Here are New England’s 2024 James Beard Award winners

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Food News

Restaurants and chefs in Connecticut and Maine were honored last night.

The Shipwright’s Daughter in Mystic, Conn. was honored at Monday night’s James Beard Awards. Handout

The James Beard Foundation awarded three New England chefs and restaurants with coveted awards at Monday night’s 33rd annual James Beard Awards, which celebrates excellence in the culinary industry.

The Foundation announced the list of nominees in April, with 12 New England restaurants and chefs representing each state nominated across 11 categories.

“These remarkable individuals embody the very essence of our Good Food for Good ethos, showcasing exceptional talent, unwavering dedication to their craft, and a steadfast commitment to elevating the industry,” Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation, said in a statement.

Maine shone bright in the bakery categories, with ZU Bakery in Portland winning the award for Outstanding Bakery. Atsuko Fujimoto of Norimoto Bakery, also in Portland, won the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker award.

Fujimoto, who moved to Portland from Japan when she was 30 years old with no kitchen experience, thanked her “golden team” of employees and all of the “food people” in Maine who transformed her into a baker.

ZU Bakery owner Barak Olins thanked many people in his acceptance speech, including his family, staff, a Benihana chef, and James Beard himself, who Olins quoted in his speech.

“It is a mysterious business, this making of bread, and once you are hooked by the miracle of yeast, you will be a bread maker for life,” he said.

David Standridge from the Mystic, Connecticut restaurant The Shipwright’s Daughter, which focuses on locally-sourced and sustainable seafood, won Best Chef: Northeast. This was Mystic’s first-ever win at the James Beard Awards.

“When [my children] came along is when my perspective as a chef shifted from doing what’s best for me to doing something that’s best for the community and for the next generation, to try to leave this world a little better than I found it,” Standridge said.

Nominees from Greater Boston included Dorchester’s Comfort Kitchen for Best New Restaurant and Conor Dennehy from Tallula in Cambridge for Best Chef: Northeast.

See the full list of 2024 James Beard Award winners here.

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