Zahav, Ashley Christensen win big at James Beard Awards

CHICAGO — The top honours at this year's James Beard Awards went to North Carolina Chef Ashley Christensen and Philadelphia's Zahav restaurant.

The awards were presented Monday evening in Chicago. Many consider them to be the Oscars of the culinary world.

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Christensen took home the outstanding chef honour. She opened Poole's Diner more than a decade ago in Raleigh. Zahav, with its modern Israeli cuisine, won the outstanding restaurant award. The honour comes two years after Zahav co-owner and Chef Michael Solomonov received the outstanding chef award.

This year's best new restaurant was Frenchette in New York, and the lifetime achievement award went to Patrick O'Connell, who owns The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia.

The medals were given out at Chicago's Lyric Opera, where the Beard Awards moved in 2015 after being based in New York for more than 20 years.

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