At Monday night's 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago, Los Angeles chefs finally came away with some well-deserved medals.
The highlight of the evening was a win by Suzanne Goin of Lucques, who took home the coveted award for Outstanding Chef. Goin had been nominated for the award several times in the past few years and had won Best Chef: West in 2006. The last L.A. chef to take home the Outstanding Chef trophy was Nancy Silverton of Mozza in 2014.
The other huge wins: Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo — the chef duo behind Animal, Son of a Gun, Jon and Vinny's and many other L.A. restaurants — won for Best Chef: West, while Dahlia Narvaez, the long-serving pastry chef of Mozza, snagged the honor of Outstanding Pastry Chef.
L.A. didn't win any chef awards last year, so this year's ceremony proved to be a huge upset, especially considering that only five local chefs were finalists in 2016 (besides the winners, those included Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Jeremy Fox of Rustic Canyon). But the committee ended up giving overdue recognition to some of L.A.'s culinary powerhouses who have helped elevate the city's dining scene on a national level. And yes, their restaurants will be probably be that much harder to get into because of it. Maybe the James Beard awards are paying attention to L.A. after all?
As for the other top prizes, you can see a full list of the 2016 James Beard Award winners here.