It's the biggest food night of the year, when food royalty—everyone from Daniel Boulud to Andrew Zimmern to Richard Blais—puts on their finest black-tie attire to eat, drink, and celebrate the best of the best. The James Beard Awards are known as the Oscars of the food world, and this year's May 1 gala in Chicago, hosted by actor (and food blogger!) Jesse Tyler Ferguson, didn't disappoint.
One Top Chef alum didn't disappoint, either. Although five former cheftestants were nominated for awards this year, only one managed to pull out the win: Top Chef Season 9's Sarah Grueneberg, who helms Monteverde restaurant in Chicago. She nabbed the title of Best Chef: Great Lakes, beating out fellow Top Chef competitor Beverly Kim, who was up for the same award. As Eater noted, it was Sarah's first-ever James Beard nomination, making her win even more epic.
Another member of the Top Chef family was also honored—Top Chef Masters alum Rick Bayless' Chicago restaurant Topolobampo won for Outstanding Restaurant.
Congrats, Sarah and Rick!
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