Tonight, the James Beard Foundation Awards, also known as the Oscars of the culinary world, announced this year's winners at the Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.
This year, Phoenix had four James Beard semifinalists compared to seven (statewide) in 2012. Of those four, only chef Kevin Binkley -- of Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek, Cafe Bink in Carefree, and the new Bink's Midtown in Phoenix -- was named a finalist, going for James Beard Award glory in the category of Best Chef: Southwest.
But it was not to be. Binkley, who was also nominated for the same category last year, got stiffed -- again.
Here's who Binkley was up against and who came out the winner.
Binkley faced competition in the Best Chef: Southwest category from Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine in Austin, Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja in Denver, Hugo Ortega of Hugo's in Houston, and Chris Shepherd of Underbelly (also in Houston).
This year, Jasinski was named Best Chef: Southwest.
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Sure, Arizonans might have to wait another year for Binkley to work his third-time's-a-charm James Beard Award magic in 2014; but at least for now, we can take a little credit for this year's James Beard Award Winner in the category of Outstanding Wine Program: Frasca Food and Wine. The venerable Boulder, Colorado, restaurant, based on the food and wine of Friuli, Italy, is co-owned by Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey, who grew up in Arizona and "began his distinguished career working in restaurants in Arizona."
To see the rest of this year's James Beard Award Winners (and losers), go to the James Beard Foundation's website.