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Keane for a Beard award

You can't get much higher accolade than a coveted James Beard Award. Over the past 19 years, the awards have built a reputation as 'the Oscars of the Food World', recognising excellence amongst chefs within their region. This year, it was the turn of Chef Douglas Keane (of the Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg, California) to be rewarded- picking up the title of 'Best Chef Pacific'. Understandably overwhelmed, Keane said he felt honoured, thanking his fellows chefs and mentors, including fellow award-winners Gray Kunz (Lespinasse) and Traci des Jardins (Jardinere).
 
Not aware of the Cyrus? Opening in 2005, it's located in Sonoma County and is a seriously fine dining experience. A classical chef in many respects, Keane is nonetheless dedicated to introducing more modern, global elements to his food, and is a staunch proponent of seasonality. Go hungry- if you're not eating the nightly 8-course tasting menu, you'll be offered the 5-course version, or the veggie take on either. Champagne and Caviar bring the signature sense of luxe to the mix, whilst there's a quintet of canapes designed to get to work on awakening each of your senses (should they need it!).
 
Still need convincing? Cyrus' 2 Michelin stars, a 4 star rating by the San Francisco Chronicle, and a listing in Gourmet's 'Top 50 Restaurants in America' should do the trick nicely. For more on the restaurant, see www.cyrusrestaurant.com; for all the award details, www.jamesbeard.org
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10 June 2009
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