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Originally published May 9, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified May 9, 2007 at 2:02 AM

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Lark's Sundstrom wins chef award; Paris food blogger coming

Lark took wing Monday night, with Seattle chef John Sundstrom, winning one of the food and wine industry's highest honors: a 2007 James...

Lark took wing Monday night, with Seattle chef John Sundstrom, winning one of the food and wine industry's highest honors: a 2007 James Beard Award for best Northwest chef.

The awards recognize outstanding achievement in 62 categories that include restaurants, chefs, book authors, restaurant designers and more. The James Beard Foundation, named for the late cookbook author and culinary luminary, announced the winners Sunday and Monday in New York City.

Sundstrom, chef/owner of Lark (926 12th Ave., Seattle; 206-323-5278, www.larkseattle.com) and cocktail destination Licorous, won in a category that featured chefs from both sides of Lake Washington. His cheering section at the black-tie event held in Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall included wife JM Enos, business partner Kelly Ronan and Licorous co-owner Michelle Magidow.

Sundstrom was thrilled to see Thomas Keller (chef/owner of The French Laundry), cooking-show icon Jacques Pepin and other personal heroes around the room. Winning is bittersweet because he counts all the Seattle nominees as friends.

Still, "It feels really great. It's nice to be recognized and know that people are paying attention beyond our area," he said.

Chef/owner Thierry Rautureau, of Rover's, strolled the red carpet sporting a dressy version of his signature fedora. Much of the Canlis clan attended, along with the restaurant's service director, David Kim. Canlis was nominated for the outstanding service award.

Rebekah Denn, of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, took home journalism honors in the Restaurant Review or Critique category at the media awards Sunday night at the Millennium Broadway Hotel, where Seattle chef Tom Douglas cooked salmon with grits for the reception.

Local nominees included:

Restaurant and Chef Awards: (category, Best Chef Northwest): Maria Hines (Tilth, tilthrestaurant.com), Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez (The Harvest Vine, harvestvine.com), Holly Smith (Cafe Juanita, cafejuanita.com).

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Leslie Mackie (Macrina Bakery & Cafe, macrinabakery.com).

Outstanding Service Award: Canlis (canlis.com).

Book Awards (Category, Food of the Americas): "Kathy Casey's Northwest Table" (Chronicle Books, Kathy Casey).

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Visit www.jamesbeard.org for more information and a complete list of winners.

Parisian author coming

With more than 4 million hits a month, Clotilde Dusoulier's food blog, chocolateandzucchini.com, has an international reputation and an avid following.

Meet the charming Parisian at two events when she's in town to promote her debut cookbook, "Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen" (Broadway Books).

Impromptu Bistro in Madison Park will host a food and wine tasting in Dusoulier's honor at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 21.

Chef Daniel Ahern will cook several of Dusoulier's recipes, including Mint and Fava Bean Frittata and Chocolate Raspberry Cake. The $45 price includes food, wine and a signed copy of the book. For reservations, call 206-860-1569.

There will also be a book signing and discussion at the University Bookstore (University District) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 22. This event is free.

Tavolata draws raves

Seattle restaurant Tavolata (2323 Second Ave., Seattle, 206-838-8008) makes an appearance in Bon Appétit's June issue as one of the magazine's top-10 picks of where to eat across the country. The hot dish? Chef Ethan Stowell's veal carpaccio with white anchovies and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Traunfeld to leave Herbfarm

After nearly 17 years with The Herbfarm, executive chef Jerry Traunfeld announced he is leaving the Woodinville restaurant to open his own place in Seattle in 2008.

Traunfeld has written two books on cooking with herbs and won a coveted James Beard award for best Northwest chef during his tenure at The Herbfarm. He'd toyed with the idea of opening a restaurant in the past but felt he still had more to accomplish. Now, as he's watched some of his former sous chefs (Matt Dillon of Sitka & Spruce, Craig Serbousek of Crow) move on to build their own careers, he's looking forward to setting new goals of his own.

"It's a really good time in Seattle for the dining scene and I just really feel that I need to move on at this point," Traunfeld said. "I still really love working at The Herbfarm, but I just feel like it's time for me. I've been there for 17 years and cooking for 25 years."

As for the restaurant, Traunfeld said he's keeping mum about the details until he's done with his business plan and has lined up investors. He did mention South Lake Union as a potential home.

He'll remain in his post through 2007, helping Herbfarm owners Ron Zimmerman and Carrie Van Dyck transition to new leadership in the kitchen.

Karen Gaudette, Nancy Leson

and CeCe Sullivan,

Seattle Times food staff

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