Bread Furst owner Mark Furstenberg was named “outstanding baker” at the James Beard Awards gala in Chicago last night.
This was Furstenberg’s fifth nomination at the so-called Oscars of the food and drink world. He’s been a contender in the baker category for the past three years, and in 2005 and 2006, he was a finalist for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic for his downtown bakery and lunch spot Breadline.
In total, four local chefs and restaurants made the short list. Centrolina‘s Amy Brandwein and Bad Saint‘s Tom Cunanan were among the five finalists for the best chef in the Mid-Atlantic—a prize that ultimately went to Philadelphia chef Greg Vernick of Vernick Food & Drink. Pineapple and Pearls—Washingtonian’s very best restaurant—was a nominee for best new restaurant, but it was beat out by Le Coucou in New York.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia-based restaurateur Stephen Starr, who operates Le Diplomate in DC, was named “outstanding restaurateur.” In addition, it was announced in January that Nora Pouillon would receive the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. Her pioneering farm-to-table restaurant, Restaurant Nora, will close at the end of June after a 38 year run.