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James Beard Foundation names Tom Colicchio top US chef for 2010

Tom Colicchio has been named outstanding US chef for 2010 by the New York-based James Beard Foundation.

Colicchio, 47, beat El Bulli disciple José Andrés of Minibar in Washington, DC, Charles Phan of The Slanted Door and Gary Danko of his eponymous restaurant – both in San Francisco, and Suzanne Goin of Lucques in Los Angeles.

Self-taught, Colicchio owns numerous restaurants around the country including the Craft and Craftsteak chains, as well as Colicchio & Sons.

He specialises in ‘haute American’ cuisine – of which one definition is top ingredients, simply prepared and served in surroundings that might be described as smart-casual.

He is also lead judge on Top Chef, the US cookery reality TV series.

Colicchio started in high profile New York area kitchens such The Quilted Giraffe and Gotham Bar and Grill – before opening Gramercy Tavern with restaurateur Danny Meyer in 1994.

He has since written several books and earned numerous accolades from James Beard and other organisations, and was seven times a finalist for the outstanding chef award he has just won.

Other 2010 James Beard award recipients include Daniel restaurant in New York, for outstanding restaurant; Timothy Hollingsworth of The French Laundry in Yountville, California, named rising star; and winemaker Randall Grahm, who received the award for best beverage book for Been Doon So Long.

John Shafer and Doug Shafer of Shafer Vineyards, in Napa, California, won the Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional award. New York City’s Jean Georges, where Bernard Sun is wine director, won the Outstanding Wine Service award.

Based in New York City, the not-for-profit James Beard Foundation – named after the celebrated late US chef – is dedicated to preserving and promoting the culinary arts.

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Written by by Maggie Rosen

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