Best Chef (2012)
You can win this hall-of-fame type of award only once, and being a great chef won't get you a ticket; you must prove your greatness over time. Past winners are Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello, Allen Susser, Pascal Oudin, Philippe Ruiz, Michelle Bernstein, Michael Schwartz, Douglas Rodriguez, Cindy Hutson, Jonathan Eismann, Dewey LoSasso, Jan Jorgensen, and Kris Wessel. Hedy Goldsmith is the first pastry chef to be inducted, and her dominance in this field has been so complete that the only surprise here is how long it took. After all, Goldsmith first dazzled us with her outrageous dessert buffets at Nemo beginning in 1995. She left that spot to join forces with the former Nemo chef at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink. This was the ideal platform to launch her honest, whimsical, highly creative desserts. Her career took off, and the rest is patisse. Now Ms. Goldsmith's creations are lauded on a national level. We add our humble kudos.