Among the winners at this year's James Beard Foundation Awards gala in Chicago on Monday was Patrick O'Connell, the Lifetime Achievement Award honoree. The prestigious title is given to a "person in the industry whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and think about food in America."
The James Beard Foundation recognized O'Connell, a self-taught chef and Washington, D.C., native, for his work in starting the movement of refined, regional American cuisine in Virginia, long before the term "farm-to-table" even existed.
O'Connell opened Inn at Little Washington out of a converted garage in rural Washington, Va., in 1978. The restaurant now holds three Michelin stars and has a long history of awards and accolades spanning four decades.
See a clip of O'Connell's acceptance speech: