Herbsaint, Shaya and Arnaud's French 75 win James Beard Awards

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Herbsaint's Rebecca Wilcomb, Shaya's Zachary Engel, and Arnaud's French 75 won awards at the James Beard Awards Monday.
  • Herbsaint's Rebecca Wilcomb, Shaya's Zachary Engel, and Arnaud's French 75 won awards at the James Beard Awards Monday.

Three New Orleans players won James Beard Awards Monday night in Chicago.

Herbsaint’s Rebecca Welcome was named Best Chef: South. In her acceptance speech, the chef thanked her team at the St. Charles Avenue restaurant and owner Donald Link, calling him “the best friend and mentor anyone could ever ask for.”

Wilcomb’s win continues a streak for New Orleans chefs in the category. Last year’s award went to Justin Devillier, and Alon Shaya took home the win in 2015.

Shaya’s chef de cuisine Zachary Engel was named the Rising Star Chef of the Year, adding to the accolades Alon Shaya’s acclaimed modern Israeli restaurant has racked up in the last two years. The award is given to chefs who are 30 or younger, “display an impressive talent” and are expected to have a significant impact on the industry. Engel thanked his team, boss and New Orleans diners.

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar won Outstanding Bar Program. Head bartender Chris Hannah accepted the award, giving a shout out to Neal Bodenheimer and his crew at Cure & Co., which was the other New Orleans' nominee in the category.

The winning New Orleans trio were among 11 local chefs and restaurants nominated for  awards this year.

The theme of Monday’s award ceremony, which was hosted by Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, was social media, and throughout the evening chefs discussed the way the medium helped influence and shape today’s culinary world. There were also several tributes to immigrant chefs and the contributions they’ve made to American cuisine.

For the full list of winners, click here.


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