Local flavor to James Beard Awards


Tim Cushman, chef and co-owner of O Ya, was named best chef in the Northeast and No. 9 Park was given the top honor in the wine category Monday night at the James Beard Foundation Awards at New York’s Lincoln Center. On the red carpet before the ceremony, Cushman showed us his guitar cuff links and socks - good luck charms from his wife, Nancy, with whom he owns O Ya. The evening featured a who’s who of culinary cognoscenti, including Thomas Keller of the French Laundry and the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmerman. We spotted chef Jamie Bissonette of Coppa, who was up against Cushman for the title of the Northeast’s best chef. Ken Oringer, Coppa owner and 2001 James Beard winner himself, gave Bissonnette a huge hug and a pep talk. Will Gilson, who has made the Beard long list for the past three years and is about to open bridgestreet in Cambridge, turned up for moral support. Cat Silirie, wine director for Barbara Lynch Gruppo, was ecstatic after No. 9 Park won the prize for outstanding wine program. “I’ve been in the business since I was 13,’’ Silirie told us. “My Sicilian aunts and uncles in New Jersey always said, ‘When are you gonna get a real job?’ Now they say, ‘You know Barbara Lynch?’ ’’ Lynch, her boss and best chef 2003, cooked at the evening’s post-awards gala with Colin Lynch (no relation), executive chef at Lynch’s Menton.

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