Revealed: The winners of the 2018 James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Awards

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) has held its 2018 Restaurant Design Awards, presenting a hat-trick of prizes to the new eateries it judges to be the best-designed in North America.

New York-based concept, design and branding studio The MP Shift have been recognised for their work designing De Maria in the city, which was named the best new restaurant with a capacity of 75 seats and under.

The New York Times has said the restaurant, “with its colorful, sun-faded interiors and charming patina of a space” has “a welcoming European feeling akin to the charming, palazzo-facing cafes of Italy."

Describing their design approach, which recreated the feeling of an artist's studio, The MP Shift explained: “The space had hosted many concepts in the past and we decided to highlight its different layers and imperfections, creating a local that feels like it’s been passed down from artist to artist, each leaving their mark behind. “

In the category for 76 Seats and Over, Aidlin Darling Design were rewarded for their work on In Situ, which opened in 2016 in a street-front space in the Mario Botta-designed portion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, recently expanded by Snøhetta.

Described by chef Corey Lee as a ‘culinary museum’, the restaurant replicates 100 iconic dishes made famous from top chefs around the world over two decades. Described as “a unique intersection of art, design, food and community,” Aidlin Darling Design have said “the design emphasises visibility, accessibility and a sense of the ephemeral within a simple, comfortable, open environment.

“It operates at many different scales from urban to the intimate” they added. “Spaces are designed to engage all of the senses with an emphasis on tactility and acoustics. The interior shell of the building is left somewhat raw and exposed, which provides a backdrop for discreetly placed ‘artefacts’ including commissioned art, custom-designed lighting, custom furniture and a sculptural wood ceiling. These are analogous to ingredients in their various states of refinement and are strategically employed to engage the guest’s physical experience.”

The Restaurant Design Award winners were revealed yesterday evening (7 May) at the annual James Beard Foundation Awards at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

As announced earlier this year, the owners of the American Restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, were on hand to receive the 2018 Design Icon Award. The accolade celebrates landmark examples of great restaurant design, and the winner was described by the prize’s jury as “equally known for its architectural and culinary artistry.”

Icon Award

In other categories, JuneBaby in Seattle was named as the best new restaurant in North America, while Gabrielle Hamilton of New York’s Prune was named its outstanding chef.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognise culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and furthers the foundation’s mission “to celebrate, nurture, and honour chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.”

James Beard Foundation  Restaurant Design Awards  The MP Shift  De Maria  Aidlin Darling Design  In Situ  Corey Lee 
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The James Beard Foundation (JBF) has held its 2018 Restaurant Design Awards, presenting a hat-trick of prizes to the new eateries it judges to be the best-designed in North America. New York-based concept, design and branding studio The MP Shift have been recognised for their work designing De Maria in the city, which was named the best new restaurant with a capacity of 75 seats and under. The New York
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New York-based concept, design and branding studio The MP Shift have been recognised for their work designing De Maria / The M Shift
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