Spanish chef José Andrés, known for his avant-garde cooking and bringing tapas to America, has been named the most outstanding chef in the USA in the country's coveted James Beard Awards.
Andrés, whose company, the Think Food Group, runs a string of popular restaurants in Washington, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, beat fellow chefs Gary Danko, Suzanne Goin, Paul Kahan and Charles Phan to win the prestigious accolade.
The chef, who grew up in the Asturias area in northern Spain, started his career under the tutelage of Ferran Adrià at El Bulli, before moving to the USA in 1990.
"Here's an immigrant celebrating the melting pot," he said.
"I feel like I'm an ambassador bringing Spain to America and also to the world."
Meanwhile, Daniel Humm's Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park in New York picked up the James Beard Foundation's award for restaurant of the year, with its pastry chef Angela Pinkerton being named outstanding pastry chef.
Celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ABC Kitchen in New York won the best new restaurant award, while the rising star award for chefs under the age of 30 went to Gabriel Rucker, executive chef at Le Pigeon in Portland, Oregon.
By Kerstin Kühn
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