'Top Chef' favorites win big for their regional restaurants.

May 8, 2012 - The Dish

Paul Qui and Hugh Acheson Win James Beard Awards

In what are essentially the Oscars of the cooking world, two Bravo chefs won big at the 2012 James Beard Awards on Monday night as Top Chef Masters contender (and Bravo blogger!) Hugh Acheson and Top Chef Season 9 winner Paul Qui both took home prestigious honors.

Acheson, the sly-eyed Canadian-turned-southerner who has embraced the cooking of the region took home the Regional Chef Award for the Southeast category, for his restaurant Five and Ten in Athens, GA. Just days earlier, Acheson also won a James Beard Foundation Award for his cookbook A New Turn in the South.

Qui, who earlier this year showed his culinary prowess on Top Chef's tour through Texas, was honored for his Southwest-district restaurant Uchiko in Austin, TX. Watch below as Paul takes home the trophy: