Oct 19, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

The 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards

Dessert Professional’s Meryle Evans reports back on who won what.


Carla Hall, finalist in the fifth and eighth seasons of Bravo’s Top Chef, assumed the double role of MC and dessert provider at the Foundation’s Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards at Chelsea Piers. Alice Medrich, who has been winning awards for her baking books for 25 years, garnered a medallion in the baking and dessert category with a current hot-topic book: Flavor Flours: A New Way to Bake with Teff, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Other Whole & Ancient Grains, Nuts & Non-Wheat Flours.

During the dessert reception, with the Hudson River as backdrop, Gail Gand of Spritzburger, Chicago, greeted guests with spoonfuls of Nutella and banana cream pie; Sarabeth Levine of Sarabeth’s offered raspberry bread pudding with raspberry coulis and vanilla bean creme anglaise, and Ghaya Oliveira of Daniel, plated coffee royale, salted caramel cremeux, chocolate fondant and praline feuilletine. The enterprising Hall, who juggles TV, books, and restaurants, and owns Carla Hall Petite Cookies, contributed a half dozen flavors of her bite size morsels.

At the Beard Chefs and Restaurant Awards, held for the first time in the Foundation’s 25 year history in Chicago, Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery was named Outstanding Baker, while Christina Tosi of Momofuku in New York was chosen as Outstanding Pastry Chef. The reception featured Valrhona chefs Sarah Kosikowski and Derek Poirier’s Illanka creme, praline crunch and roasted pineapple; Toni Roberts, the Wit Hotel, Chicago, also channeled Valrhona in a hazelnut banana marshmallow pop; while Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, combined sweet and savory with foie gras, bacon, and milk chocolate boudin truffle.

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Christina Tosi, Momofuku, NYC. Photo by Galdones Photography, LLC.
Outstanding Baker: Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, NYC. Photo by Galdones Photography, LLC.
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