James Beard Award 2019

Michael Cimarusti finally won Best Chef West after all these years. #LArepresent!


Congratulations to chef Cimarusti! He has been more under the radar lately with all of these new chefs in town but I still consider Providence to be the best restaurant in Southern California, and it has been for quite some time. I’m really surprised he hadn’t gotten the award sooner. Saison had a change of chefs so I think it was ineligible for the win.

Personally, I really think our fellow California chefs Corey Lee and David Kinch were robbed of Outstanding Chef. Though I haven’t been to Ashley Christensen’s Poole’s Diner, from what I hear it serves middling comfort food…far the the amount of craftsmanship and precision shown at either Benu or Manresa.

They don’t give it to the same chef every year. Lee and Kinch have both won in the past.

That was for Best Chef: West, a different award. Outstanding chefs are winners of the Best Chef in the past usually.

Lee and Kinch were nominated, but Christensen won. The finalists were:

Ashley Christensen
Poole’s Diner
Raleigh, NC

David Kinch
Los Gatos, CA

Corey Lee
San Francisco

Donald Link
New Orleans

Marc Vetri
Vetri Cucina

I wouldv’e been okay with anyone winning EXCEPT Christensen–it just doesn’t make any sense to me based on the contributions these chefs have made.

Contributions to whom?

“A chef who sets high culinary standards and who has served as a positive example for other food professionals. Must have been working as a chef for the past five years.”

To other food professionals.

Not enough any more.