NEW York chef Daniel Boulud and the trendy Spago restaurant in Los Angeles got top honors at the fourth annual James Beard culinary awards, the food world's equivalent of the Oscars.
Spago owners Barbara Lazaroff and Wolfgang Puck won Restaurant of the Year honors Monday night. Mr. Boulud, owner of Daniel's in New York, was named Chef of the Year. Ms. Lazaroff and Mr. Puck were also given the Humanitarian of the Year award for their support of food charities.
Jacques Torres of New York's Le Cirque restaurant was named Pastry Chef of the Year, and Sarah Stegner of The Ritz-Carlton in Chicago, won as Rising Star Chef.
Winning a Beard award ``puts you on the national foodie map,'' says Tim Zagat, publisher of the Zagat restaurant and hotel surveys.
More than 50 awards were presented to chefs, restaurants, cookbook authors, broadcasters, and food journalists.
Eight regional Best Chef awards were also given. They were: New York City: David Bouley of Bouley; California: Joyce Goldstein of Square One in San Francisco; Northeast: Todd English of Olives in Boston; Southeast: Allen Susser of Chef Allen's in North Miami Beach, Fla.; Mid-Atlantic: Patrick Clark of The Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington; Midwest: Paul Bartolotta of Spiaggia in Chicago; Southwest: Dean Fearing of Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas; Pacific Northwest: (tie) Tom Douglas of Dahlia Lounge and Monique Barbeau, Fullers of the Sheraton, both in Seattle.
Madhur Jaffrey's ``A Taste of the Far East'' won Cookbook of the Year. The James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award went to winemaker Robert Mondavi.
The awards are given annually by the James Beard Foundation, established in 1986 in honor of the late cookbook author.