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Bissonnette, Lynch win James Beard Awards

Chefs Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa, Toro) and Barbara Lynch (the Barbara Lynch Gruppo) were honored at the James Beard Awards, announced on Monday night at a ceremony at New York City’s Lincoln Center. Bissonnette was named Best Chef – Northeast, and Lynch was anointed Outstanding Restaurateur.

“This is a tremendous honor and a win not just for me but for my entire, amazing team. So proud of them and what we have created in Boston over the past 16 years,” she told me through a rep after the ceremony.

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The James Beard Awards are considered the culinary equivalent of the Oscars — an annual chance to recognize the food world’s top talent.

Lynch is no stranger to the Beards: She’s been recognized in the past for No. 9 Park’s outstanding wine program and as Best Chef - Northeast, also for No. 9 Park. This year, her fellow Outstanding Restaurateur nominees included Chicago’s Donnie Madia (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican), California’s Cindy Pawlcyn (Mustards Grill and Cindy’s Back Street Kitchen), Los Angeles’s Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., and others), and New York City’s Phil Suarez (ABC Kitchen, Jean-Georges, wd~50, and others).

Bissonnette has been nominated in the past as Best Chef - Northeast, but this is his first win. He joined chef Ken Oringer in 2008 at Toro, the South End’s popular tapas restaurant, before the pair opened the Italian enoteca Coppa the following year. The duo recently launched a well-regarded New York City branch of Toro.

Local Best Chef-Northeast nominees included Flour Bakery’s Joanne Chang, Lumiere’s Michael Leviton, and Hungry Mother’s Barry Maiden.

Kara Baskin can be reached at kcbaskin@gmail.com.
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