Bâtard, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and More Winners of the 2015 James Beard Awards

Bâtard, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and More Winners of the 2015 James Beard Awards

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New York City’s Bâtard was named this year’s Best New Restaurant

The Bâtard team: Drew Nieporent, Marcus Glocker, and John Winterman.

On Monday, May 4, the James Beard Foundation hosted its annual awards ceremony in Chicago for the first time, at the Lyric Opera House. Food Network host and cookbook author Alton Brown, who last hosted the awards in 2012, returned to host the inaugural Chicago ceremony.

This year’s Best New Restaurant is Bâtard in New York City, while the honor of Outstanding Restaurant goes to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, with Dan Barber at the helm.

The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, was noted for Outstanding Service.

Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern was named Outstanding Chef, and Christina Tosi of Momofuku was named Outstanding Pastry Chef. Both are based in New York City.

Chicago restaurateur Donnie Madia, of One Off Hospitality Group (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican) was this year’s Outstanding Restaurateur. Jim Lahey, of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery, took home Outstanding Baker, and the Violet Hour in Chicago was honored for its Outstanding Bar Program.

This year’s Rising Star Chef went to Jessica Largey, chef of David Kinch’s Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos, California. Mark Ladner of Del Posto, Alon Shaya of Domenica, Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue, and Jonathon Sawyer of the Greenhouse Tavern were all noted as this year’s regional Best Chefs, among others.

Check out the full list of winners online at the James Beard Foundation, including this year’s Book, Broadcast, and Journalism awardees.

Winners of the James Beard Foundation Awards 2015 revealed

In 2013, chef Dan Barber's New York restaurant Blue Hill was named the best in the US. At the gala event in Chicago yesterday, Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York’s Hudson Valley again took the crown for Outstanding Restaurant. ― AFP-Relaxnews pic

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CHICAGO, May 5 ― Chef Dan Barber emerged the big winner at the 25th edition of the James Beard Foundation Awards ― also known as the Oscars of the US food world ― taking the awards for Outstanding Restaurant and best Writing and Literature.

This year&rsquos win marks the second time Barber has snagged the equivalent of Oscar for best film.

In 2013, his New York restaurant Blue Hill was named the best in the US. At the gala event in Chicago yesterday, Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York&rsquos Hudson Valley again took the crown for Outstanding Restaurant.

Likewise, his latest book The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, took the award for best Writing and Literature.

Here&rsquos a selection of the major winners in the categories of restaurants, chefs, books and journalism from the James Beard Foundation Awards:

Outstanding Restaurant: Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY

Outstanding Chef: Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, NYC

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Christina Tosi, Momofuku, NYC

Best New Restaurant: Bâtard, NYC

Outstanding Service: The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

Outstanding Wine Programme: A16, San Francisco

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional: Rajat Parr, Mina Group, San Francisco

Rising Star Chef of the Year: Jessica Largey, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

2015 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards
75 Seats and Under: Brindille, Chicago
76 Seats and Over: Workshop Kitchen + Bar, Palm Springs, CA

2015 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

Writing and Literature: The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber

“The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food” by Dan Barber ― AFP-Relaxnews pic

Cookbook Hall of Fame: Barbara Kafka

Cookbook of the Year: Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition by David Sterling

Television Programme, in Studio or Fixed Location: "Martha Stewart&rsquos Cooking School"
Host: Martha Stewart

Television Programme, on Location: "The Mind of a Chef"
Host: Anthony Bourdain

Outstanding Personality/Host
Host: Ina Garten
"Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics"

2015 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards

Dining and Travel: The India Issue, Saveur magazine, editors

Group Food Blog: Grub Street

Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication: GQ, editors

Individual Food Blog: Orangette, by Molly Wizenberg

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award
&ldquoArtisanal-Everything Roberta&rsquos Defies the Stereotypes,&rdquo &ldquoOnce an Icon, Per Se is Showing its Age,&rdquo &ldquoSix Reasons Why Cosme is One of NYC&rsquos Most Relevant New Restaurants&rdquo by Ryan Sutton, Eater

MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award
Life in Chains: Finding Home at Taco Bell, by John DeVore, Eater

Publication of the Year: Gravy ― AFP-Relaxnews

Bâtard Tops James Beard Award Winners

On Monday night, for the first time, the annual James Beard Foundation gala — widely regarded as the Oscars ceremony of the food world — was held in Chicago rather than New York, recognizing Chicago’s dynamic and often cutting-edge food scene.

But as has often been the case, New York took home most of the gold.

Bâtard, owned by Drew Nieporent and the chef Markus Glocker, was voted best new restaurant. (The restaurant in TriBeCa topped several year’s-best lists, including that of Pete Wells in The New York Times, after it opened last year.) Michael Anthony, the executive chef of Gramercy Tavern and of the newly opened Untitled in the Whitney Museum of American Art, won as outstanding chef, an award given to chefs who have been working at least five years. Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery was chosen as outstanding baker Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar was named best pastry chef and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., was selected outstanding restaurant in a field of contenders that included three New York rivals.

Chicago had its moments, though. The Violet Hour won for best bar program, and Donnie Madia of the One Off Hospitality Group, which owns Blackbird, Avec and the Publican, among other restaurants, was named outstanding restaurateur. Brindille, designed by Bureau of Architecture and Design, won the design award for restaurants with fewer than 76 seats. Among larger restaurants, the winner was Workshop Kitchen & Bar in Palm Springs, Calif., designed by SOMA.

The award for rising star chef of the year went to Jessica Largey, the chef de cuisine at Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif. Best service went to the Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn. A16 in San Francisco won for its wine program Rajat Parr of the Mina Group, also in San Francisco, was the outstanding wine, beer and spirits professional.

Chef’s awards are given in 10 regional categories. For New York, the winner was Mark Ladner of Del Posto. And although Chicago had three contenders for best chef in the Great Lakes area, they lost to Jonathon Sawyer of the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland.

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    Richard Melman, the restaurateur whose company, Lettuce Entertain You, has long dominated the Chicago restaurant scene, was given a lifetime achievement award. The New York restaurant Sevilla, which opened in 1941, when paella and sangria were about the only Spanish dishes familiar to Americans, was named an American classic. Michel Nischan, the president and a founder of Wholesome Wave in Westport, Conn., which connects local farms with needy communities, was named humanitarian of the year.

    The awards are voted on by members of the James Beard Foundation. For the restaurant and chef awards, the voters are mostly journalists.

    The ceremony will remain in Chicago for the next two years. The decision to shift the ceremonies from New York, where they have been rooted since their inception in 1990, came about in part because Susan Ungaro, the president of the foundation, believed there was a need to recognize the food scenes in other cities. The announcement of award nominees has been held recently in places like Las Vegas, Chicago and Charleston, S.C. And Chicago chefs and restaurants, including Grant Achatz of Alinea, Rick Bayless of Topolobampo and Charlie Trotter have won major awards.

    Ms. Ungaro also noted the enthusiasm and financial support that Chicago had given to the awards, along with what she said was a “compelling offer in terms of sponsorship and marketing.” Banners announcing the awards were hung around the city.

    Share All sharing options for: Batard, Michael Anthony, and More New Yorkers Win Big at the 2015 James Beard Awards

    As usual, New York City restaurants and chefs took home a lot of medals at tonight's James Beard Awards in Chicago. Here's the list of all the local champs who took home the gold:

    • Best New Restaurant: Batard
    • Outstanding Chef: Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern (and now Untitled)
    • Outstanding Restaurant: Blue Hill at Stone Barns (not really a New York City restaurant, it's true, but Dan Barber is a New York chef, and it certainly feels more like a New York win than anything)
    • Outstanding Pastry Chef: Christina Tosi, Momofuku
    • Outstanding Baker: Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery [Note: this is the first time this award has ever been given.
    • Best Chef, New York City: Mark Ladner, Del Posto

    Out of all the finalists, Batard was one of two New York restaurants competing for Best New Restaurant – the other being Cosme. Michael Anthony and Jim Lahey were both the only New Yorkers in their category, while in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category, Ghaya Olivera of Daniel was the only other New Yorker in the running. Nearly all of the restaurants in the Outstanding Restaurant category, with the exception of Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, AL, were New York based – Blue Hill at Stone Barns beat out the Spotted Pig, Momofuku Noodle Bar, and Per Se. In the Best Chef, NY category, meanwhile, Mark Ladner beat out Anita Lo (Annisa), Ignacio Mattos (Estela), Marco Canora (Hearth), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto), and Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi (Carbone, Parm, Dirty French, Santina).

    Also tonight, as had already been announced, the West Village Spanish staple Sevilla was honored with an America's Classics award, and Dale Degroff and Wylie Dufresne were inducted into the "Who's Who of Food & Beverage" hall of fame.

    For the full lineup of winners, and analysis by Eater's own Ryan Sutton, head over to Eater National.

    NYC dominates first Chicago-based Beard Awards

    Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns was named the Outstanding Restaurant of 2015 and Donnie Madia of Paul Kahan’s One Off Hospitality Group was honored as Outstanding Restaurateur of the year at Monday night’s James Beard Awards, the restaurant industry’s equivalent of the Academy Awards.

    New York City’s Batard was chosen by Beard judges as the Best New Restaurant. Michael Anthony of New York’s Union Square Hospitality Group, who runs Gramercy Tavern and a new Union Square concept called Untitled, was honored as Outstanding Chef.

    The four categories are among the most closely watched competitoins at the Beard Awards—the equivalent of Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director at the Oscars. In total, awards were presented to several dozen restaurateurs, chefs, bakers, bars and mixologists.

    Christina Tosi of New York’s Momofuku was named Outstanding Pastry Chef. “I want to thank the women who raised me in the home kitchen,” Tosi said while accepting her award, “and the men that raised me in the professional kitchen.”

    Jessica Largey of Manresa in Los Gatos, California, was selected as Rising Star Chef. She apologized for taking a long time getting to the stage, saying she's not used to being in a dress. “That’s why I became a chef,” she said.

    The top honor for Outstanding Service, a distinction that in the past has gone to some of New York’s elite white-tablecloth places, went this year to The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee.

    One of the most-watched dynamics of the Beards is how the culinary communities of various cities fare. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco are the perennial power markets.

    The interest in the unofficial geographic competition may have been especially intense this year because 2015 marks the relocation of the awards program to Chicago from New York.

    The host city walked away with plenty of hardware. Madia, the 2015 Outstanding Restaurateur, oversees such critically acclaimed Chicago landmarks as Blackbird, Avec and Nico Osteria.ut N

    But New York, which lost the ceremony to Chicago, tended to dominate, winning top honors for Best New Restaurant and Outstanding Pastry Chef. Blue Hill at Stone Barns is in a New York suburb, and is a sister concept of New York City’s Blue Hill.

    Look Wednesday on RestaurantBusinessOnline.com for a complete listing of Beard Award winners and other coverage.

    Highlights and Winners from the 2015 James Beard Awards in Chicago

    Chicago pride was on display last night at the 25th James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards, which have temporarily migrated from New York for a three-year run at the Windy City’s Lyric Opera. The ceremony’s host, Food Network’s own Alton Brown, may be a Southerner, but he was joined on stage by gala co-chairs Grant Achatz, Rick Bayless and Paul Kahan, three of Chicago’s greatest chefs. Rich Melman, founder of prolific Chicago-based restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award with a speech packed with pride for his hometown. Mayor Rahm Emanuel applauded the city’s food scene on the red carpet and in remarks on stage. When Food Network asked the mayor if he had any favorite places to travel outside of Chicago for great food, he didn't miss a beat in retorting, "Yeah, Chicago!" And every time Chicago took home an award, the opera house boomed with cheers.

    2015.05.04 JBF Awards

    Photo by: Kent Miller ©Kent Miller Studios

    Kent Miller, Kent Miller Studios

    Alton kicked off the ceremony by performing an original song, “The Meat Goes On” — expressing love for bacon, charcuterie, and all things meaty with his own vocals and guitar playing. He then gave the winners-to-be some tips for how to use their James Beard hardware. With a video on his smartphone, he joked that he uses his two James Beard medals to brew tea and cool his eyes in lieu of cucumbers on spa days.

    Chicago wasn’t the only well-represented food town. New York took home awards in five of the major categories: Outstanding Baker (Jim Lahey/Sullivan Street), Best New Restaurant (Bâtard), Outstanding Pastry Chef (Christina Tosi/Momofuku), Outstanding Restaurant (Blue Hill at Stone Barns) and Outstanding Chef (Michael Anthony/Gramercy Tavern). Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen brought Baltimore its first-ever Beard award with his Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic win. Cleveland’s Jonathon Sawyer of the Greenhouse Tavern swept a Chicago-heavy category to take Best Chef: Great Lakes. San Francisco scored both Outstanding Wine Program (A16) and Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional (Rajat Parr/Mina Group).

    Lots of celebrating followed the three-plus-hour ceremony, starting with the two-level gala at the Lyric in which dozens of past winners cooked for the black-tie-clad crowd. From there it was on to after parties throughout Chicago, which included a goat-shaped ice luge at Girl & the Goat, a taco fiesta at Big Star and late-night noodles at Ramen-san, which paired up with New York’s Ramen Lab for the evening. One thing is for sure: Win or lose, no attendees will leave Chicago hungry today.

    Without further ado, the full list of 2015 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award winners:

    Outstanding Baker: Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, NYC

    Outstanding Chef: Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, NYC

    Outstanding Pastry Chef: Christina Tosi, Momofuku, NYC

    Outstanding Restaurant: Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, N.Y.

    Outstanding Restaurateur: Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality Group, Chicago (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican and others)

    Outstanding Service: The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn.

    Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional: Rajat Parr, Mina Group, San Francisco

    Rising Star Chef of the Year: Jessica Largey, Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif.

    Best Chef: Great Lakes: Jonathon Sawyer, The Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland

    Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic: Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen, Baltimore

    Best Chef: Midwest: Gerard Craft, Niche, Clayton, Mo.

    Best Chef: Northeast: Barry Maiden, Hungry Mother, Cambridge, Mass.

    Best Chef: Northwest: Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, Wash.

    Best Chef: South: Alon Shaya, Domenica, New Orleans

    Best Chef: Southeast: Jason Stanhope, FIG, Charleston, S.C.

    Best Chef: Southwest: Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue, Austin

    Best Chef: West: Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

    Restaurant Design, 75 Seats and Under: Brindille, Chicago

    Restaurant Design, 76 Seats and Over: Workshop Kitchen + Bar, Palm Springs, Calf.

    Beaumont Inn, Harrodsburg, Ky.

    2015 James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America:

    Allan Benton, Pork Producer and Purveyor, Madisonville, Tenn.

    Nathalie Dupree, Cookbook Author and Television Personality, Charleston, S.C.

    Maricel Presilla, Chef, Restaurateur, and Cookbook Author, Hoboken, N.J.

    2015 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year: Michel Nischan, CEO, President and Co-Founder of Wholesome Wave, Westport, Conn.

    2015 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Chicago

    Find coverage of last week’s James Beard Broadcast, Book & Journalism Awards here.

    Winners of the James Beard Foundation Awards 2015 revealed

    Chef Dan Barber emerged the big winner at the 25th edition of the James Beard Foundation Awards -- also known as the Oscars of the US food world -- taking the awards for Outstanding Restaurant and best Writing and Literature.

    This year’s win marks the second time Barber has snagged the equivalent of Oscar for best film. In 2013, his New York restaurant Blue Hill was named the best in the US. At the gala event in Chicago Monday, Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York’s Hudson Valley again took the crown for Outstanding Restaurant.

    Likewise, his latest book “The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food,” took the award for best Writing and Literature.

    Here’s a selection of the major winners in the categories of restaurants, chefs, books and journalism from the James Beard Foundation Awards:

    Outstanding Restaurant: Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY
    Outstanding Chef: Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, NYC
    Outstanding Pastry Chef: Christina Tosi, Momofuku, NYC
    Best New Restaurant: Bâtard, NYC
    Outstanding Service: The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
    Outstanding Wine Program: A16, San Francisco
    Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional: Rajat Parr, Mina Group, San Francisco
    Rising Star Chef of the Year: Jessica Largey, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

    2015 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards

    75 Seats and Under: Brindille, Chicago
    76 Seats and Over: Workshop Kitchen + Bar, Palm Springs, CA

    2015 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

    Writing and Literature: The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber
    Cookbook Hall of Fame: Barbara Kafka
    Cookbook of the Year: Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition by David Sterling
    Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location: Martha Stewart’s Cooking School
    Host: Martha Stewart
    Television Program, on Location: The Mind of a Chef
    Host: Anthony Bourdain
    Outstanding Personality/Host
    Host: Ina Garten
    Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics

    2015 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards

    Dining and Travel: The India Issue, Saveur magazine, editors
    Group Food Blog: Grub Street
    Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication: GQ, editors
    Individual Food Blog: Orangette, by Molly Wizenberg
    Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award
    “Artisanal-Everything Roberta's Defies the Stereotypes,” “Once an Icon, Per Se is Showing its Age,” “Six Reasons Why Cosme is One of NYC's Most Relevant New Restaurants” by Ryan Sutton, Eater
    MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award
    “Life in Chains: Finding Home at Taco Bell," by John DeVore, Eater
    Publication of the Year: Gravy

    Wild Chatwood helps Indians beat Blue Jays 6-5 for DH split

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    Netanyahu May Finally Be Out as Israeli Opposition Finds Enough Votes to Axe Him

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    Women on the run after nail-salon worker is shot during bill dispute, Texas cops say

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    Trump's longtime ally Roger Stone has warned that the former president must prepare to be indicted for fraud in the coming weeks

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    At least 2 killed, 20 injured in "targeted and cowardly" Miami mass shooting

    At least two were killed, and 20 to 25 others injured, when three people got out of an SUV carrying assault rifles and handguns and started "shooting indiscriminately into the crowd" outside a concert in Miami early Sunday, according to a police statement and the Miami Herald. Why it matters: It's the second shooting during Memorial Day Weekend in Miami this year — seven people were shot, with one of them dying, in the city on Friday night. The killings come as the country has experienced a spate of mass gun violence during 2021. Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Details: Investigators with the police's homicide bureau are looking for the perpetrators in the Sunday morning shooting. Police say they got back into the SUV — a white Nissan Pathfinder — and fled the scene. Eight of the victims were transferred to hospitals in Miami-Dade and Broward. Twelve other victims "were self transported" to hospitals in the area, per the statement. One of the victims was in critical condition.What he's saying: “This type of gun violence has to stop,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez III, per the Herald. “Every weekend it is the same thing. This is targeted, this is definitely not random.”I am at the scene of another targeted and cowardly act of gun violence, where over 20 victims were shot and 2 have sadly died. These are cold blooded murderers that shot indiscriminately into a crowd and we will seek justice. My deepest condolences to the family of the victims.— Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez III (@MDPD_Director) May 30, 2021 Editor's note: This post is being updated as further details are revealed.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

    Partner of Tory peer's son held over Belize death

    Jasmine Hartin, the partner of Lord Ashcroft's son, was discovered near the body of a police officer.

    King's College apologises for 'harm' caused to staff by photo tribute to Prince Philip

    One of Britain’s top universities has apologised for the “harm” caused to staff after they complained about being sent a photograph of Prince Philip who had a “history of racist and sexist comments”. The photograph of the late Duke opening the university library was included in a recent email bulletin to staff at King’s College London. However, a King’s College London spokesman later said that bosses at the institution remained “very proud” of its long association with Prince Philip. Joleen Clarke, associate director at the King’s College libraries, sent the email apology to staff after some workers complained about being offended by a photograph of the Duke featuring in a staff bulletin previously sent via email. Members of the university’s Anti-Racism Community of Practice reportedly reacted angrily to the photo, which showed the Duke alongside the Queen opening a library at King’s College in 2002, due to his “history of racist and sexist comments”. Vanessa Farrier, the college’s head of partnership and liaison, was reportedly among the staff angered by the Duke featuring in the email. In June, she was asked to “decolonise” the King’s College library. The Duke was notorious for his controversial comments, most famously for referring to “slitty eyes” during a 1986 trip to China. Ms Clarke was subject to what a source said was “a kangaroo court” among King’s College workers, who judged the use of the photo to be offensive. The offending photograph in the staff bulletin, sent shortly after the Duke died on April 9, was accompanied by a caption reading: “As the nation marks the death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, we thought you might like to see this photo of the Duke at the official opening of the Maughan Library in 2002, which some colleagues will remember.” Ms Clarke has reportedly been active in King’s College’s anti-racism programme. In the subsequent apology email, sent in the week beginning May 10, she wrote: “The picture was included as a historical reference point following his [the Duke’s] death. The inclusion of the picture was not intended to commemorate him. “Through feedback and subsequent conversations, we have come to realise the harm that this caused members of our community, because of his history of racist and sexist comments. We are sorry to have caused this harm.” On Saturday a King’s College spokesman said: “As we previously highlighted in an official university tribute on April 9 2021, Prince Philip had a long association with King’s which continued right up until his retirement from public life. We valued immensely, and remain very proud, of his friendship and support for King’s.” The Duke’s association with the College began in 1955, when he became a Life Governor of the institution. He and the Queen visited King’s College many times, most recently in 2012, for the opening of its Somerset House East Wing (pictured below).

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    The Untold Story of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s Secret Pact With Nazi Propagandist Leni Riefenstahl

    Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyIt’s an odd footnote in the lives of two notorious 20th century figures.In 1960, Leni Riefenstahl and L. Ron Hubbard briefly collaborated on a screenplay that was to be a remake of her popular 1932 film directing debut, Das blaue Licht (‘The Blue Light’).Since then there has been very little written about this unusual meeting of the minds.There’s a brief mention of it in Riefenstahl’s 1987 memoir, and somewhat less in the English-language translation of it. In 2007, The New Yorker devoted a single sentence to it as an example of how Americans, after memories of World War II had begun to recede, increasingly wanted to work with Riefenstahl. And in the otherwise excellent 2007 biography Leni, author Steven Bach describes the collaboration briefly but gets Hubbard wrong, saying that his days as a science-fiction writer and Scientology leader had not yet happened when he met Riefenstahl in 1960.In fact, Hubbard’s days as a sci-fi author were mostly behind him by then, and Scientology was already a worldwide phenomenon. Hubbard was introduced to Riefenstahl as Scientology’s leader when they met in London that March.Other than those brief mentions, not much has been said about the actual work that these two colorful characters got up to in Hubbard’s London apartment, where Riefenstahl ended up living for a while.Danny Masterson Rape Hearing Is a Reckoning for ScientologyNow, however, an actual copy of the script they wrote together has turned up in the U.K. archives. And after we obtained a copy of it, we contacted the family of the person who made this meeting happen, and learned more about the collaboration.And it turns out that Scientology was very much central to this unlikely and short-lived partnership.Both Leni Riefenstahl and L. Ron Hubbard went into World War II as artists, but then endured arduous war experiences they would spend the rest of their lives trying to suppress.Riefenstahl, of course, was known for her pre-war Nazi-propaganda films: 1935’s Triumph of the Will, which turned a Hitler rally into a spectacle of high art, and 1938’s Olympia, that did the same for the 1936 Berlin Olympics.She was born in 1902 and had been a celebrated dancer and then a silent movie actress before directing The Blue Light in 1932. That same year she saw Adolf Hitler for the first time at a political rally, and then enthusiastically became his go-to filmmaker as Germany prepared for war.Once hostilities began in 1939, and after Riefenstahl worked briefly as a war correspondent in Poland, she spent the rest of the war years trying unsuccessfully to complete a movie, Tiefland, not about Nazis but based on an opera taken from a Catalan play. When the war ended, she was still struggling to finish it. Adolf Hitler and Leni Riefenstahl Library of Congress After Germany surrendered, Riefenstahl was arrested and held for three years in various internment camps while the U.S. military decided what to do with her. She claimed to have been naive about the Nazis and spent her remaining decades trying to rewrite the record of her work for Hitler and Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.Hubbard, meanwhile, was already a fairly well-known pulp fiction author by the beginning of the war, and had been writing adventure stories about men and daring deeds for many different publications. He saw the war as an opportunity to prove himself as more than a teller of tales, and had got himself a commission in the U.S. Navy with the help of his father, a Navy lieutenant.Years later, Hubbard would boast that he had fought in every theater of World War II, had been “the first [American] casualty” in the Pacific, and that he had survived being machine-gunned and set adrift for hundreds of miles in a raft. The truth was less flattering. New reporting on Hubbard’s time in Australia suggests that his bungling actually cost several lives when he sent a ship in the wrong direction around the continent and it ran into a Japanese patrol. Later in the war, he ordered his gunners to open fire on a Mexican island for target practice, causing an international incident. It cost him his second command. Depressed and suffering from hemorrhoids and pink eye (he was never injured in battle and in fact never saw actual combat), Hubbard spent the final months of the war in a California hospital.Inside Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Scientology School for KidsRiefenstahl spent her post-war years suing newspapers that wrote about her association with Hitler, and she struggled to get her career going again. In 1954, Tiefland was finally released, but her performance on screen was criticized as weak.Hubbard struggled too, falling into a deep depression and in 1947 begged the VA for psychiatric help. But then he had a rather miraculous turnaround, telling his friends that he had discovered a new way to cure human ailments, which he claimed were nearly all psychosomatic, not physical. He said he had developed a new sort of talk therapy, which was somewhat like—but vastly better than—psychoanalysis, and thought it so potent he told one friend in a 1949 letter that he would put the Catholic Church out of business.In 1950, Hubbard published a book about his new approach, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and it quickly caught on. Around the country curious Americans started up Dianetics clubs and tried out Hubbard’s method, which called for getting into pairs and helping each other remember what it had been like to be a fetus in the womb and then to re-experience childbirth. Portrait of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in the 1960s Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Hubbard soon added “Scientology” to Dianetics, which sent adherents much further back than childbirth, to previous lives that had occurred millions of years ago and on other planets. But by 1959, he was feeling enough heat from the U.S. government over his health claims for Dianetic counseling that he abandoned a headquarters in Washington, D.C., for East Grinstead, England, about 30 miles south of London, where he purchased the former estate of the Maharaja of Jaipur. Scientology was growing, and by 1960, Hubbard was looking to expand in various parts of the world.Riefenstahl, meanwhile, was searching for ways to resurrect her film career when an unlikely figure entered her life.Philip Hudsmith was a 35-year-old English film editor who materialized and began pitching the idea of remaking The Blue Light to Riefenstahl, who was 57.In her memoir, Riefenstahl wrote that Hudsmith seemed like a “nutcase.” But he was also “tall, slender, all arms and legs, with blond hair,” and she quickly took a liking to him.“He told me that The Blue Light had haunted him since his childhood for years, he had been yearning to remake it and at last had found a solid basis and backers to make his dream come true,” Riefenstahl wrote.Das blaue Licht was Riefenstahl’s directorial debut, and starred her as Junta, a 19th century woman who lives in a cabin in the Italian Dolomites. The residents of the nearby village of Santa Maria have decided she is a witch, and she does appear to have a special power: the ability to scale a sheer peak that casts a spell on the town every full moon with a mysterious blue light, which lures the young men of the village to their deaths when they try to climb it.A German artist named Vigo then arrives at the Italian hamlet, and he falls for Junta but also discovers her secret about how to safely reach the blue light—which is actually a grotto filled with valuable crystals that catch the moonlight—and then informs the village, which plunders it. After Junta discovers that her secret cave has been looted, she falls to her death.The film has very little dialogue and a thin plot, but its strength, particularly for its time, was Riefenstahl’s attention to the landscape, time-lapse photography, and stunning Alpine climbing sequences.“Das blaue Licht, released in 1932, was immediately acclaimed,” Frank Deford wrote for a 1986 Sports Illustrated interview marking the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Games. “Riefenstahl proved to be a pioneer she improved on close-up techniques and was almost revolutionary in her use of lighting. Sound was new, but she kept it to a minimum.”On the other hand, historian Eric Rentschler points out, the film’s reception was actually not all immediately positive: “The film found mixed reviews and lackluster box office returns upon its initial run in 1932. Riefenstahl blamed Jewish film critics for the failure, railing against their inability to understand things German. She felt vindicated by foreign responses to the film, especially by the silver medal awarded her at the Venice Biennale in 1932.”Hudsmith, the young English editor, was convinced a new version of The Blue Light would be a sensation, and for Riefenstahl, of course, the original film had the advantage that it came out a year before Hitler came to power and before her association with him.And Hudsmith seemed to have put a lot of work into the project already, claiming that he had convinced W. Somerset Maugham to write the screenplay. Riefenstahl was stunned when Hudsmith showed her that he had a letter from the celebrated 86-year-old playwright to prove it. She was “astonished” at Hudsmith’s ambition, and that he somehow intended to raise enough money to pay for a 70 mm, full-color production.But after she signed a contract with Hudsmith, there was trouble. A Belgian weekly ran a cover story about her entanglement with Nazi leadership. As was her custom, she filed a libel suit and got the publication to run her rebuttal. But the flap resulted in the British Film Institute rescinding an invitation to have her speak.Hudsmith was sufficiently concerned about it that he asked her to round up some good publicity in the English press, and a prominent film critic, John Grierson, agreed to speak up for her.“Leni Riefenstahl was the propagandist for Germany. Yes, and I was a propagandist on the other side,” Grierson said in a radio broadcast. “I took Leni Riefenstahl’s own films and cut them into strips in order to turn German propaganda against itself, but I never made the mistake of forgetting how great she was.”Riefenstahl made a trip to London to meet columnists, and after Grierson’s broadcast she and Hudsmith were both optimistic. But the damage had been done by the controversy, and they learned that Maugham had decided to step away.She then describes what Hudsmith did next:Philip wrote he had found a gifted American author to collaborate on the script. “This American,” he enthused, “is a brilliant and famous writer, who has written many screenplays for Columbia in Hollywood. He is also the head of a great international organization that is spread across the entire globe and has over a million members. His name is L. Ron Hubbard, he is a psychologist and Scientologist.” I had no idea who L. Ron Hubbard was. But I soon realized that he must be talented for the first part of his work was surprisingly good. Philip had already arranged for Pier Angeli to play the part of Junta and for Lawrence Harvey to play the part of Vigo and, in order to commit me solidly to this project, Philip Hudsmith signed half the shares of his firm over to me. This made me a partner of Adventure Film Ltd in England.Hudsmith’s description of Hubbard’s Hollywood history was exaggerated, and the work Hubbard actually did there was more than 20 years behind him.In 1935, after Hubbard’s pulp fiction career had begun to take off, he sold a story, “The Secret of Treasure Island,” that was turned into a 15-part serial in 1938. But he would rather dubiously claim that he secretly contributed to many more projects, including the 1939 John Ford film Stagecoach.When the war began, Hubbard largely gave up fiction writing altogether, and then, after the war, had turned to saving the world with Dianetics.Leah Remini: Tom Cruise Personally Punished Fellow ScientologistsSo, in March 1960, as Hubbard turned 49 years old, he was as far removed as he ever would be from fiction writing, and his “legendary” time as a Hollywood scriptwriter was mostly an invention.Why then had Hudsmith thought to turn from Maugham to Hubbard? Riefenstahl offered no clue in her memoir, and none of the other previous mentions of the collaboration have had anything to say about Hudsmith and why this English film editor might have thought to bring together these two unusual figures.It was only after reaching out to Hudsmith’s family that we learned the answer. Hudsmith, they told us, was a passionate early adopter of Dianetics.The Hudsmith family member we talked to told us they had grown up in Scientology, and were wary that it might retaliate against them for leaving it. They asked us not to use their name.“The whole family was in it. As a kid I talked to Suzette and Arthur and Diana,” the family member says, referring to three of L. Ron Hubbard’s children.They say that Philip Hudsmith, who spent his later life in Canada, was originally from England and had been involved with Scientology at Saint Hill Manor, the Hubbard headquarters in East Grinstead, south of London.Hudsmith was gaining a reputation as a skilled editor, and had a bright future in film. The family member even claimed that Hudsmith and Hubbard at one time had some kind of film enterprise in England together, though we haven’t found evidence of it.But if Hudsmith did have a promising film career ahead of him, his obsession with The Blue Light proved to be its undoing.“It was his connection to Leni that destroyed his career. She was the plague.”Riefenstahl herself wrote that Hubbard invited her to use his London apartment where the three of them could work on the screenplay, but then Hubbard was “unexpectedly summoned to South Africa.”Leni stayed in Hubbard’s flat, which came with the use of a housekeeper, and Hudsmith visited her each day to work on the film. Philip Hudsmith Handout Despite Hubbard’s absence, Leni called the script that they had completed “outstanding.” Only the obstacle of obtaining a British work permit was keeping her from filming it, she said, but more attempts to “smear” her kept surfacing. She wrote that she had to sue a publisher to keep a book from coming out in Germany that would claim she had shot film in concentration camps for Adolf Eichmann and then had suppressed the footage. It wasn’t true, but she said she had stopped the book from coming out just two days before it was scheduled to be published.Reporting on the controversy over the book, a French magazine, Riefenstahl said, complained she “had not been hanged in Nuremberg like other war criminals.” She sent her French lawyer to ask for a correction and to keep it from showing up in London.While dealing with the bad publicity and waiting for shooting on The Blue Light to begin, which she believed was imminent, there was a bit of surprising news: Hudsmith had recently gotten married and hadn’t said a word about it to Riefenstahl. She would now get the chance to meet the new Mrs. Hudsmith.In a passage left out of the English translation of her memoirs, Riefenstahl wrote that she was taken aback when the lovely Agnes Hudsmith mentioned that she was happy that her fortune was going to help Philip produce The Blue Light.“I was speechless. Did he only marry this woman in order to realize his dream of The Blue Light?” Riefenstahl wondered.To generate more good publicity and save the project, Hudsmith arranged for the showing of Olympia in London for the first time, and for British journalists. But once again, Riefenstahl’s reputation preceded her.When Philip introduced me to journalists, one of them refused to shake my hand. With an expression of profound scorn, he said, “I cannot shake hands with a person whose hands are stained with blood.” Another shouted at me, “Why didn’t you kill Hitler?” That was gruesome. The press conference had to be broken off.And that was the end of any hope of remaking The Blue Light. Hudsmith was so disheartened, Riefenstahl wrote, he decided to leave Europe altogether and went to live with Agnes in the South Pacific.But the film’s demise wasn’t the end of Riefenstahl’s connection to Hubbard.In another portion of her memoir that was omitted from the English translation, Riefenstahl describes receiving a letter from Hubbard, inviting her to come to Johannesburg to make a documentary about South Africa, and “money is not a problem.”“My heart was pounding, the thought was so exciting,” Riefenstahl wrote about the prospect of working again in Africa.In a previous attempt at a comeback, she had traveled in 1956 to Nairobi to make a film about the modern slave trade. The project had little more than a title, Schwarze Fracht (‘Black Cargo’), and then fell apart without funding.And now she immediately had second thoughts about Hubbard’s offer, saying that she remembered how “our black boys” were treated by whites when she had researched Black Cargo.“For me, they were equivalent people,” she wrote. “I also thought of the proud figures of the Masai. How could I live in a country where there would be a dividing wall between me and black people? I knew I couldn’t work in South Africa, and it was much more extreme then than it is now. I thanked Dr. Hubbard for his generous proposal, but was silent about why I couldn’t accept it.”Inside Trump and Farrakhan’s Strange Ties to ScientologyIt was probably for the best. On the last day of 1960, Hubbard gave a speech arguing that the apartheid government in South Africa was being distorted by the Western media. Any documentary he might have financed about the country would likely have been an attempt to forward that view. (Both the Church of Scientology and the Riefenstahl estate did not respond to requests for comment.)Hubbard also spent several months in 1966 in Rhodesia (today’s Zimbabwe), and had plans of taking it over to make it the first Scientology-run nation in the world.Historian Chris Owen recently uncovered a letter sent in secrecy by Hubbard that year to Hendrik Verwoerd, South Africa’s prime minister and a key architect of apartheid. In the letter, Hubbard repeatedly stressed Scientology’s support of apartheid: “I have over and over proven our loyalty to the Rightist cause.”After about six months in Rhodesia, Hubbard was kicked out of the country and had to make a hasty retreat to England. L. Ron Hubbard shown saying good bye to his staff after being told by the Rhodesian Government to leave the country on July 17, 1966. Bettmann/Getty Riefenstahl never worked with Hubbard again, but she later did go to Africa as she turned to still photography. In 1975, a book of her lush photographs of the Nuba people was published to much acclaim.In a famous essay, Susan Sontag took apart the book's promotional material, likely written by Riefentahl herself, which whitewashed her past.“The line taken by Riefenstahl’s defenders, who now include the most influential voices in the avant-garde film establishment, is that she was always concerned with beauty. This, of course, has been Riefenstahl’s own contention for some years,” Sontag wrote, urging people not to be taken in by Leni’s attempts to rewrite her past. “Riefenstahl is the only major artist who was completely identified with the Nazi era and whose work, not only during the Third Reich but thirty years after its fall, has consistently illustrated many themes of fascist aesthetics.”Some critics have included The Blue Light in that assessment as well, saying that although it predated the Nazi assumption of power, its imagery and story displayed a proto-fascism that helped explain why Riefenstahl was so eager to work for Hitler.Steven Bach, in his 2007 biography of Riefenstahl, details how she continued to feud with historians as more evidence of her wartime activities turned up. He explains how her trip to Poland in the initial days of the war would have made her witness one of the earliest mass killings of Jewish prisoners, something she always denied seeing. And while filming Tiefland, she was accused of taking Romani prisoners from a nearby concentration camp to use as extras, and then had them sent back. Again, she denied it.She spent decades fighting over her legacy, denying her Nazi involvement, and complaining that she could never make another film. Adolf Hitler checking plans for the forthcoming parades on the terrain of the Nuremberg rally and Leni Riefenstahl, at right, who was commissioned to shoot the official film about the rally, on August 20, 1934. Heinrich Hoffmann/ullstein bild via Getty “They would tell me that they had heard: If you make a film with Leni, you will never get another film from Hollywood,” she said in the 1986 interview with Deford, who pointed out that at 83, she still “flirts with as much proficiency as ever.”And then, in an observation that recalls the fable told in The Blue Light, Deford added, “It’s ironic all Leni Riefenstahl ever wanted was to tell fairy tales.”One of my readers had been searching through the U.K. archives when they found something they weren’t looking for.It was the 1960 script of The Blue Light.They took the time to photograph each page of the script, and sent the entire collection to us.“THE BLUE LIGHT,” it states on the title page. “Original Story by Leni Riefenstahl. Early Screen Version by Bela Belas. Modern Version by L. Ron Hubbard.” Tony Ortega It’s interesting that the name of the screenwriter of the 1932 film (actually spelled Béla Balázs) is mentioned at all. He had not only helped co-write the film, but also helped Riefenstahl direct it. Yet after its initial release (and after Riefenstahl began her association with Hitler), she had his name removed from the film’s credits because he was Jewish.The cover page is followed by a historical note: Tony Ortega “The Blue Light” was one of the earliest talking pictures of mountaineering. It was conceived by Leni Riefenstahl from the dreams and illusions of a young girl.Made in 1931-32 it was shot on its actual location in the Dolomites in ten weeks. Costing only $35,000 to make, it earned over $2,000,000.Viewed by excited audiences in every land, the picture itself became a legend, won countless honours and applause, and is used to this day in Hollywood director training schools as a model of direction and extreme mood cinematography.The present version is a modernized script but is faithful to the mood of the original. Many of the unusual village sequences are verbatim from the original film.One would have to see these scenes to grasp the mood engendered. It is rare and compelling. It has never been duplicated on the screen. One sees at once why "The Blue Light" is ranked as one of the ten greatest pictures ever made.Wide screen and colour and the talent of the original director cannot help but produce the same compelling grip of the story and even enhance it in a new version. The present version carefully preserves the fascinating fantasy of the village, the scenes and the story and, adding new and modern acting and story cohesion, should have the same impact on modern audiences as the original in its day. If played well by its actors, so striking is its technique, “The Blue Light” can earn its new millions and enduring fame for its cast.L. Ron Hubbard One thing was certainly true about the script: It remained extremely faithful to the original. (One significant difference, however, was jettisoning the framing device used in the 1932 film, which begins and ends with a contemporary couple driving to the village of Santa Maria and asking about the local legend of Junta.) The film ends up in the same place as its 1932 predecessor did: with Junta dead and deified.We showed the script to screenwriter John Brancato (The Game), who confirmed something we suspected—that it’s written in a style that was already outdated in 1960. He noted that it was very similar to the original movie, except in places where the dialogue makes things more explicit, and said the new version had a distinct lack of nuance. Brancato wondered if this was Hubbard’s contribution, and had something to do with what the Scientology leader had been writing recently.“I wonder if he was conditioned from writing things in order to tell people what to do,” he said, referring to Hubbard’s many Scientology books and policies. “The script reads like dialogue by someone who only writes functional prose.”Hubbard’s functional prose in Scientology would eventually number in the millions of words, telling his followers what to do and how to think in every possible scenario that could arise. He stopped referring to it as a science and, after 1953, started calling it a religion.Increasingly, however, after his brief collaboration with Riefenstahl in 1960, Hubbard found himself on the run, doing his best to keep away from the prying eyes of government agents.While Riefenstahl was reinventing herself with her African photography in 1975, L. Ron Hubbard had returned to land after running Scientology from sea for eight years, giving himself the title “Commodore” as his small armada plied the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and finally the Caribbean between 1967 and 1975. By then, his sophisticated intelligence operation the “Guardian’s Office” was infiltrating government offices around the world in what he called the “Snow White Program,” in order to pilfer any negative information about him that agencies had on file. Portrait of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in the 1970s Mondadori Portfolio/Getty The FBI eventually caught on to what was going on and raided Scientology in 1977. Eleven top Scientologists were convicted and went to prison for the government break-ins, including Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue, but Hubbard himself escaped prosecution and went into permanent seclusion in 1980.And then, oddly, he returned to science fiction after a break of nearly 40 years. In 1982, while still in hiding, he published Battlefield Earth, a massive Scientology-infused tale that was later adapted into a Hollywood film by celebrity Scientologist John Travolta, and then a ponderous ten-part science fiction series, Mission Earth, which contains bizarre tales of explicit sex with children.Hubbard died in 1986, while the final volumes of Mission Earth were still coming out.Riefenstahl, although she was nine years older than Hubbard, outlived him by 17 years. And throughout her later life, she remained friends with Philip Hudsmith, his family member says.After The Blue Light misadventure and a stint in the South Pacific, Hudsmith landed work as an editor in Toronto, remarried, and had several children. He lived there until late in his life when he moved to Montreal. He died in 2012. Leni Riefenstahl, German photographer and filmmaker notorious for her artistic collaboration with Adolf Hitler, takes pictures on August 27, 1972, in the Olympic stadium in Munich during the 1972 Olympic games. AFP/Getty He continued to correspond with Riefenstahl to the end of her life in 2003, the family member says. And at one point, they remember that Leni requested that Hudsmith send her another copy of the book Dianetics.“She was still communicating with Ron before he died, and she asked Philip about Scientology,” the family member says.Riefenstahl was known as “Aunt Leni” to the children in the Hudsmith family. But there was no talk about the controversies that involved either Riefenstahl or Hubbard.It was only later that they came to regret Hudsmith’s involvement with the Scientology leader and the German filmmaker.“He could have been so much more in his film career if he hadn’t connected with either of them. He was known as the best film editor in Toronto. But his connection to those two sabotaged his career,” the family member tells us. “But he never held it against them.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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    News and notes on the restaurant scene from dining critic Carol Deptolla

    By Nancy Stohs of the Journal Sentinel

    The chef of a restaurant owned in part by a Shorewood native won a James Beard Award Monday night for best chef Northeast, while Justin Carlisle, chef-owner of Ardent in Milwaukee, lost out to a St. Louis chef for best chef Midwest.

    Rachel Miller Munzer is part owner of Hungry Mother in Cambridge, Mass., where Barry Maiden is chef. Beating out Carlisle for best chef Midwest was Gerard Craft of Niche and other restaurants in St. Louis. The Midwest region includes Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

    Carlisle's restaurant, at 1751 N. Farwell Ave., was nominated last year for best new restaurant, and Carlisle had been nominated previously for Beard awards for his work in Madison. Ardent garnered four stars last year in a Journal Sentinel review.

    Other winners announced at the awards ceremony in Chicago include:

    Outstanding restaurant -- Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. best new restaurant -- Batard, New York City outstanding restaurateur -- Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality Group, Chicago rising star chef of the year -- Jessica Largey, Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif. best chef Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) -- Jonathon Sawyer, Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland outstanding baker -- Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, New York outstanding pastry chef -- Christina Tosi, Momfuku, New York outstanding service -- The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn. (Marea in New York City, in which Beloit native Michael White is a partner, was a finalist) and outstanding wine program -- A16, San Francisco.

    The James Beard Foundation lifetime achievement award went to Richard Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in Chicago.

    This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Beard Awards. A complete list of winners can be found at the Beard Foundation's website.

    About Nancy Stohs

    Nancy J. Stohs is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's award-winning food editor.

    2015 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards

    Dining and Travel

    “How the Vikings Conquered Dinner” Brett Martin GQ

    “Eating Well at the End of the Road” Julia O’Malley Eater

    The India Issue The Editors of Saveur Saveur [WINNER]

    Food and Culture

    “The Toxic, Abusive, Addictive, Supportive, Codependent Relationship Between Chefs and Yelpers” Rebecca Flint Marx San Francisco Magazine [WINNER]

    “The Lost Apples of the South” The Southern Living Test Kitchen Southern Living

    “What Happens When All-Star Chefs Get in Bed with Big Food?” Mike Sula Chicago Reader

    Food and Health

    “Bred to Perfection” Ben Paynter Wired

    “The Wild World Within” Gretel H. Schueller EatingWell

    “Against the Grain” Michael Specter The New Yorker [WINNER]

    Food-Related Columns

    “David Chang’s Kitchen” David Chang GQ

    “Unearthed” Tamar Haspel The Washington Post [WINNER]

    “The Food Lab” J. Kenji López-Alt Serious Eats

    Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication

    GQ, The Editors of GQ [WINNER]

    Los Angeles Magazine, Lesley Bargar Suter

    Roads & Kingdoms, The Editors of Roads & Kingdoms

    San Francisco Chronicle, The “Food + Home” Staff

    Food Politics, Policy, and the Environment

    “Hungry for Savings,” “Save Money. Live Better,” “The Secret Life of a Food Stamp” Krissy Clark Slate/Marketplace

    “The Quinoa Quarrel: Who Owns the World’s Greatest Superfood?” Lisa M. Hamilton Harper’s with the Food & Environment Reporting Network [WINNER]

    “California Goes Nuts” Tom Philpott Mother Jones

    Group Food Blog

    Grub Street [WINNER]

    Home Cooking

    “The Truth Behind Cookbook Recipes” Julia Bainbridge Yahoo! Food

    “Cabbage Craft” Kathy Gunst EatingWell [WINNER]

    “Lunch al Desko” Julia Kramer Bon Appétit


    “Goodbye to All That Sugar, Spice, and Fat” Lisa Hanawalt Lucky Peach

    “Giving & Thanking” Ben Schott with the Bon Appétit Editors Bon Appétit [WINNER]

    “Underfinger” Chris Stang The Infatuation

    Individual Food Blog

    Orangette, Molly Wizenberg [WINNER]

    Poor Man’s Feast, Elissa Altman

    Three Little Halves, Aleksandra Mojsilovic

    Personal Essay

    “Requiem for a Fish Sandwich” Rick Bragg Garden and Gun

    “Life in Chains: Finding Home at Taco Bell” John DeVore Eater [WINNER]

    “Deus X-Mas China” Lucas Peterson Lucky Peach


    “Jeremiah Tower’s Invincible Armor of Pleasure” John Birdsall Eater

    “The Leftovers: Paula Deen and the Martyrdom Industrial Complex” Taffy Brodesser-Akner Matter

    “Élite Meat” Dana Goodyear The New Yorker [WINNER]

    Visual Storytelling

    “Make” Gillian Duffy New York [WINNER]

    “Food52’s Guide to Thanksgiving” Ryan Hamilton, Michael Hoffman, Timothy McSweeney, Ryan Merrill, and James Ransom Food52

    “Le Kale Project” Caitlin Riley Dark Rye

    Wine, Spirits, and Other Beverages

    “Into the Vines” Gabrielle Hamilton AFAR [WINNER]

    “In New Orleans, Terrific Cocktails Never Went out of Fashion” M. Carrie Allan The Washington Post

    “OMFG it’s the PSL!” Allecia Vermillion Seattle Met

    Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award

    “Bollywood Theater’s Spicy Sequel in Southeast,” ”Charting the Rise of Portland’s Hottest UnRestaurants,” “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Måurice” Karen Brooks Portland Monthly

    “Abe Fisher,” “Mole Poblano,” “Volvér Lays It on Thick” Craig LaBan The Philadelphia Inquirer

    “Artisanal-Everything Roberta’s Defies the Stereotypes,” “Once an Icon, Per Se is Showing its Age,” “Six Reasons Why Cosme is One of NYC’s Most Relevant New Restaurants” Ryan Sutton Eater [WINNER]

    MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award

    “Life in Chains: Finding Home at Taco Bell” John DeVore Eater [WINNER]

    “That Fish Cray” Adam Gollner Lucky Peach

    “Fixed Menu” Kevin Pang Lucky Peach

    Sustainable Food Wins Big for Dan Barber at Beard Awards

    An almost obsessive dedication to regional and seasonal foods has netted Dan Barber a first-ever culinary hat trick in the nation's top restaurant awards.

    Barber, who is at the forefront of a movement to refocus how Americans think about sustainable food and agriculture, also was named the nation's top chef in 2009. And Blue Hill's sister restaurant, Blue Hill in New York City, was honored as the nation's best eatery in 2013.

    Monday's win also marks the first time one chef has twice won outstanding restaurant.


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    Barber has been lauded for his "American seasonal" menus, which favor exceptional ingredients that have been carefully produced and minimally prepared. He opened the original Blue Hill in 2000 in Greenwich Village, then the Stone Barns outpost in 2004. The latter operates at the heart of a working four-season farm and education center dedicated to raising awareness of food sustainability issues.

    The awards honor those who follow in the footsteps of James Beard, considered the dean of American cooking when he died in 1985. Monday's ceremony marked the foundation's 25th year of recognizing the food world's top talent. The event, held at Chicago's Lyric Opera, also was the first time it was held outside New York City. A similar gala on April 24 was held in New York for book and media awards.

    Though the awards ceremony moved to Chicago, the foundation seemed to pine for New York. Most of the top tier honors went to restaurants and chefs in the Big Apple. Outstanding chef went to Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern Christina Tosi of Momofuku took outstanding pastry chef and best new restaurant was Markus Glocker's Batard.

    Like Barber, Anthony has been praised for a fierce dedication to serving seasonal foods. In fact, he worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns until moving to Gramercy Tavern in 2006. Two years later, the restaurant — which opened in 1994 — won the foundation's top restaurant award.

    Among the outliers from the New York crowd was Chicago restaurateur Donnie Madia, owner of One Off Hospitality Group, the force behind many of the city's top restaurants, including Blackbird, avec, The Publican, The Violet Hour, Publican Quality Meats and Nico Osteria. He won top restaurateur. Jessica Largey of Manresa in Los Gatos, California, won rising star chef of the year.

    The group's Lifetime Achievement award went to Richard Melman, founder of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, a Chicago-based corporation that operates more than 100 restaurants around the country.

    The Humanitarian of the Year honor went to Michel Nischan, another leading chef in the sustainable food movement. In 2007, he cofounded Wholesome Wave, a Bridgeport, Connecticut, organization working to improve access to healthy, affordable fresh food.

    The winners of the 2015 James Beard Foundation restaurant and chef awards announced Monday are:


    Best New Restaurant: Batard in New York City

    Outstanding Baker: Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City

    Outstanding Bar Program: The Violet Hour in Chicago

    Outstanding Chef: Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern in New York City

    Outstanding Pastry Chef: Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City

    Outstanding Restaurant: Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York

    Outstanding Restaurateur: Donnie Madia of One Off Hospitality Group in Chicago

    Outstanding Service: The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee

    Outstanding Wine Program: A16 in San Francisco

    Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional: Rajat Parr of Mina Group in San Francisco

    Rising Star Chef of the Year: Jessica Largey of Manresa in Los Gatos, California


    Design Firm: Bureau of Architecture and Design

    Designers: Tom Nahabedian and James Gorski

    Project: Brindille, Chicago

    Project: Workshop Kitchen + Bar, Palm Springs, California


    Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH): Jonathon Sawyer of Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland

    Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA): Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore

    Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, SD, WI): Gerard Craft of Niche in Clayton, Missouri

    New York City (Five Boroughs): Mark Ladner of Del Posto

    Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT): Barry Maiden of Hungry Mother in Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY): Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Inn on Lummi Island in Lummi Island, Washington

    South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR): Alon Shaya of Domenica in New Orleans

    Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV): Jason Stanhope of FIG in Charleston, South Carolina

    Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT): Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin

    West (CA, HI, NV): Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco

    America's Classics

    — Archie's Waeside in Le Mars, Iowa

    — Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg, Kentucky

    Owners: Elizabeth and Dixon Dedman, Helen and Chuck Dedman

    — Guelaguetza in Los Angeles

    — Sally Bell's Kitchen in Richmond, Virginia

    Owners: Martha Crowe Jones and Scott Jones

    — Sevilla Restaurant in New York City

    Owners: Jose Lloves and Bienvenido Alvarez

    Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America

    Allan Benton: Pork producer and purveyor in Madisonville, Tennessee

    Dale DeGroff: Mixologist in New York City

    Wylie Dufresne: Chef and restaurateur in New York City

    Nathalie Dupree: Cookbook author and television personality from Charlestown, South Carolina

    Maricel Presilla: Chef, restaurateur and cookbook author from Hoboken, New Jersey

    Humanitarian of the Year: Michel Nischan, CEO, president and cofounder of Wholesome Wave

    Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in Chicago

    Watch the video: How to Make Lettuce Broth - Stone Barns CSA (May 2022).