Please join The American at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, 2018, in support of the James Beard Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture and honor America’s finest culinary students, chefs and scribes. Our James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner, a delicious tradition in behalf of the renowned culinary arts organization, is the nation’s longest running Friends of James Beard fundraiser event.

The late James Beard’s visionary cooking concepts forever altered the course and global perception of American food culture. He inspired generations of food enthusiasts and directly nurtured the development of countless chefs and cookbook authors. His palpable influence continues to guide the modern approach and appreciation of fine cuisine in the United States.

In his memory and to sustain his spirit of innovation, the James Beard Foundation administers several diverse initiatives, including educational programs, industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications and chef advocacy training. Each month, the Foundation also features acclaimed and up-and-coming chefs at the historic James Beard House in Greenwich Village.

Learn more about the impact of the James Beard Foundation.




Andrew Longres
Executive Chef of The American

Saffron Arancini
Greek Sea Bass Crudo, White Sesame and Winter Citrus
J Cuvée 20 Non-Vintage

James Syhabout
Commis, Oakland, CA / Hawker Fare, San Francisco, CA

Shellfish of the Pacific, Winter Melon, Citrus, Wood Smoke
Garciarevalo Tres Olmos Verdejo 2015, Rueda

Jeremy Fox
Rustic Canyon and Tallula’s, Santa Monica, CA

Spring Peas, White Chocolate, Macadamia
Torres Pazo das Bruxas Albariño 2016

Brady Williams
Canlis, Seattle, WA

Rutabaga, Crab, Quince, Kani Miso
Emile Beyer Pinot Gris Alsace 2015

Mark Lundgaard Nielsen
Kong Hans Kælder, Copenhagen, Denmark

Pate en Croute
Market Vineyards Benchmark Merlot Columbia Valley 2013

Jeremiah Langhorne
The Dabney, Washington, D.C.

Beaver Creek Quail, Cornbread, Bitter Winter Greens, Preserved Sour Cherry, Foie Gras Jus
Mas de Boislauzon Côtes du Rhône Villages 2015

John Shields
Smyth Restaurant, Chicago, IL

Milk Chocolate Bar, Shiitake Mushroom, Raspberry Jam, Roasted Kelp
Roasted Farro Ice Cream, Apples, Caramelized Wheat
Pfeffingen Scheurebe Auslese Ungsteiner Herrenberg 2016

James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner: Andrew Longres

Growing up in a small town north of the city, Andrew Longres knew at an early age that he had a passion for food. At 14 years old, he started his first job at a local doughnut shop and decided at that point to pursue a career in the restaurant industry. By the time he graduated from high school, his drive and determination had propelled him from bussing tables and washing dishes at a local establishment to running the kitchen line.

Longres moved to Arizona and attended Scottsdale Culinary Institute, where he completed an externship at The Breakers in West Palm Beach. He then moved back to his hometown and began working at Starker’s Restaurant. At the restaurant, he learned to incorporate local ingredients and the fundamentals of how an independent restaurant works. Next, Longres took a job working under the James Beard award-winning chefs at 40 Sardines, before he became the sous chef at The American Restaurant in Kansas City.

He was offered a dream job at The French Laundry in 2011, so he and his wife packed and moved to California. He started in a commis position and worked every station in this world-renowned restaurant. After receiving a call from Colby Garrelts, the chef and co-owner of Bluestem, Longres decided his love of Kansas City was too great to ignore. He started working at Bluestem Restaurant in the fall of 2013 and, after six months, Longres was promoted to executive chef. Most recently, he was selected to be the executive chef for the reimagining of The American Restaurant. He is once again enjoying Kansas City and working at one of the city’s most popular restaurants.


James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner: James Syhabout

Born in Ubonratchathani, Thailand and raised in Oakland, California, James Syhabout is the chef/proprietor of Commis, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Oakland since 2010; Hawker Fare, with both Oakland and San Francisco outposts; and a casual, beer-centric restaurant, The Dock, in West Oakland. Named “Best New Chef” in 2010 by the eponymous Food & Wine magazine, Syhabout has been recognized not only for his skill and dedication to the culinary arts, but for reviving the dining scene in his hometown of Oakland.

Before opening Commis and Hawker Fare, Syhabout formally studied at California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and developed his craft at numerous Michelin-starred restaurants around the globe, beginning as chef de partie at Manresa (Los Gatos, California). Within a few months, Syhabout advanced to sous chef, where his close work with Chef David Kinch inspired his interest in different European cuisines and international culinary practices. After two years at Manresa, Syhabout ventured out to continue his culinary education in Europe, where he worked with Chef Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck (Bray, United Kingdom), followed by Mugaritz in the Basque country, near San Sebastian (Gizpuzkoa, Spain), experiencing numerous Michelin-starred meals along the way. Syhabout stayed in Spain as chef de partie at Alkimia (Barcelona, Spain) cooking new Catalan cuisine, before spending a season at Ferran Adria’s ground breaking restaurant El Bulli (Roses, Spain).

Following his continued culinary travels through France and Italy, Syhabout returned to Manresa as a consultant, training, working, sharing and developing new ideas from his experiences abroad. In 2006, Syhabout worked with Chef Daniel Patterson to open Coi (San Francisco, California), providing him with the invaluable experience of opening a restaurant — from building codes and menu development, to inventory and the hiring and training of staff.

Following Coi, Syhabout was scouted by the Plumpjack Group in 2006 to fill the executive chef position at their flagship restaurant, Plumpjack Café (San Francisco, California). Within the first year, he earned a rave three-and-a-half star review from Michael Bauer in the San Francisco Chronicle and was recognized as a “Rising Star Chef” by San Francisco Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle and With Syhabout at the helm, Plumpjack Café became one of the top draws for dining out in the San Francisco Bay Area (as voted by Food & Wine magazine) and was propelled back onto the Top 100 restaurant list compiled by San Francisco Chronicle.

After accumulating numerous accolades at Plumpjack Cafe, Syhabout was recruited back to Manresa in the highly coveted role of chef de cuisine. His return to Manresa was largely motivated by the restaurant’s involvement with Love Apple Farms and grower Cynthia Sandberg. The biodynamic farm provides bountiful heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, edible flowers and seeds grown solely for the restaurant. Syhabout’s involvement with the farm was a collaborative effort with Cynthia, focused on finding seeds of rare varietals and selecting what to grow for the restaurant through the changing seasons. His experience working with Cynthia shaped his vision when developing menus with a true farm-to-plate approach.

In 2010, Syhabout’s travels, studies and varied culinary experiences culminated in the launch of his first restaurant, Commis, the first fine-dining restaurant in Oakland, which was promptly awarded with one Michelin star a mere month after opening. In stark contrast to Commis, Syhabout opened Hawker Fare in 2011, in the very Oakland location of his mother’s former restaurant, serving the Laotian Thai food he grew up with in a casual setting. Next came Box & Bells Eating House and The Dock (later to become Old Kan), both in Oakland, followed by the 2015 opening of a Hawker Fare San Francisco, and new Hawker Fare offshoot, Hawking Bird, in Oakland’s Temescal area in December 2017.

Syhabout currently operates Commis, Hawker Fare San Francisco, Old Kan and Hawking Bird. His first cookbook, “Hawker Fare: Stories & Recipes from a Refugee Chef’s Thai Isan & Lao Roots,” is released in January 2018 under Anthony Bourdain’s Ecco imprint.

Additionally, Syhabout has appeared on The Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” twice, as sous chef for both Mourad Lahlou and David Kinch, aiding them in achieving triumphant victories.


James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner: Jeremy Fox

As a master of farmers’ market-driven cuisine, Jeremy Fox is the award-winning chef and “On Vegetables” cookbook author behind Rustic Canyon and Esters Wine Shop & Bar in Santa Monica, CA, as well as a partner at Rustic Canyon and Tallula’s. Since joining the Rustic Canyon Family of Restaurants in February 2013 as Rustic Canyon’s chef, Jeremy’s role has grown and evolved to include mentoring all the culinary talent at the flagship restaurant, Esters, and Tallula’s. His leadership style not only includes teaching culinary skills, but also the business side of working in restaurants, as well as cultivating any particular talents or interests a chef may possess—whether it’s charcuterie, pastry, or a particular cultural cuisine—to share with the larger team.

Inspired by local purveyors and the nearby Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, Jeremy crafts a daily changing menu at Rustic Canyon that embraces hyper-seasonality and simplicity—an approach he instills with the teams at all three restaurants. While many dishes are fleeting, like Local Rice Congee with Sonoma duck confit, preserved cherries and opal basil, some have become celebrated signatures, like the Hope Ranch Mussels Pozole Verde with Rancho Gordo hominy, poblano, scallion, radish and tortilla, and the Beets and Berries served with avocado, Rancho Gordo quinoa and pistachio “soil.”

Tallula’s, the newest addition to the Rustic Canyon Family, is a neighborhood restaurant just off Santa Monica’s Pacific Coast Highway that opened in May 2017. It features the kind of comforting and rustic Mexican fare Jeremy and fellow partners Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan grew up with, but given a contemporary take by using fresh, organic, and sustainably sourced ingredients from Southern California purveyors. As partner, Jeremy oversees the culinary side of things, with Executive Chef Mario Alberto cooking dishes that utilize freshly-made tortillas, housemade moles and chile pastes and heirloom grains in dishes like Grilled Market Fish Tacos with fresh fish, Mexican sauerkraut and tomatillo salsa on blue corn tortillas and a Roasted Half Organic Chicken with mole casero, masa-ricotta chochoyotes (dumplings) and market vegetables.

In July 2015, the restaurant family debuted Esters Wine Shop & Bar, where Jeremy and Chef de Cuisine Chris Ono source local fish and meats from high-quality producers to craft an array of seasonal small plates and entrées meant to complement Co-Owner and Wine Director Kathryn Coker’s 250+ wines. Highlights from “the little kitchen that could” include a hearty reuben with housemade corned brisket, house-fermented sauerkraut, raclette and smoked tomato on rye bread, and a light Cucumber Panzanella with dill, house-cultured yogurt and sunflower seed bread.

Before joining Rustic Canyon, Jeremy specialized in surprising palates with his finely finessed dishes of in-season fruits and vegetables at Ubuntu in Napa, California, from 2007 to 2010, earning them a Michelin star. He reimagined vegetarian cuisine as both healthful and full-flavored, showcasing contrasting textures and flavor combinations by utilizing produce grown on-site in the restaurant’s biodynamic garden. Prior to that, the chef honed his craft and food philosophy as chef de cuisine from 2003-2007 at the lauded Manresa in Los Gatos, California under mentor David Kinch. He also staged in Europe at three Michelin-star properties: De Snippe in Bruges, Belgium, and St. John and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London. A cook since the age of 19 with roots in the South, he first worked back-of-house positions at Anson Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, and Mumbo Jumbo in Atlanta, his hometown.

Jeremy has garnered four James Beard nominations for “Best Chef – West” as a finalist in 2009, 2010, 2016, and 2017. Additional accolades include Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef 2008” and top positions for Rustic Canyon from 2013-2016 in the Los Angeles Times’ “Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants.”

His first cookbook, “On Vegetables,” was released by Phaidon in April 2017, and features 150 recipes that elevate vegetarian cooking and showcases Jeremy’s philosophy of “seed-to-stalk” cooking. The book demonstrates how to use the smallest “scraps” to eliminate food waste, all while making vegetarian cooking accessible and exciting.


James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner: Brady Williams

Born in Southern California, Brady spent his younger days pursuing a professional hockey career. A serious injury would change those plans, and he returned home to find the kitchen – working at his grandparent’s neighborhood diner.

In 2012, he was selected as the chef de cuisine at FT33 in Dallas, opening the restaurant under Chef Matt McCallister. He then moved to Brooklyn, where he worked under Chef Carlo Mirarchi as the executive sous chef at Roberta’s and the two-Michelin-starred Blanca. In 2015, Brady joined Canlis as its sixth-ever executive chef. Since then, he has garnered a number of local and national awards, including a perfect 4-star review from the Seattle Times. He was also named a finalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation for 2017, recognizing him as one of the country’s top, young culinary talents.


James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner: Mark Lungaard Nielsen

In Mark Lungaard Nielsen’s universe, food is not a gift sent down from heaven. On the contrary, food is understanding where it comes from, the craftsmanship in its preparation and respecting the origin and the craftsmanship. By this comes your understanding of taste and composition.

Based on this belief, the kitchen at Kong Hans’ Kælder is a distingtive mix of classic French cuisine and Skandinavian simplicity, hospitality and palatability at its best.


James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner: Jeremiah Langhorne

Jeremiah Langhorne is the chef and co-owner of The Dabney, located at 122 Blagden Alley NW in Washington, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood.

At The Dabney, Langhorne celebrates his mid-Atlantic roots, focusing on modern American food with strong regional and historic influences, while incorporating his interests in farming, charcuterie and foraging. Prior to opening The Dabney in 2015, Langhorne spent five years at McCrady’s restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, where he worked as chef de cuisine under Executive Chef Sean Brock.

While at McCrady’s, Langhorne oversaw day-to-day operations and managed a staff of over 20 employees. He worked daily with Brock and local farmers and purveyors to craft each night’s menu out of the freshest and finest products. Langhorne’s first foray into the restaurant world was at a small Italian restaurant in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. Watching the restaurant’s kitchen staff work on a new dish — a creative and spontaneous process — inspired Langhorne to seek out further learning opportunities. He began with an externship at the acclaimed OXO restaurant in Charlottesville, where he learned under the classically trained English Chef, John Haywood, and soon became a part of the kitchen staff. By the time he left, Langhorne was executive sous chef.

Langhorne came to the Southeast to stage at McCrady’s in 2009. After completing a two-month stage at Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, Langhorne returned to McCrady’s to take over as sous chef. He was promoted to chef de cuisine in spring 2011.

Notable recognitions for Langhorne include being named as a member of the inaugural Eater Young Guns class in 2012, being chosen as one of the Top 5 Rising Chefs in the US in 2012 by Gayot and being featured as one of Plate magazine’s Chefs to Watch in 2017.

The Dabney received a Michelin star in Washington D.C.’s Michelin Guide in 2016 and 2017, in addition to being named a semi-finalist for the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant, one of Bon Appétit magazine’s 50 Best New Restaurants of 2016 as well as one of Food & Wine’s 2016 Restaurants of the Year. The Dabney, which just celebrated its two-year anniversary, is joined by The Dabney Cellar, a wine bar located in the basement beneath the restaurant. Opened in December 2017, the space is an extension of The Dabney and its wine program and offers 30 wines by the glass in addition to a small food menu.


James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner: John Shields

Chef John B. Shields began his culinary training in the St. Louis area, where he attended school and worked in local restaurants. Shields soon moved to Chicago, where he served as sous chef for two years at world-renowned Charlie Trotter’s. In 2005, he left Trotter’s to help open the then unknown restaurant, Alinea, under the direction of Chef Grant Achatz. During his two years as sous chef, Alinea grew from an exciting upstart to one of the best restaurants in the world.

After leaving Alinea in 2008, John and his soon-to-be wife, Karen Urie, turned down an offer to lead the opening of a Charlie Trotter restaurant in Las Vegas and instead took a bold chance on an opportunity to open a little-known restaurant in the countryside of southwestern Virginia.

John and Karen were given carte blanche to reimagine the then-unknown Town House restaurant. The two-chef duo rebuilt the concept as a modern exploration of imaginative flavor and visual compositions that utilized the wide array of seasonal, locally grown and foraged ingredients. In June of 2009, The New York Times published a glowing article about Town House, which was instrumental in vaulting John and Karen to the top tier of chefs and restaurants in the United States. The growing public interest in the food at Town House led to Chef John being named a 2010 Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine as well as a James Beard Award Semi-Finalist in 2011.

After four successful years at Town House and Riverstead Inn, the prodigal chef returned to Chicago with his wife and two daughters to open Smyth and The Loyalist to widespread acclaim, including 4 stars from the Chicago Tribune and a Best New Restaurant nod from Chicago magazine. After being open for only a few months, Smyth received its first Michelin star, and in 2017, Smyth was elevated to two Michelin stars.