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Who Is America's Best Chef?

James Beard Awards Handed Out

Who is the top chef in the USA?

If you know of and love to eat tapas, you have Jose Andres to thank. He’s generally regarded to be the man who brought the Spanish custom of dining on small shared plates to America. Now, he’s been recognized as our nation's number one top chef.

Andres was named the country’s most outstanding chef at the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s annual awards ceremony held this week in New York. The James Beards are considered the Oscars of the culinary world.

Growing up in Barcelona, Spain, Andres trained under the famous Spanish chef Ferran Adria. He emigrated to the U.S. more than 20 years ago and has helmed a number of highly successful restaurants including Jaleo and minibar by Jose Andres, both in Washington, D.C.

Andres has become well-known for his impassioned causes almost a much as he has for what he plates up in his restaurants. He has spoken out on such issues as hunger, school lunch standards, childhood obesity and food marketing.

"Food is the most powerful thing we have in our hands,” Andres said Monday after accepting his award. “Not only chefs, but everyone in the food community. The right use of food can end hunger. We have the responsibility to make sure that not only our great nation, but the world will always be better using food in the right way."

Other James Beard Award winners:

Most Outstanding Restaurant - Eleven Madison Park, New York, Danny Meyer, owner

Best New Restaurant – ABC Kitchen, New York, Jean-Georges Vonderichten, owner

Rising Chef of the Year – Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, Ore.