James Beard Restaurant Design Award winners announced in Chicago

The judges expressed a clear preference for modern, yet rich, designs recognising a high level of craft, finish and even a quiet sense of luxury
– James Biber, jury chair

US design studios AvroKO and Meyer Davis have won prestigious prizes at the 2017 James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Awards.

The former were recognised for their work designing Californian-Japanese bistro SingleThread in Healdsburg, California, which was named the best new restaurant with a capacity of 75 Seats and Under.

The latter triumphed in the category for 76 Seats and Over, with their design for Italian seafood and pasta eatery St. Cecilia in Atlanta.

The winners were revealed on the evening of 1 May at the annual James Beard Foundation Awards at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The jury had considered a shortlist of “beautiful, functional designs that seamlessly meld the setting and theme of the restaurant environment.” Entries had to be located in North America and open since January 2014.

Speaking to CLAD earlier this year, jury chair James Biber said the wide range of “spectacular design work, at all levels of cost and size” found on the shortlist “reflects the public demand for better environments no matter what the type of restaurant.”

Commenting on the winners, he said: “The judges expressed a clear preference for modern, yet rich, designs recognising a high level of craft, finish and even a quiet sense of luxury. Both St. Cecilia and SingleThread are uniquely personal expressions of the chefs and owners, designed with the diners in mind.

“This year’s submissions demonstrate a new level of sophistication in restaurant design that has become the new normal. The winners were unique in their modern take on traditional ideas. Helped by a luxurious palette of materials, subtle and well coordinated coloration, fine craft and elegant planning, they were the finest of a fine group.

“The smaller SingleThread, a jewel of food and design, and St. Cecilia, a restaurant modulated into bite-sized areas belying its vast size, both demonstrated a mastery of composing a complex set of elements into unified and sophisticated spaces. The jury’s preference for modern interpretations, realised in well crafted materials and rich palettes was exemplified in both winning selections."

The James Beard Foundation also presented a Design Icon Award to the owners of The Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant in New York, which is located under the chambers of Grand Central Station designed by architect Rafael Guastavino Moreno.

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 honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.”

James Beard Foundation  restaurant design  AvroKO  Meyer Davis  The Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant 
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Sumptuous shortlist revealed for 2017 Restaurant Design Awards

FEATURE: CLAD people – Susan Ungaro & James Biber - James Beard Foundation

US design studios AvroKO and Meyer Davis have won prestigious prizes at the 2017 James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Awards. The former were recognised for their work designing Californian-Japanese bistro SingleThread in Healdsburg, California, which was named the best new restaurant with a capacity of 75 Seats and Under. The latter triumphed in the category for 76 Seats and Over, with their design for Italian seafood and pasta eatery St.
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AvroKO's Californian-Japanese bistro SingleThread in Healdsburg, California / James Beard Foundation
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