For the first time the highly regarded ‘Oscars’ ceremony of the food world took place in the Lyric opera, Chicago, reflecting the area’s innovative and thriving food scene. The annual James Beard Foundation gala that will now take residency in the city for the next two years, opened with a bang offering entertainment from The Black Eyed Peas and also James Beard Award-winning TV host, authorand chef Alton Brown.

With over 2,000 hungry guests to feed atthe gala reception,the chefs –who weremainly comprised of James Beard Award-winners – createddishes to celebrate the 25thanniversary of the Foundation gala.Overseeing the direction of the reception andleading the exemplary group of gala chefsas theyhighlighted the array of culinary styles and cuisines across America wereCo-Chair Chefs , Rick Baylessand Paul Kahan.

During a ceremony, outstanding restaurant design categories were presented, as well as a number of special achievement awards, including the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year.Winners of the Foundation’sannual Book, Broadcast, & Journalism Awardswere presentedon April 24, 2015, at a ceremony and dinner at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers in New York City, hosted by Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’sThe Chew. However, even though the location of theevent may have moved to Chicago,New York was the big winner of the evening,with the city’s restaurants and chefs capturing three of the top six awards.

Highlights from this year’s list of winners include…

Outstanding Chef |Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, NYC

Outstanding Restaurant |Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY ()

Outstanding Pastry Chef |Christina Tosi, Momofuku, NYC

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

Best New Restaurant |Bâtard, NYC

Rising Star Chef |Jessica Largey, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

Finda full list of results and award winners here |www.jamesbeard.org