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The 2018 Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees

JBF Editors

April 04, 2018

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Photo: Kent Miller Studios

The James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America is a cadre of the most accomplished food and beverage professionals in the country. Though they represent a diverse cross-section of the food and beverage industry—from chefs to journalists to farmers to business executives to scholars—each has been identified by his or her peers as having displayed remarkable talent and achievement. Every member of the Who’s Who has contributed in a substantial way to America’s constantly evolving culinary scene. We'll be honoring the new inductees at the James Beard Awards ceremony at Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 7.

The 2018 Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America inductees are:

Photo: Ken Rivard Photography

Jody Adams
Chef/Owner, TRADE, Porto, and Saloniki
Boston

In 2016 the James Beard Award–winning chef Jody Adams shut the doors on her Harvard Square restaurant Rialto after an extraordinary 22-year run. Great food, in her view, no longer depended on a fine dining environment. She turned her attention to the Boston restaurants she built and runs with partners Eric Papachristos, Sean Griffing, and Jon Mendez. Her small-plates gastropub, TRADE, had been rocking since 2011 and Saloniki, her 2015 fast-casual Greek restaurant, has had lines snaking out the door from its opening day; its Cambridge spinoff, little more than a year old, is equally popular. Finally, diners looking for a taste of Adams’ signature Mediterranean dishes without the white-tablecloth formality have found a safe harbor in Porto, a full-service restaurant that opened a few months before Rialto closed. With a closetful of “best” awards for her food and restaurants, Adams is proudest of her work advocating for children’s welfare or combating hunger through her support of the Boston Food Bank. In 2010 she received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from Share our Strength. Adams supports the non-profit Partners in Health through regular visits to Haiti to help shape and maintain local hospitality programs. Adams’s career has seen great success and she’s not showing any signs of stopping, with a third Saloniki slated to open in Harvard Square next fall. “I never stand still,” Adams says, and those who taste her food are very thankful for that spirit. 

 

Photo: Commander's Palace


Ti Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan 
Co-Proprietors, Commander’s Palace
New Orleans

Co-proprietors of Commander’s Palace, as well as cousins, Martin and Brennan manage the restaurant that Martin’s mother, legendary Ella Brennan, previously ran as part of her New Orleans restaurant empire. They since have opened Café Adelaide and the cocktail driven SoBou. In 2007 the cousins co-authored a very colorful and amusing mixology book titled In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks. Their commitment to making the classics approachable is a hallmark of their gracious style. Brennan and Martin possess a fanatical commitment to hospitality and all associated hard work. In the month prior to joining the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who roster, with the community and their family, they broke ground on a 93,000-square-foot New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute with Ti as co-founder and chair of the board. Martin and Brennan are sophisticated restaurateurs who live and breathe the hospitality and restaurant life. After growing up in the kitchens of the family restaurants, they have truly earned the nickname as “The Grand Dames of New Orleans Cocktails.”

 

Photo: Tim Calabro


Allison Hooper
Co-Founder, Vermont Creamery
Websterville, VT

At the age of 19, Allison Hooper bartered room and board in exchange for milking goats on an organic dairy farm in Brittany, France. She has since been smitten with raising livestock and making cheese and butter so she committed herself as a champion of American-made goat cheese and French-style dairy delicacies. The New Jersey native migrated to Vermont in search of a community that embraced her vision of pioneering this new brand of agriculture. After borrowing $4,000 dollars, Allison and her business partner, Bob Reese, created Vermont Creamery and began to sell crème fraîche, goat cheese, and cultured butter to American chefs. Her products won multiple awards and Allison has been recognized for her leadership in progressive business practices. Hooper helped start the Vermont Cheese Council, and evermore positioned Vermont as a premier state for artisan cheese. Allison is devoted to do right by people, by farmers, and the environment. In 2017, Vermont Creamery was sold to the Minnesota-based cooperative, Land O’Lakes, while the Hooper family retained ownership of Ayers Brook Goat dairy supplying milk to the creamery. Allison Hooper continues to mentor cheesemakers, women, and farmers and her story will continue to inspire young entrepreneurs for decades to come.   

 

Photo: Thomas Schauer


Daniel Johnnes
Wine Director, The Dinex Group
New York City, NY

Daniel Johnnes is a James Beard Award winner and American sommelier, wine entrepreneur, and wine director for Daniel Boulud's Dinex Group since 2005. He is the founder and host of the week-long wine events, La Paulée de New York and La Paulée de San Francisco, which draw inspiration from the traditional Burgundian harvest celebration La Paulée de Meursault. He is also the co-founder, with Peter Liem, of La Fête du Champage. From 1985 to 2005, Johnnes worked as the wine director for the Myriad Restaurant Group, including the flagship restaurant Montrachet, where he centered the wine list around France's Burgundy region. In 1994, Wine Spectator magazine awarded Montrachet the Grand Award, which solidified the restaurant as one of New York's finest wine restaurants. Montrachet won the 1995 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Wine Service. In 1996 Johnnes published his consumer guide to good value wines, Daniel Johnnes' Top 200 Wines, An Expert's Guide to Maximum Enjoyment for Your Dollar, which was revised in 2004. He received the 2006 James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional. To increase his knowledge through hands-on experience in 2007 and 2009 Daniel made wine in both Oregon and Burgundy under the label, “Johnnes & Company.” He was honored in 2016 by the French Republic who inducted him as a Chevalier into the Ordre du Mérite Agricole for his championing of French wines in the United States. Johnnes continues to mentor and educate young sommeliers through his La Paulée and La Fête du Champagne scholarship fund by educating young talent in the vineyards of France.

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