It was a long time coming, but José Andrés took home the 2011 James Beard Outstanding Chef Award in a ceremony in New York last night. This was the chef's fourth straight year nominated for his work at Penn Quarter's minibar and first win. In his acceptance speech, the Spanish chef started out by thanking America for welcoming him and went on to encourage responsibility in the food world, saying that "Food is the most powerful thing we have in our hands. Not only chefs, but everyone in the food community. The right use of food can end hunger."
Unfortunately, the Beards overlooked DC this year in the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category (an award that Andrés won in 2003). Even though we had three of the five nominees — including Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve), Johnny Monis (Komi) and Peter Pastan (Obelisk) — in the category, Philly stole away with the win for chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav.
Now go join the rest of DC in congratulating Andrés on repping us so well.