2010 James Beard Awards honor Las Vegas

Claude Le Tohic of Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand won the 2010 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest.

Best Chef Southwest winner Claude Le Tohic of Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand.

Last night’s 2010 James Beard Awards held in New York honored the crème de la crème of the American dining scene, including the best chefs and restaurants in the country and the journalists and bloggers that cover them.

While 10 Las Vegas-based chefs and restaurants got semifinalist nods for this year’s awards, when the winners were announced our fair culinary capital only notched one Beard — Best Chef: Southwest went to Claude Le Tohic of Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand. If you haven’t yet experienced the playful and artistic dishes he crafts nightly, consider this a reminder to put the “Chef of the Century’s” eatery on your to-do list.

Tohic is the second local chef to win the honor in the last two years; the Wynn’s Paul Bartolotta took home the coveted medal in 2009. Though Vegas didn’t rack up the Beards this year, there were plenty of familiar faces in the winners’ circle May 3. Thomas Keller of Bouchon won for best General Cooking Book along with Dave Cruz for Ad Hoc at Home. Todd English, who recently expanded his Vegas presence with the opening of Todd English Pub at CityCenter, took a Beard Award for his television special Food Trip with Todd English. Local chef Rick Moonen was honored for his on-location TV show, Chefs A’ Field: King of Alaska. Finally, the culinary world’s favorite bald man (and the man behind MGM Grand’s Craftsteak), Tom Colicchio, won the highly regarded Outstanding Chef Award for 2010.

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