The Stanley Tucci-hosted James Beard Foundation Awards ceremony is less than two months away, and today the nonprofit released its 2013 selection of Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, a designation that dates to 1984, which seeks to honor a peer-selected group of culinary professionals who have "displayed remarkable talent and achievement." This year’s nominees include a mix of writers, editors, and chefs, and the full release is straight ahead.
The 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees are:
Eric Asimov, Journalist and Author, NYC
Eric Asimov is the chief wine critic of the New York Times and the author of How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto, published in October 2012 by William Morow. His weekly column appears in the Dining section of the New York Times, and he contributes to the “Diner’s Journal” blog on NYTimes.com. Before he started writing full-time about wine in 2004, Asimov wrote primarily about restaurants and food. He created the “$25 and Under” restaurant reviews column in 1992, dedicated to restaurants where people could eat lavishly for $25 and under, and wrote them through 2004. Asimov is a co-author of five editions of The New York Times Guide to Restaurants and published four editions of $25 and Under: A Guide to the Best Inexpensive Restaurants in New York.
A graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., Asimov did graduate work in American Civilization at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dorothy Kalins, Editor, NYC
Dorothy Kalins has been an innovator in magazine editorial and management for decades, founding the magazine Saveur in 1994. Saveur was based on an idea Kalins had for a food magazine that would connect readers to authentic ingredients, experiences, and traditions—forever changing the category. Saveur went on to win four National Magazine Awards under her editorial leadership. In 2001 Kalins joined Newsweek as executive editor, directing a redesign of that magazine.
Kalins is a two-time James Beard Foundation Award-winner, first for an article she wrote on Kaiseki Cuisine and then for the book she co-edited, Saveur Cooks Authentic American. Kalins was the first woman ever named Adweek’s Editor of the Year, and was awarded the prestigious Matrix Award from Women in Communications for her work in magazines. In 2010, she accepted the Exceptional Woman in Publishing Award from EWIP. Kalins was the founding editor-in-chief of Metropolitan Home, which won the National Magazine Award for general excellence.
In 2006, Kalins launched Dorothy Kalins Ink, editorial consultants, producing award-winning cookbooks with John Besh, David Tanis, and Seamus Mullen. Her third book with John Besh, Cooking from the Heart, will be published in fall 2013, as will the Gramercy Tavern Cookbook with Michael Anthony. Kalins is currently a director of the Yale Publishing Course, and is chair of the Journalism Committee of the James Beard Foundation.
Barbara Lynch, Chef and Restaurateur, Boston
At the age of 13, Barbara Lynch got her first cooking job at a local rectory in her hometown of South Boston. During her early twenties, she worked with some of Boston’s greatest chefs, including Todd English, first at Michaela’s, then at Olive’s, and later at Fig’s. In 1998, Lynch opened her first restaurant, No. 9 Park, which was named one of the “Top 25 Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit. She expanded her presence in Boston by opening two restaurants in the South End in 2003, B&G; Oysters and the Butcher Shop. Her other restaurants, Stir, Drink, Sportello, and most recently, Menton, which opened in 2010, continue to set high standards.
Lynch was awarded the James Beard Best Chef: Northeast Award in 2003 and has won accolades for herself and for her restaurants from Travel & Leisure, Bon Appétit, and Esquire. Lynch is a cookbook author and CEO of Barbara Lynch Gruppo, which oversees eight concepts and employs over 200 people.
Zarela Martinez, Chef and Restaurateur, NYC
Born and raised in the Sonoran border town of Agua Prieta, Zarela Martinez is a renowned cultural interpreter between Mexico and the United States through the medium of food. Martinez began cooking professionally during the late 1970s in El Paso, Texas. With the encouragement of Paul Prudhomme and Craig Claiborne, who were impressed by her vivid Mexican food, she moved her business to New York in 1983. Martinez quickly made her mark as menu designer and later executive chef for Cafe Marimba, the city’s first serious attempt to recreate regional Mexican cuisine with local resources. A loyal following of diners and food writers responded eagerly in 1987 when she decided to start her own restaurant, Zarela, which closed in 2011. In her continuing commitment to bring regional Mexican food to New York, Martinez has launched a program for the Mexican Cultural Institute called Food is Arte, with ongoing events designed to promote Mexican culture through its food and traditions.
Martinez has been honored for her entrepreneurship and business accomplishments by Hispanic Magazine, the Women’s Leadership Exchange, and the Women’s Venture Fund. She maintains an extensive catering business, teaches Mexican cooking lessons, and lectures and gives demonstrations on Mexican cuisine and culture. A sought-after speaker and consultant for major corporations, Martinez has written three cookbooks: Food from My Heart, The Food and Life of Oaxaca and Zarela’s Veracruz. She has also appeared on numerous television programs, including Julia Child: Cooking with Master Chefs and the Martha Stewart Show, and is active in charitable organizations, such as Mano a Mano and the MexEd Foundation. This April, Zarela will debut a one-woman show, Zarela Act 7, comprised of equal parts performance art, cooking lessons, inspirational memoir and soulful serenade.
Michael Mina, Chef and Restaurateur, San Francisco
Egyptian-born Michael Mina was raised in Ellensburg, Washington. He started working in a French kitchen in his hometown when he was 16. Mina worked in the restaurant at the Space Needle, where he received his first exposure to working in a busy restaurant. He left after one year to attend Culinary Institute of America. After working in Los Angeles at the Bel Air Hotel with Executive Chef George Morrone, Mina followed Morrone to San Francisco to help create Aqua. Following Morrone’s departure from Aqua, Mina became executive chef.
In 2002, Mina partnered with Andre Agassi to open concept restaurants, under the auspices of Mina Group. Michael focused on building an amazing team of industry professionals that included many of his longtime friends, together opening 20 highly acclaimed restaurant and lounge spaces in the past decade. In October 2006, Mina’s San Francisco restaurant, Michael Mina, was awarded two Michelin stars, one of only four restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area to be a two-star recipient. In October 2011, it was awarded Esquire Magazine’s Restaurant of the Year.
Bill Yosses, Pastry Chef and Author, Washington, DC
Since January 2007, Bill Yosses has held the prestigious title of the White House Executive Pastry Chef. Previous to this appointment, he served as pastry chef in renowned establishments such as the Dressing Room in Westport Connecticut, Josephs Citarella in New York City; Bouley Bakery and Bouley Restaurant. Yosses spent his early career in France at pastry meccas like Fauchon, La Maison du Chocolat, and LeNôtre. In New York, he helped develop the “Dinner Party Project” as a part of nonprofit Spoons Across America’s programming, in which chefs teach kids about healthy food choices.
As pastry chef for the White House, Yosses has been closely involved with Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative with the goal of reducing childhood health problems related to diet. He conducts bi-weekly tours of the White House vegetable garden for school groups. Additionally, Yosses has given lectures on Science and Cooking in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where he was instrumental in building a program in conjunction with Chop Chop Magazine, “Camp Chop Chop,” in which healthy foods and innovative exercise are used to introduce scientific concepts to 4th and 5th graders. Bill earned his A.A.S. degree at New York City College of Technology in Hotel Management, a Master of Arts at Rutgers University in French Language and a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toledo in French Language. He has published two books: Desserts for Dummies (1997) and The Perfect Finish, Special Desserts for Every Occasion (2010).
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. Begun in 1984 by Cook’s Magazine, the Who’s Who has been administered by the James Beard Foundation since 1990. Each year, a ballot of 20 possible candidates is created and distributed to the entire Who’s Who group for voting.