Gavin Kaysen Named Best Chef Midwest By James Beard Foundation

Kelvin Reese
May 9, 2018

Ben Barker of Magnolia Grill won the same honor in 2000. She was nominated for the award alongside five other finalists, including Brad Kilgore, chef-owner of Wynwood restaurant Alter. Diners can experience regional, heritage ingredients crafted into interesting dishes, like crawfish beignets or a NY strip paired with a duck-fat potato cake. At 27, she is an old hand at the nominations; she recieved a nod past year.

Ellen Yin, who helped transform Old City two decades ago with the bistro Fork and who with partners grew an empire that includes, High Street on Market, and High Street on Hudson in New York City, was nominated for restaurateur of the year.

A Maine-based baker fell short Monday evening in her quest to win a prestigious James Beard Award in the category of Outstanding Baker. Her current menu offers diners such dishes as a smoked bluefish salad with pickled celery and rye crackers, and chicken wings and Manila clams braised in sherry with leeks.

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Last night's awards were handed out at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. First up, the FIG team finally got the prize for Outstanding Wine Program.

Cogswell took the title for Rising Star Chef of the Year during the ceremony, which was held in Chicago.

North Carolina chefs have a history of winning James Beard Awards. Kaysen was a first-time Midwest nominee in the "Oscars of the food world".

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