For the third consecutive year, Gerry Hayden, chef and co-owner of North Fork Table & Inn in Southold, is a finalist for a James Beard award, one of the most prestigious honors in the culinary world, in the best chef in the Northeastern U.S. category.
Mr. Hayden is one of five finalists in the region covering New York and all six New England States. He’s up against Jamie Bissonnette of the Coppa Restaurant in Boston, Joanne Chang of the Flour Bakery & Cafe, also in Boston; Melissa Kelly of Primo, Rockland, Maine and Barry Maiden of the Hungry Mother is Cambridge, MA.
The awards in 59 categories will be be announced during a ceremony at the Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center in New York of May 6.
Founded in 1986, The James Beard Foundation describes itself as dedicated “to celebrating, nurturing, and preserving America’s diverse culinary heritage and future.” It’s named after cookbook author and teacher James Beard, a champion of American cuisine who died in 1985. The James Beard Foundation, which sponsors the annual awards, maintains the James Beard House in Greenwich Village as a performance space for visiting chefs.
Mr. Hayden grew up in Setauket and began working in restaurants in junior high school when he took a job as a dishwasher at a Stony Brook eatery.
In an interview after receiving his second Beard award nomination last year, he said, “When people come out to eat, they expect a show. I don’t want people to come here and say, ‘Oh I could have made that at home.’ That’s not dining to me.”