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Patrick O'Connell is a self-taught chef who pioneered a refined, regional American cuisine in the Virginia countryside and created the Inn at Little Washington in 1978. Located in Washington, Virginia, approximately 60 miles west of the District of Columbia, the restaurant was one of the first establishments in Mobil Travel Guide's history to win two Five-Star Awards simultaneously—one for its restaurant and another for its accommodations. The inn has received two 5-Diamond Awards from AAA and is consistently rated No. 1 in all categories year after year by Zagat’s restaurant survey. O'Connell himself has received numerous awards, including the 2001 Outstanding Chef in America and 1993 Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region, both awarded by the James Beard Foundation. His most recent book, "The Inn at Little Washington: A Magnificent Obsession" (Rizzoli), tells the story of how the inn’s property was transformed from a rural garage into a sumptuous country house, which is now considered a masterpiece in American hotel and restaurant design.