The 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards, the annual celebration of excellence in American cuisine, were held on May 4 and May 7. While certainly focused on cooking and food, the Awards encompass all aspects that contribute to appreciation of cuisine, including education, service, restaurant design, and food writing.

Accordingly, the May 4 event, held at Gotham Hall (a former bank building just north of Herald Square), is devoted to Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards.

The May 4 Awardees were:

2012 James Beard Foundation Book Awards
(Presented by Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate)


Cookbook Of The Year: “Modernist Cuisine” by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet (The Cooking Lab)

Cookbook Hall of Fame: Laurie Colwin, “Home Cooking” and “More Home Cooking”

American Cooking: Hugh Acheson, “A New Turn In The South: Southern Flavors Reinvented For Your Kitchen” (Clarkson Potter)

Baking And Dessert: Jeni Britton Bauer, “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home” (Artisan)

Beverage: Brad Thomas Parsons, “Bitters: A Spirited History Of A Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes & Formulas” (Ten Speed Press)

Cooking From A Professional Point of View: “Modernist Cuisine” by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet (The Cooking Lab)

General Cooking: Michael Ruhlman, “Ruhlman’s Twenty” (Chronicle Books)

Focus on Health: Heidi Swanson, “Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes From My Natural Foods Kitchen” (Ten Speed Press)

International: Paula Wolfert, The Foods of Morocco” (Ecco)

Photography: “Notes from a Kitchen: A Journey Inside Culinary Obsession”; Artist/Photographer: Jeff Scott

Reference And Scholarship: Andrew P. Haley, “Turning The Tables: Restaurants And The Rise Of The American Middle Class, 1880-1920” (The University of North Carolina Press)

Single Subject: Molly Stevens, “All About Roasting” (W. W. Norton & Company)

Writing And Literature: Gabrielle Hamilton, “Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education Of A Restaurant Chef”


2012 James Beard Foundation Design and Graphics Awards


Outstanding Restaurant Design: Le Bernardin; Design Firm: Bentel & Bental  Architects, Designers: Paul Bentel, Carol Bentel, Peter Bentel and Susan Nagle

Outstanding Restaurant Graphics: The Americano at Hotel Americano, New York City; Design Firm: Pandiscio Co., Designer: Richard Pandiscio


2012 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards


Publications Of The Year: Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, Food52 and Darra Goldstein, Gastronomica

Cooking, Recipes Or Instruction: Anna Thomas, EatingWell “The Soup for Life”

Environment, Food Politics, And Policy: Ben Paynter, Fast Company “The Sweet Science”

Food Coverage In A Food-Focused Publication: James Oseland, Saveur

Food Coverage In A General-Interest Publication: Lesley Bargar Suter, Los Angeles “Chinese Food in L.A.,” “It’s Time for Breakfast in L.A.” “Food Lovers Guide”

Food Culture And Travel: Fuchsia Dunlop, The Financial Times “Global Menu: Kicking Up a Stink”

Food-Related Columns: Lettie Teague, The Wall Street Journal “Drink, Memory: How to Remember that Wine,” “In Praise of the One-Cabernet Lunch,” May I Recommend: Lessons of Great Sommeleiers”

Group Food Blog: The Salt: NPR’s Food Blog, Maria Godoy,

Individual Food Blog: Poor Man’s Feast, Elissa Altman, “Craving the Food of Depravity”

Health And Well-Being: Maureen O’Hagan, The Seattle Times “Feeling the Weight: The Emotional Battle to Control Kids’ Diet”

Humor: Brett Martin, GQ “The Hangover Part III”

Personal Essay: Cal Fussman, “Drinking at 1,300 Ft: A 9/11 Story About Wine and Wisdom”

Profile: Susan Choi, Food & Wine “The Spice Wizardry of Lior Lev Sercarz”

Visual Storytelling: Landon Nordeman, Saveur “Soul of Sicily,” BBQ Nation,” “Heat of the Valley”

Wine, Spirits And Other Beverages: Sarah Karnasiewicz, Imbibe “Fizzy Business”

MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award: John T. Edge, Saveur “BBQ Nation”

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review: Alan Richman, GQ, “The Very Tasty Liberation of Paris,” “I Heart SF,” “Diner for Schmucks”


2012 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Awards
(Presented by Lenox Tableware and Gifts)


Radio Show Or Audio Webcast: Fear of Frying: Culinary Nightmares; Host: Nina Barrett; Area: WBEZ; Producer: Jason Marck

Special/Documentary (Television or Video Webcast) A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt; Network: HBO; Producers: Sally Rowe, Rachel Mills and Alan Oxman

Television Program, In Studio Or Fixed Location: Chopped; Host: Ted Allen and judges; Network: Food Network; Producers: Linda Lea, Dave Noll and Vivian Sorenson

Television Program, On Location: Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern; Host: Andrew Zimmern; Network: Travel Channel; Producer: Andrew Zimmern

Television Segment: CBS News Sunday Morning; Host: Martha Teichner; Network: CBS; Producers: Lauren Barnello, Jon Carras, Edward Forgotson, Patrick Lee and David Small

Video Webcast: eatTV with Jamie Tiampo; Host: Jamie Tiampo; Producers: Suzanne Glickstein, Jimmy McCoy and Jamie Tiampo

Media Personality/Host: Ted Allen; Show: Chopped; Network: Food Network


On May 7 at the Black-Tie Gala at Avery Fisher Hall the festivities concentrated on excellence in cuisine itself, with the theme of “25 Years of Food at its Best,” in tribute to the Foundation’s silver anniversary.

The 2012 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awardees were:


Best New Restaurant (Presented by Mercedes-Benz): Next, Chicago

Outstanding Chef (presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters): Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park in New York

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Mindy Segal of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate in Chicago

Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard in San Francisco

Outstanding Restaurateur: Tom Douglas of Tom Douglas Restaurants in Seattle

Outstanding Service (Presented by Stella Artois): La Grenouille in New York

Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional (Presented by Southern Wine & Spirits of New York): Paul Grieco of Terroir in New York

Outstanding Wine Program: No. 9 Park in Boston

Outstanding Bar Program (Presented by Campari): PDT in New York

Rising Star Chef Of The Year (Presented by Jade Range): Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York




Great Lakes: Bruce Sherman of North Pond in Chicago

Mid-Atlantic: Maricel Presilla of Cucharamama in Hoboken, N.J.

Midwest: Tory Miller of L’Etoile in Madison, Wisc.

New York City (Five Boroughs): Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern in New York

Northeast: Tim Cushman of O Ya in Boston

Northwest: Matt Dillon of Sitka & Spruce in Seattle

Pacific: Matt Molina of Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles

South: Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama

Southeast (tie): Hugh Acheson of Five and Ten in Athens, Georgia & Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta

Southwest: Paul Qui of Uchiko in Austin, Texas

James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award: Wolfgang Puck, chef and restaurateur, Los Angeles

James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year: Charlie Trotter, chef and restaurateur, Chicago

James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees: Grant Achatz, chef and author, Chicago; Mark Bittman, journalist and author, New York; Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief at Food and Wine magazine, New York; Emily Luchetti, pastry chef and author, San Francisco; Marvin Shanken, publisher, New York

James Beard Foundation America’s Classics (Presented by Coca-Cola): The Fry Bread House in Phoenix – Owner: Cecelia Miller; Nora’s Fish Creek Inn in Wilson, Wyo. – Owners: Nora Tygum, Trace Tygum and Kathryn Tygum Taylor; St. Elmo Steak House in Indianapolis – Owners: Stephen Huse and Craig Huse; Jones Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna, Ark. – Owners: James and Betty Jones; Shady Glen in Manchester, Conn. – Owners: William and Annette Hoch