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Osteria Mozza

Los Angeles chef, Chicago's Alinea win big at Beard Awards

Chef Suzanne Goin took home the outstanding chef award Monday night at the James Beard Awards, and Chicago mainstay Alinea won the outstanding restaurant honor at a ceremony many consider the Academy Awards of the culinary world.

It's the first outstanding restaurant win for Alinea. Its chef, Grant Achatz, won the outstanding chef award in 2008 and has earned other honors from the Beard Foundation over the years but never the top prize.

Achatz's ultramodern cooking style has come to define the molecular gastronomy movement. He thanked his staff during the awards Monday night at Chicago's Lyric Opera for trusting him, having courage and "taking the risk to...