Maine Bakeries Win Big at the James Beard Awards

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The James Beard Foundation held its annual awards ceremony on Monday, June 10, in Chicago, and three New England businesses walked away with some new hardware from the night.

Portland’s ZU Bakery took home the national award for Outstanding Bakery, while Atsuko Fujimoto of Norimoto Bakery, also in Portland, won Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker.

David Standridge, the executive chef of the Shipwright’s Daughter in Mystic, Connecticut, took home the award for Best Chef: Northeast, which covers the New England region. Standridge is the first Connecticut chef in 18 years to win in this category, according to the Connecticut Post.

There were two Boston-area finalists up for awards this year, but neither won in their categories. Comfort Kitchen, the buzzy new restaurant that opened in January 2023 in Dorchester’s Upham’s Corner, was nominated for the national Best New Restaurant award but lost out to Dakar NOLA, a Senegalese tasting menu restaurant in New Orleans. Conor Dennehy of Talulla in Cambridge was up for Best Chef: Northeast.

Often referred to as the Oscars of the food world, the James Beard Awards are an annual awards show run by the nonprofit James Beard Foundation that recognizes the country’s best restaurants, bars, bakeries, chefs, and operators. See the full list of winners here.

Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Awards. Eater is partnering with the James Beard Foundation to livestream the awards in 2024. All editorial content is produced independently of the James Beard Foundation.

Additional photo illustration credits: Getty Images for the James Beard Foundation

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