With four of the five nominees coming from the New Orleans area, the Best Chef: South award was a tight race. Commander’s Palace executive chef, Tory McPhail, was the ultimate victor, taking home the seventh Beard Award for the Palace.
While Louisiana is a definite hot spot for Southern eats, Joseph Lenn of Tennessee was the first chef to receive such an honor for his state, winning Best Chef: Southeast. Lenn went to culinary school in Charleston, SC, where he began his career at the one of the city’s renowned restaurants, the Peninsula Grill. He is now executive chef at The Barn at Blackberry Farm, where his craft earned him James Beard recognition.
The third of our Southern winners are culinary experts who employ their talents through the written word. Authors Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart received the American Cooking Book Award for their collaborative effort, Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, which assures that quality southern cuisine can be achieved from the home kitchen.
Of course, these three awards are just three of the many talents recognized by the Oscars of the food world. Be sure to check out the full list of nominees and winners to see all of the impressive culinary experts honored. Cheers to another year of culinary achievement!