The 2017 James Beard Award Nominees and Winners – ICC Graduates
Update as of May 2, 2017: After last night’s James Beard Awards Gala, we learned that some notable ICC alumni walked away from the 2017 ceremony as winners. Congratulations to the following individuals and establishments for their achievements!
Ghaya Oliveria, Daniel NYC – Outstanding Pastry Chef 2017
Upon graduating from the Culinary Academy, Ghaya earned her degree in Restaurant Management from the French Culinary Institute. Ghaya joined Café Boulud in New York in 2001. As a pastry commis, under Executive Pastry Chef Remy Funfrock, Ghaya learned the importance of precision and refined her technique. At Café Boulud, Ghaya was promoted on several occasions, first to Pastry Cook, then to Pastry Sous Chef. She continued to learn from Chef Funfrock, as well as Daniel Boulud’s Corporate Pastry Chef Eric Bertoia. She credits the former with teaching her to cook fruit with delicacy, care, and respect for their natural flavors.
When Chef Daniel Boulud opened Bar Boulud in 2007, he called upon Ghaya to become Executive Pastry Chef.She became responsible for menu development and sourcing ingredients, citing the local farmers’ markets as inspiration. When neighboring Boulud Sud opened in May 2011, Ghaya’s sheer talent and ambition led Boulud to make her the Executive Pastry Chef there, too. At Boulud Sud she debuted her Grapefruit Givré – a whimsical dessert composed of a frozen grapefruit filled with grapefruit sorbet, fresh grapefruit jam, sesame crumble, sesame foam and rose water loukoum, topped with halva ‘hair’– which has received countless press accolades and praises from diners.
In July 2013, Boulud named Ghaya Executive Pastry at his flagship DANIEL. She brings traditional French pastry training, a refined palate, and unexpected flavor combinations, juxtaposed with a sense of playfulness; but above all, she brings an unwavering desire to delight! Her professional approach and talent were recognized by the James Beard Foundation with a 2012 nomination for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” and again in 2015, 2016. “Working for Daniel means always reaching for the best,” she says. “It’s knowing how to be classic and modern at the same time.”
Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink – Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA) 2017
Greg Vernick was born into a family who knew a lot about genuine quality food. His mother ran the Haddonfield Diet Shop in New Jersey, and his grandfather ran their family Philadelphia’s butcher shop Friedman’s Market. A graduate of Boston University, he went straight into CIA’s Culinary Program and soon after, the French Culinary Institute’s Sous-Vide Intensive and Pastry Techniques program.
Vernick moved to New York City to work on the line for the opening of Jean-Georges Vongericten’s Perry Street, under Chef Gregory Brainin. Vernick rose through the ranks and served as sous chef at Jean Georges, Nougatine, and Spice Market and became their corporate chef trainer for restaurants in Qatar, Tokyo, Vancouver, Boston, and Park City, Utah. After five years in the Vongerichten empire, Vernick took his final post away from home as chef de cuisine of New York’s Tocqueville.
In 2012, Vernick returned to Philadelphia and he and his wife, Julie, opened the doors to their first restaurants, Vernick Food & Drink, and soon after he received a James Beard Nomination. He would then be nominated for the award, 2 more times in 2015 & 2016.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY – Outstanding Service 2017
Dan Barber is the Executive Chef and co-owner of Blue Hill, a restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, located within the nonprofit farm Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in The New York Times, along with many other publications. Chef Dan Barber has received multiple James Beard awards including Best Chef: New York City (2006), the Country’s Outstanding Chef (2009), and Writing and Literature for his book The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food (2015). His two restaurants have received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant in the U.S. for Blue Hill New York (2013) and Blue Hill at Stone Barns (2015). In 2009, he was named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.”
The James Beard Foundation has released their final nominations for 2017. Included among the group of the hospitality industry’s finest, are several ICC alumni — and even our California Dean, David Kinch. We congratulate you all for receiving this deserved recognition for your achievements this year.
The final winners will be announced during The 2017 James Beard Awards Gala, hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson of ABC’s award-winning Modern Family. The ceremony will take place on Monday, May 1, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the 2017 Media Awards (formerly known as the Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards) will be hosted by JBF Award winner Andrew Zimmern and held on Tuesday, April 25, at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF: GHAYA OLIVEIRA [DANIEL, NYC]
Restaurant Management, Class of 2004
OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT : MOMOFUKU NOODLE BAR [DAVID CHANG, NYC]
Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 2001
OUTSTANDING SERVICE: BLUE HILL AT STONE BARNS [DAN BARBER, POCANTICO HILLS, NY]
Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 1994
OUTSTANDING SERVICE: ZAHAV [STEVEN COOK, PHILADELPHIA, PA]
Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 2000
RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR: MATT RUDOFKER [MOMOFUKU SSÄM BAR, NYC]
Classic Culinary Arts, Class of 2000
BEST CHEF MID-ATLANTIC (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA): GREG VERNICK [VERNICK FOOD & DRINK, PHILADELPHIA]
Pastry Techniques, Class of 2011
OUTSTANDING CHEF: DAVID KINCH [MANRESA, LOS GATOS, CA]
Dean at the International Culinary Center
THE 2017 JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION BOOK AWARDS
COOKING FROM A PROFESSIONAL POINT OF VIEW: JASON LICKER FOR LICKERLAND: ASIAN ACCENTED DESSERTS
(SIRIVATANA INTERPRINT PUBLIC COMPANY LIMITED)
This blog post was originally published by the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. Explore your culinary education where the legacy lives on.