When James Beard was alive he was a chef, a food writer, and a man with a mustache. A man who literally couldn't live up to his name. And each year he's the namesake of awards given to the top chefs in the country.
Here's a rundown of some of the winners of the recent ceremony, along with meatastic photos to show off their fine work
Michael Mina, Who's Who Of Food/Beverage in America Inductee Dude's got a ton of restaurants all over the world, but you can call this dish Channing Tatum because it's an enormous hunk *wolf whistle*. Hit up Bourbon Steak in SF for a taste
Jennifer Jasinski, Best Chef, Southwest Her resto Rioja is a Denver staple, and the cardamom spiced Kurobata pork belly with madras curry scented garbanzo bean puree shows why
Melissa Kelly, Best Chef, Northeast Here's a meatball small plate at Primo in bucolic Rockland, Maine. The town has a population of less than 8000 people, the bulk of whom likely have jobs working in her very popular restaurant
David Chang, Outstanding Chef (tie) Chef/owner of the enormously successful Momofuku restaurants, the Beard people showered more praise on Noodle Bar, where you can cop this fried chicken
State Bird Provisions, Best New Restaurant Owners Stuart Brioza and Nicole "No Relation To John" Krasinksi run this hip spot in SF, and while the menu changes frequently, perhaps you'll get lucky enough to eat something fried and delicious like this
Danny Bowien, Rising Star Chef Why does SF get to have all the cool restaurants?! Actually, his Mission Chinese Food is in SF and NY, and there're brilliant dishes like "Chinito", a long, fried Chinese doughnut wrapped in rice noodle and stuffed with cucumber, cilantro, and crispy Peking duck.
Stephanie Izard, Best Chef, Great Lakes A Top Chef winner, her Girl & The Goat packs in crowds nightly, so if you can't get a seat there, sit there silently and marvel at the Wagyu Tartare with smoked uni, summer apples, and shiitake 'shrooms
Paul Kahan, Outstanding Chef (tie) Kahan runs Blackbird in Chicago, and this fine-diner serves up delicious looking cuisine like this elk loin
Gabriel Rucker, Best Chef, Northwest Get thee to Portlandia for this meaty delight at Rucker's Le Pigeon, but not La Pigeon, because there's nothing feminine about a dish this substantial
Photo of Momofuku Noodle Bar by Gabriele Stabile