|Las Vegas Review-JournalMcClatchy-Tribune
May 4, 2010--Claude Le Tohic of JoÃ«l Robuchon at MGM Grand was named Best Chef: Southwest at the annual James Beard Foundation awards ceremony Monday evening in New York.
It's just the latest in a string of awards for the restaurant, which in 2009 was the only local winner of a prestigious three stars from the Michelin guide.
Two other local chefs -- Rick Moonen of rm seafood at Mandalay Bay and Saipin Chutima of Lotus of Siam -- had been nominated for the Best Chef: Southwest award.
The Southwest region consists of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
Other local finalists were Kamel Guechida of JoÃ«l Robuchon, who had been nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef, and the restaurant itself, which was nominated for the Outstanding Service award. Those prizes went to Nicole Plue of Redd in Yountville, Calif., and Chicago's Alinea, respectively.
This is the second year in a row for a Las Vegas chef to win the Best Chef: Southwest award. Paul Bartolotta of Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas won last year. Le Tohic also was a finalist in 2009.
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