“Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio passed a quickfire challenge of his own Monday when he was named the nation’s top chef by the James Beard Foundation.
Colicchio, whose numerous restaurants include Craft, Craftsteak and the recently opened Colicchio & Sons in New York, was named outstanding chef during an awards ceremony that is considered the Oscars of the food world. It’s an honor for which he’d been a finalist seven other times since 2002, the same year the organization named Craft the nation’s best new restaurant.
Though Colicchio drew many accolades early in his career, he rose to prominence in 1994 when he and partner Danny Meyer opened Gramercy Tavern, which earned Colicchio three stars from The New York Times and several Beard awards, including best chef in New York City in 2000 and outstanding restaurant service in 2001.
Colicchio’s cookbook, “Think Like a Chef,” earned him a Beard cookbook award in 2001. More recently, he’s become known for his role as the lead judge on the Bravo television series, “Top Chef.”
The award for outstanding restaurant went to an equally epic name — Daniel Boulud’s Daniel restaurant in New York, one of only a handful to get four stars from The New York Times. Boulud, who has restaurants around the world and is known for his contemporary French cuisine, has won multiple previous Beard awards, including best restaurant service for Daniel in 2009 and outstanding chef in 1994.