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Jose Andres was the star of Monday night’s James Beard Foundation Awards, earning the nod for the country’s outstanding chef over Gary Danko (Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco), Suzanne Goin (Lucques in Los Angeles), Paul Kahan (Blackbird in Chicago) and C harles Phan (The Slanted Door in San Francisco). When I asked Andres what this victory meant for Spain, he said, “This means more for Washington.”
Other thoughts on Andres’s win:
* “Recently, Andres — who grew up outside Barcelona and moved to the U.S. 21 years ago after training with famed Spanish chef Ferran Adria — has become known almost as much for his politics as for what he puts on the plate.” (AP)
* Gail Simmons: “People of America: Could we be more proud of @chefjoseandres!! Named Outstanding chef of the year” (Twitter)
* “Not only was @chefjoseandres named Outstanding Chef at the Beard Awards tonight, he was the most effervescent presence on stage. A natural.” (Twitter)
* “Anyone who invents the fois gras cotton candy lollipop deserved the James Beard award in my book :)” (Twitter)
* From the winner himself: “washington gave me a wife 3 daughters friends and the mission in life im a washingtonian at heart” (Twitter)
* Out of the kitchen, and (finally) onto the big stage. (WSJ)
* Said Kevin Zraly, longtime wine director of Windows on the World restaurant at the World Trade Center: “The last week, many, many things have happened,” he said. “The wicked witch is dead, ladies and gentlemen. I say that for 72 coworkers and friends of mine who were killed.” (Bay Citizen)
* “Once again, no Los Angeles restaurants won a major award, continuing a string that dates back to 2004, though Andres also runs Bazaar at the SLS here.” (LA Times)
* “Maybe it was the name. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. How else do you account for its Chicago founder, Rich Melman, being nominated six consecutive times for the James Beard Foundation’s outstanding restaurateur of the year award and never winning? Puns and prestige don’t mix.” (Chicago Tribune)
* Ruth Bourdain: “Lettuce Entertain You just won Outstanding Restaurateur. That’s completely radicchio.” (Twitter)
* Anthony Bourdain: “Rarely can one see so many white people in one room. It really does look like the Republican National Convention or the last Wallace campaign. Yet we’re talking about a business that’s between 30 and 70 percent non-white. It just seems to me that the right thing to do would be to show a little interest.” (Eater)
* The complete list of winners last night.