L’Etoile, our favorite restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin (hell, it’s our favorite restaurant in the entire state of Wisconsin), has a wonderful new honor — the James Beard Foundation has named Tory Miller as the “Best Chef Midwest.” This is the second time a chef from L’Etoile has taken home this award, the first begin Odessa Piper. Chef Tory is steadfast in his devotion to local produce and Wisconsin farmers.

“I just ran over chef (Jacques) Pepin on my way here. My bad,” Tory said as he began his acceptance speech on the stage at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center. He also thanked namesake James Beard “for being a crazy, old, weird dude.”

The L’Etoile restaurant in Madison is a foodie institution. Founded by Piper in 1976, the restaurant was one of the first to “go local” with regional and seasonal dining. A few years ago, Odessa sold L’Etoile to chef Tory Miller and his sister, Traci Miller. The culinary thrills continue on the Madison Square under Tory’s direction in embracing the sustainable food movement.

Congrats to Tory and the entire culinary team at L’Etoile and Graze.

(Below YouTube video: Chef Tory Miller of L’Etoile and Graze Restaurants in Madison, Wisconsin breaks down one of Chef Dan Fox’s pasture-raised pigs in preparation for SloPig Milwaukee on Sunday, April 22nd.)