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Food Awards, Part I: The Bon Appetit Awards

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The 2007 Bon Appetit Awards were released this week. Much to the chagrin of Californians everywhere, the entire Golden State was pretty much shut out for the first time in years.

In particular, this year's absence of awards breaks San Francisco's successful run in the major categories. In 2005, Michael Mina won Chef of the Year; in 2006, Elizabeth Falkner nabbed pastry chef top honors while Judy Rodgers took the Chef of Merit award.

This year: nothing. Coming on the heels of San Francisco's, um, performance at the James Beard Awards in May, it seems that the Bay Area may have lost a step in the national restaurant scene. Is this year merely a natural progression of ebb and flow or is it indicative of a bigger problem, like an extremely harsh restaurant environment? Would 2007 Chef of the Year David Chang's Momofuku have succeeded in San Francisco? Does the fact that Mario Batali has shied away from opening a restaurant here indicate anything?

As for the 2007 Bon Appetit award winners, the complete list is after the jump. If you care.

Chef of the Year: David Chang
Cooking Teacher: Molly Stevens
Chef of Merit: Setting the Standard: Dan Barber
Pastry Chef: Kamel Guechida
Wine & Spirits Professional: Audrey Saunders
Designer: Kelly Wearstler
Food Artisans: Herb & Kathy Eckhouse
Humanitarian: Father Gregory J. Boyle / Homeboy Industries
Tastemaker: Target Stores
Restaurateur: Laurent Tourondel
Food Writer: Barbara Kingsolver
Lifetime Achievement: Ari Weinzweig & Paul Saginaw
· The 10th Annual Bon Appetit Awards [Epicurious]

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