2019 James Beard Chef and Restaurant Award Winners


2019 James Beard Chef and Restaurant Award Winners

Frenchette, the chefs of Via Carota and many more took home honors at this year's James Beard Awards. View the full list of Chef and Restaurant award winners here.

May 30, 2019     4 minute read

For the past 29 years, the James Beard Foundation has been recognizing the most talented names in the culinary arts from across the country with a set of awards that are commonly considered one of the highest honors a chef or restaurant can receive. This year’s ceremony in Chicago earlier this month was a great celebration, bringing to a finale the excitement that had been building in the world of hospitality since the nominees were announced this past March.

Among the list of exceptional chefs and restaurants were two of Sam Tell’s clients: Best New Restaurant Frenchette and Best Chefs in New York City Jody Williams and Rita Sodi or Via Carota.


Sam Tell Spotlight:

Best New Restaurant


This award made official what many already knew! The French bistro has been delighting patrons since its opening last April and the distinction should come as no surprise considering it's run by Executive Chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr. The pair have developed a powerful synergy over their 20 years of working together and were two of the talented chefs behind Balthazar – another favorite of ours.

This Tribeca spot won over its clientele and the critics with its traditional, French dishes, which shine the spotlight on vegetables such as potatoes and sweet peas just as much as its meats and fish.

To complement the traditional menu, the chefs of Frenchette chose timeless tableware with simple, white china and high-quality silverware supplied by their partners here at Sam Tell.


Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)

Jody Williams, Rita Sodi (Via Carota) | NYC

Chefs Jody Williams & Rita Sodi take home the award for Best Chefs in the NYC region for their outstanding work at Via Carota in the West Village of Manhattan and we could not be more thrilled.

Combining their experience cooking in Italy, these two seasoned chefs have crafted an authentic menu which pays homage to Sodi’s native Tuscany, making Via Carota the place to go if you’re looking for exquisite Italian cuisine.

Sam Tell is proud to have played a part in giving Chefs Williams and Sodi the tools they need to practice their craft by designing them a kitchen that empowers their staff to work efficiently.

Take a look at the full list of Restaurant and Chef award winners below:


Outstanding awards:

Outstanding Baker

Greg Wade (Publican Quality Bread) | Chicago


Outstanding Bar Program

Bar AgricoleSan Francisco


Outstanding Chef 

Ashley Christensen (Poole’s Diner)Raleigh, NC


Outstanding Pastry Chef 

Kelly Fields (Willa Jean)New Orleans


Outstanding Restaurant



Outstanding Restaurateur 

Kevin Boehm, Rob Katz (Boka Restaurant Group) Chicago


Outstanding Service

Frasca Food and WineBoulder, CO


Outstanding Wine Program 

BenuSan Francisco


Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer

Rob Tod (Allagash Brewing Company)Portland, ME


Rising Star Chef of the Year 

Kwame Onwuachi (Kith and Kin)Washington, D.C.



Best Chefs in America:

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

Beverly Kim, Johnny Clark (Parachute)Chicago


Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

Tom Cunanan (Bad Saint)Washington, D.C.


Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

Ann Kim (Young Joni)Minneapolis


Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY State, RI, VT)

Tony Messina (Uni)Boston


Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)

Brady Williams (Canlis)Seattle


Best Chef: South (AL, AR, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, FL, LA, MS)

Vishwesh Bhatt (Snackbar)Oxford, MS


Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

Mashama Bailey (The Grey)Savannah, GA


Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)

Charleen Badman (FnB)Scottsdale, AZ


Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)

Michael Cimarusti (Providence)Los Angeles


The Sam Tell Companies would like to congratulate all of this year's award winners. To see the full list of award winners in all categories, visit the James Beard Foundation website. 

Contact Us today to find out what Sam Tell can do for your restaurant or foodservice operation. 

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