Nina Compton wins South's top chef at James Beard Awards

09 May, 2018, 00:16 | Author: Julio Duncan
  • Chef Mashama Bailey

Two other local chefs, Amy Brandwein of Centrolina and Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint, joined him as finalists in the category. They included Spoon and Stable's pastry chef Diane Yang, Young Joni's Ann Kim, and Tilia's Steven Brown.

Hamilton also is a previous nominee, earning a nomination in the same top category a year ago. She was a Top Chef New Orleans runner up, and together with husband Larry Miller runs the Warehouse District restaurant Compere Lapin, which has garnered accolades since opening in 2015.

Photo Dolester Miles, who has been making desserts for Highlands Bar & Grill since 1982, was named Outstanding Pastry Chef. Her current menu offers diners such dishes as a smoked bluefish salad with pickled celery and rye crackers, and chicken wings and Manila clams braised in sherry with leeks.


The winners were announced during a gala at Lyric Opera of Chicago Monday evening. The awards are to remain in Chicago through 2021. The outstanding baker award went to Belinda Leong and Michel Suas of B. Patisseries in San Francisco. First up, the FIG team finally got the prize for Outstanding Wine Program. The James Beard Awards honor the best cuisine from across the country-they're known as the "Oscars of the Food World".

Also honored were recipients of the James Beard Foundation's American Classics awards, which included the Vietnamese bakery Dong Phuong, in New Orleans East.

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