La Belle Vie Chef Tim McKee won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Midwest last night over some tough competition, including fellow locals Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma and 112 Eatery's Isaac Becker. Minnesota: Represent! Missouri boasted the remaining two nominees for the award (which encompassed eight states) with a chef apiece from St. Louis and Kansas City.
Other winners of note: Grant Achatz of Chicago's Alinea for his book "Alinea," the New York Times' Mark Bittman for the tenth anniversary edition of his cookbook "How to Cook Everything" and Michael Pollan for his book "In Defense of Food." Check out all the winners here.
Some Twitter tidbits: A mini-scandal erupted when it became evident that the New York Times somehow had wind of the winners ahead of time, and was Tweeting them before they were announced in real time. Also, Mario Batali reportedly wore Crocs with his suit (surprise surprise).
Congrats, Chef McKee!