Chef Colby Garrelts will not be flying back to Kansas City with a medal around his neck this morning. The co-owner of Bluestem was not called as the winner in the Best Chef: Midwest category at the 2011 James Beard Awards last night. That honor went to Isaac Becker of the 122 Eatery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
It was the fifth nomination for Garrelts. He was the only finalist from Missouri at the awards held last night at the James Beard House in New York City. Chef Jonathan Justus of Justus Drugstore had been named a semifinalist, alongside a trio of chefs from St. Louis -- Gerard Craft of Niche, Kevin Nashan of the Sidney Street Cafe, and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus.
It was a big night for restaurants in NYC with Thomas Keller's Per Se taking home the best service award and Danny Meyer's Eleven Madison Park being named the most outstanding restaurant in the country. (The restaurant's pastry chef, Angela Pinkerton, was named the outstanding pastry chef.) The outstanding chef of the year award went to chef Jose Andres of Minibar in Washington, D.C. The rest of the results are available on the James Beard Foundation's site.
The best way you can probably make Garrelts feel better? Eat at Bluestem, early and often.