The James Beard Awards may be a big deal nationwide, but in my years in LA and Pittsburgh, I didn’t feel like there was enough official recognition of local talent. Not so much in Arizona, which just had its Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame Awards. The event was at the snazzy Wrigley Mansion in the Phoenix Biltmore area and had some light apps to go with the awards.
While the apps were good, this night was all about the winners, which were:
Food Truck of the Year: The Great Pho King Food Truck (and the winner was a white dude, so we live in a post-racial world and that is definitely something to celebrate)
Food Writer of the Year: Taryn Jeffries – Phoenix Bites
Brewer of the Year: Derek “Doc” Osborne – Pedal Haus Brewery
Winemaker of the Year: Sam Pillsbury – Pillsbury Wine
Restaurateur of the Year: S. Barrett Rinzler – Square One Concepts, Inc
Best Upcoming Chef: Rochelle Daniel – Fat Ox
Chef of the Year: Christopher Nicosia – Sassi
Lifetime Achievement: Chris Bianco – Pizzeria Bianco
Alex Simons Lifetime Achievement: John Fontana – Arizona Art Alliance
Congrats to all the winners!