Hosted by chefs Eric Adjepong, Esther Choi, Andrew Zimmern and Top Chef judge/cookbook writer Gail Simmons, the James Beard Foundation held its annual Best Chef and Restaurant Awards ceremony June 5, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago location on Wacker Drive.
“Congratulations to the exceptional winners of this year’s Restaurant and Chef Awards—whose incredible achievements and dedication to culinary excellence have left an indelible mark on our industry,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. “As we celebrate, it’s
important to acknowledge the significant work that these accomplished restaurants and chefs have done to push American food culture forward—using their immense creativity, passion, and talent to create extraordinary experiences on behalf of others. Thanks to them, our food future is bright, indeed.”
Tanya Holland, chef, author, James Beard Foundation trustee, and Awards Committee Chair commented. ” …We were thrilled to witness the remarkable talent showcased by our 2023 nominees and winners, who represent the true diversity of gifted chefs and outstanding restaurants that exist across the industry,” Holland said. She added, “I am deeply appreciative to the committee members for their thoughtful deliberations that were instrumental in recognizing and honoring some of the brightest and most innovative minds in our industry.”
Winners ranged from across the United States from Washington D.C., Philadelphia, PA , Chicago, IL and Kansas City, MO to Los Angeles, CA, Boise, ID and Portland, OR. They also ranged from high end to casual and from ethnic cuisine to regional favorites.
Recipients of the coveted awards are as follow:
Outstanding Restaurateur went to Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group (Fork, a.kitchen + bar, High Street, and others) – Philadelphia, for entrepreneurship creativity, integrity and emphasis on local ingredients, thus contributing to the community.
Outstanding Chef was awarded to Rob Rubba of Oyster Oyster, Washington, D.C., a MICHELIN-starred restaurant that is primarily vegetarian-oriented and promotes sustainability.
Outstanding Restaurant went to Hanna and Chad Williams’ “Friday Saturday Sunday” in Philadelphia, PA.
Best New Restaurant went to Kann in Portland, OR
The Emerging Chef title was accorded to Damarr Brown, a Top Chef contestant whose menu at “Virtue” in the Hyde Park of Chicago reflects what it calls Southern American cuisine. Virtue had also won Food & Wine‘s best new chef for owner Erick \Williams in 2022 who is also a James Beard Award winner.
Outstanding Bakery went to Yoli Tortilleria, Kansas City, MO
Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker went to Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles, CA
Hospitality and Bar Awards:
Outstanding Hospitality was given to The Quarry – Monson, ME
Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program went to OTOTO, Los Angeles, CA
Outstanding Bar went to Bar Leather Apron in Honolulu, HI
Best Chef in California is Justin Pichetrungsi, Anajak Thai in Sherman Oaks
Best Chef in the Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio) is the duo of Tim Flores and Genie Kwon at Kasama, Chicago
Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic (Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia)
Chutatip is “Nok” Suntaranon, Kalaya, Philadelphia, PA
Best Chef in the Midwest (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, New England, New Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin) went to the duo of
Itaru Nagano and Andrew Kroeger for Fairchild in Madison, WI
Best Chef in the Mountain Region (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming) went to Kris Komori, KIN, Boise, ID
Best Chef in New York State was won by Junghyun Park of Atomix, New York, N.Y.
Best Chef in the Northeast (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) was won by Sherry Pocknett, Sly Fox Den Too, Charlestown, R.I.
Best Chef in the Northwest & Pacific (Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington) went to Vince Nguyen, Berlu, Portland, OR
Best Chef is the South (Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico) is Natalia Vallejo, Cocina al Fondo, San Juan, P.R.
Best Chef in the Southeast (Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia) is Terry Koval, The Deer and the Dove, Decatur, GA
Best Chef in the Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma) isAndrew Black, Grey Sweater, Oklahoma City
Best Chef in Texas isBenchawan Jabthong Painter, Street to Kitchen, Houston
Humanitarian of the Year was presented to Olivia Watkins and Karen Washington, the co-founders of the Black Farmer Fund, which was founded in 2017 to invest in Black farmers, land stewards and business owners in the Northeast.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to cookbook author and chef Madhur Jaffrey who was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame in 2006.
For more information about the James Beard foundation and Awards visit JBF Awards | James Beard Foundation