables in the French Style, photographed by Bernard Tauillon (Artisan)