James Beard Outstanding Bar Program Award

New Award Unites the Pinnacles of the Culinary and Beverage Worlds
Campari®, the legendary one-of-a-kind red spirit, applauds New York’s PDT for winning the first-ever James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Bar Program Award” presented by Campari.  

Campari is the inaugural presenting sponsor of this new award category that recognizes excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.  Gerry Ruvo, Chairman and CEO of Campari America, and Steve Olson, Wine & Spirits Chair of the James Beard Awards, personally bestowed the award on stage to Jim Meehan, Managing Partner, PDT, at the James Beard Awards Gala, which was held at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York.  More than 2,000 culinary and beverage luminaries, sophisticated foodies and media attended the much-anticipated annual event tonight.

“Cocktails and bars have been a part of restaurants ever since there have been restaurants and chefs,” said Meehan.  “But today, bartenders and mixologists are standing on the same stage with our heroes.  It’s a special moment.  On the way over, I told my staff that this is the first Outstanding Bar Program award, but we’re completely at home.  Campari has served as a bridge between the mixology and food worlds.  It is historic, it’s part of many classic cocktails and it’s long been enjoyed by our culinary peers.”

The presentation of the “Outstanding Bar Program Award” marks the first time a leading U.S. culinary organization has provided this level of acclaim to a bar program, a recognition that shows the importance of the category on today’s restaurant scene.  The other nominees were Bar Agricole (San Francisco), Pegu Club (New York), The Aviary (Chicago) and The Violet Hour (Chicago), which were selected from 24 semi-finalists.  The category attracted over 2,200 online entries.

“Take a bow, Jim, Campari salutes your grand achievement,” said Ruvo.  “For bar programs to be embraced at the highest level of the culinary establishment was unimaginable only ten years ago.  Today, the best of the food and mixology worlds have come together as one.  It is truly a historic moment.”

Photo courtesy of Hanna Lee Communications

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