NEW YORK — Spago Beverly Hills' Sherry Yard is the best pastry chef in the United States, according to the annual restaurant awards presented Monday night by the James Beard Foundation. Yard was one of the few non-Manhattanites to break through in this year's presentations by the New York-based group.
Seven of the nine awards went to New York restaurants, with the top honors, Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurant going to Lidia Mattichio Bastianich of Felidia and to Gotham Bar & Grill, respectively. The only other non-New Yorker to win a major award was Charlie Trotter's of Chicago, which took Outstanding Service. The best chef in California, according to the foundation, is Michael Mina of Aqua in San Francisco.
In the Beard Foundation cookbook awards, Peter Reinhart made it a clean sweep by taking the best book of the year with his "The Bread Baker's Apprentice." Last month, the book won the other major cookbook award, sponsored by the International Assn. of Culinary Professionals.
Los Angeles author Patric Kuh won the award for writing on food for his book "The Last Days of Haute Cuisine."
Outstanding Chef: Lidia Mattichio Bastianich, Felidia, New York. Outstanding Restaurant: Gotham Bar & Grill, New York. Best New Restaurant: Craft, New York. Rising Star Chef: Jean-Francois Bruel, DB Bistro Moderne, New York. Outstanding Pastry Chef: Sherry Yard, Spago Beverly Hills. Outstanding Service: Charlie Trotter's, Chicago. Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional: Andrea Immer, French Culinary Institute, New York. Outstanding Wine Service: Gramercy Tavern, New York. Best California Chef: Michael Mina, Aqua, San Francisco. Lifetime Achievement Award: George Lang, Cafe des Artistes, New York.
Cookbook of the Year: "The Bread Baker's Apprentice," Peter Reinhart (Ten Speed Press, $35). Americana: "Mustards Grill," Cindy Pawlcyn with Brigid Callinan (Ten Speed Press, $39.95). Entertaining and Special Occasions: "Jacques Pepin Celebrates," Jacques Pepin (Alfred A. Knopf, $40). Healthy Focus: "A New Way to Cook," Sally Schneider (Artisan, $40). Italian: "Sicilian Home Cooking" (Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene with Michele Evans (Alfred A. Knopf, $30). Single Subject: "eforeCeviche!," Guillermo Pernot with Aliza Green (Running Press, $29.95). Writing on Food: "The Last Days of Haute Cuisine," Patric Kuh (Penguin Putnam, $24.95). Baking and Desserts: "The Bread Baker's Apprentice," Peter Reinhart (Ten Speed Press, $35). General: "Back to the Table," Art Smith (Hyperion, $29.95). International: "Madhur Jaffrey's Step-by-Step Cooking" (Ecco, $37.50). Reference: "Larousse Gastronomique" (Clarkson Potter, $75). Wines and Spirits: "Wine," Andre Domine (Konemann Verlagsgesellschaft, $49.95). Best Food Photography: "Charlie Trotter's Meat and Game," photographed by Tim Turner and Michael Voltattorni (Ten Speed Press, $50). Cookbook Hall of Fame: "North Atlantic Seafood," Alan Davidson (Viking Press, 1979).