Nancy Silverton

Mozza's Nancy Silverton was named Outstanding Chef at the James Beard Foundation Awards. A Los Angeles chef hasn't won the award since 1998. (Tim French / For The Times / May 19, 2010)

Los Angeles won big at the James Beard Foundation Awards on Monday evening, for the first time in a very long time. Nancy Silverton, founder of Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, took the culinary equivalent of a Best Actor Oscar when she was named Outstanding Chef, the Beard Awards' most prestigious chefs' honor.

It's a rare victory for Los Angeles, which hasn't taken that category since 1998 when Spago's Wolfgang Puck won. (In a tie, he shared the award with Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Jean Georges in New York.) 

In another L.A. success story, Sherry Yard, cookbook author and former Spago pastry chef, was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America. Yard won Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2002. 

Silverton bumped out another local favorite, Suzanne Goin of Lucques, who has been nominated for Outstanding Chef several times (in every year since 2006, except for 2007). Maybe 2015 will be her year.

Other nominees in the same category were Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern in New York; Sean Brock of McCrady's in Charleston, S.C.; David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif.; and Marc Vetri of Vetri in Philadelphia.

Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Jon Shook and Vinny Doloto of Animal were edged out in the Best Chef West category by Daniel Patterson of Coi in San Francisco. (When will the James Beard Foundation finally award this category to Cimarusti?)

Dominique Ansel, of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York (and creator of the Cronut), beat local Dahlia Nervaez of Osteria Mozza for Outstanding Pastry Chef.  

Meanwhile, another West Coast victory went to the Slanted Door, Charles Phan's acclaimed Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco.

2014 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards

Outstanding Restaurant: The Slanted Door, San Francisco

Outstanding Chef: Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York

Outstanding Restaurateur: Barbara Lynch, Barbara Lynch Gruppo (No. 9 Park, Menton, B&G Oysters and others), Boston

Rising Star Chefs (tie): Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig, Chicago, and Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, Wash. 

Best New Restaurant

Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Outstanding Wine Program

The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn.