Meet the James Beard Taste America Stars
Get to Know National All-Star Barbara Lynch
James Beard Award-winner Barbara Lynch is regarded as one of Boston’s-and the country’s—leading chefs and restaurateurs and was recently named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people. While growing up in South Boston, Barbara, at the age of 13, got her first kitchen job cooking at a local rectory. During her early twenties, Barbara worked under some of Boston’s greatest culinary talents. After working with Todd English for several years at Michaela’s and Olives, Barbara traveled to Italy where she learned about Italian cuisine firsthand from local women. She returned to Boston and became the executive chef at Galleria Italiana, bringing national acclaim to the tiny trattoria when she captured Food & Wine’s “Ten Best New Chefs in America” award. In 1998, Barbara opened a restaurant of her own, No. 9 Park, in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. The restaurant immediately received rave reviews from publications around the country and was named one of the “Top 25 New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit and “Best New Restaurant” by Food & Wine. After receiving her first James Beard Award in 2003, Barbara has expanded her presence in Boston (B&G Oysters, The Butcher Shop, Menton, Drink, Stir, and Sportello) and has continued to garner acclaim from the James Beard Foundation and her peers in the culinary community.
Get to Know Los Angeles’ Local Star Michael Cimarusti
Executive Chef Michael Cimarusti’s acclaimed first restaurant Providence, a bastion of Los Angeles fine dining for over a decade, has yielded several James Beard Award nominations and two highly coveted Michelin stars. His path for a storied culinary career was spurred from experience in his youth: fishing with his grandfather and learning of his Italian heritage from his grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s cooking.
The New Jersey native was first lured to L.A. by Wolfgang Puck to become chef de cuisine at the original Spago, followed by stints at New York City’s Osteria del Circo, the Michelin three-starred Arpège, and Le Cirque, where he cooked with legends such as Paul Bocuse, Roger Vergé, and Gérard Boyer. He then spent six years at downtown L.A.’s famed Water Grill, earning a national reputation for his fish mastery. His most influential professional experience came just after graduating with honors from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, when he headed down the Hudson River to New York City to cook at An American Place with Chef Larry Forgione. Working garden manger, the young chef had access to the leading edge of the farm-to-table movement that would soon transform American cuisine. While working in Forgione’s kitchen, he also met his future wife and business partner, the talented pastry chef Cristina Echiverri. Today, Cimarusti, Echiverri, and Co-Owner/General Manager Donato Poto operate Providence, Connie & Ted’s located in the heart of West Hollywood, paying homage to his grandparents and the simple, honest seafood cookery of New England and Cape Seafood and Provisions.
Get to Know National All-Star Hugh Acheson
Hugh Acheson is the author of the James Beard Foundation Award Winning Cookbook A New Turn In The South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen, Pick a Pickle: 50 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, and Fermented Snacks, and The Broad Fork: Recipes for the Wide World of Vegetables and Fruits. He is a chef/partner of the Athens, Georgia, restaurants 5&10, The National, the Atlanta restaurant Empire State South and coffee shop Spiller Park Coffee, and the Savannah restaurant The Florence. He is a James Beard award winner for Best Chef Southeast and was named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine. Hugh competed in Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Season 3 and currently stars as a judge on Top Chef.
Get to Know San Francisco’s Local Stars Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski
Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski are the Chef/Owners of State Bird Provisions and The Progress in San Francisco. Stuart attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he graduated with top honors. He then began his cooking career in the 1990s working for Chef John Hogan in Chicago at the acclaimed Savarin restaurant. Nicole’s pastry and baking skills were first nurtured at the Red Hen Bakery in Chicago under Chef Nancy Carey. In the spring of 2000, Stuart and Nicole were hired to be the Executive Chef and Pastry Chef at the legendary Tapawingo in Ellsworth, Michigan, a hamlet of a town with a population of 400. It was there that they developed their own unique style of cooking using seasonal and local foods. In 2003, Stuart was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s ‘10 Best New Chefs’ of America for his technique and commitment to using the best local ingredients. In 2004, Stuart and Nicole were recruited by Restaurateur Drew Nieporent and Master Sommelier Larry Stone to take over the kitchen at the famed San Francisco restaurant: Rubicon. In less than a year, their cooking re-established the decade-old restaurant as one of the top dining destinations in San Francisco, garnering numerous local and international accolades. On December 31st, 2011, after a few years of travel, exploration, and starting a family, Stuart and Nicole opened the award-winning State Bird Provisions, which has introduced a new way of thinking about dining and service. They are driven to consistently provide a unique environment where people can expect interesting food, distinctive wines, and meaningful service.