NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Local chef Kelly Fields was honored with a prestigious James Beard Award Monday night (May 6) for her work with Willa Jean.
Fields was named this year’s Outstanding Pastry Chef at the ceremony in Chicago. She is best known for her chocolate chip cookies, which she said she’s been making every day for the past two years.
“I made chocolate chip cookies everyday almost, for two and half years, at least once a day to try to figure out what makes a perfect cookie,” Fields said. “It’s crunchy, it’s chewy, it’s supposed to be soft, it’s supposed to be gooey. Everybody has an idea of what that looks like, so how do you get that all in to one cookie? It took me two and half years of trying every day to figure out how to get that right.”
And clearly, all that practice paid off.
When accepting her award, Fields expressed her shock, stating she hadn’t prepared a speech and apologized if she couldn’t make it though.
“Oh god," Fields said. “If I throw up, I’m sorry!”
Fields caught up with FOX 8′s Rob Krieger earlier this month, see what she told him here: Chocolate Chip Cookies flirt with perfection at James Beard Award nominated Willa Jean
While Fields was not the only New Orleans chef or restaurateur nominated for a James Beard award, she was the only winner.
However, a Brett Anderson -- a celebrated food writer and reporter with our partners at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune -- was recognized for his work last month when he won the James Beard Foundation’s Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award for the third time. ]
Congratulations, Kelly and Brett!