Leadership

Here are the James Beard Award chef and restaurant finalists

The foundation also named six Leadership Award winners, celebrated for creating a better world. And "the godmother of Indian cooking" gets a Lifetime Achievement award.
James Beard Award
Winners will be revealed on June 5 in Chicago./Photo courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation doled out a few more awards on Wednesday, along with the final nominations for the coveted chef and restaurant honors.

Among the winners revealed this week were six Leadership Awards, which celebrate individuals or organizations that help “create a safer, more healthful, equitable and sustainable food world.”

The nominees were announced during a live ceremony at the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville, Tenn., co-hosted by Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the foundation, who said that the awards aim to celebrate outstanding achievement and culinary talent, but also those who are working on behalf of their communities and wider food systems.

The foundation also selected a Humanitarian of the Year, which this year honors the co-founders of the Black Farmer Fund, including entrepreneur and impact investor Olivia Watkins and farmer and activist Karen Washington, who is also co-owner of Rise & Root Farm and co-founder of Black Urban Growers. The two created the fund in 2017 with the mission of nurturing Black community wealth and health by investing in agricultural systems in the Northeast. They have raised more than $1 million to distribute as loans and grants for Black agricultural businesses, the foundation said.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was also given to cookbook author, writer, teacher and actress Madhur Jaffrey, known for her BBC show “Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery,” who has been named “the godmother of Indian cooking,” the foundation said. Since her first book “An Invitation to Indian Cooking” was published in 1973, she has published more than 30 cookbooks.

Here are the finalists for national awards among the 22 categories that focus on chefs and restaurants, including a new category for Outstanding Baker. Winners will be announced and celebrated on June 5 at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.

Outstanding Chef:

Rachel Miller, Nightshade Noodle Bar, Lynn, Mass.

Niki Nakayama, n/naka, Los Angeles

Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Rob Rubba, Oyster Oyster, Washington, D.C.

Hajime Sato, Sozai, Clawson, Mich.

Outstanding Restaurant:

Copine, Seattle

Coracora, West Hartford, Conn.

Friday Saturday Sunday, Philadelphia

Lucia, Dallas

Mita’s, Cincinnati, Ohio

Best New Restaurant:

Causa, Washington, D.C.

Dept. of Culture, New York City

Don Artemio Mexican Heritage, Fort Worth, Texas

Kann, Portland, Ore.

Lupi & Iris, Milwaukee

Neng Jr.’s, Asheville, N.C.

Nolia, Cincinnati, Ohio

Obelix, Chicago

Restaurant Beatrice, Dallas

Tatemo, Houston

Outstanding Restaurateur:

Brandon Chrostowski, Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute, Cleveland, Ohio

Greg Dulan, Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, Los Angeles

Aaron Hoskins, Sarah Simmons and Elie Yigo, City Grit Hospitality Group, Columbia, S.C.

Yenvy and Quynh Pham, Pho Bac Sup Shop, Seattle

Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group, Philadelphia

Emerging Chef:

Damarr Brown, Virtue, Chicago

Rashida Holmes, Bridgetown Roti, Los Angeles

Serigne Mbaye, Dakar NOLA, New Orleans

Charlie Mitchell, Clover Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Amanda Shulman, Her Place Supper Club, Philadelphia

Outstanding Bakery:

Angelo Brocato Ice Cream & Confectionary, New Orleans

La Casita Bakeshop, Richardson, Texas

Kuluntu Bakery, Dallas

Yoli Tortilleria, Kansas City, Mo.

Zak the Bakery, Miami

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker:

Veronika Gerasimova, Veronika’s Pastry Shop, Billings, Mont.

Elaine Uykimpang Bentz, Café Mochiko, Cincinnati, Ohio

Vince Bugtong, ABACA, San Francisco

Margarita Manzke, Republique, Los Angeles

Shawn McKenzie, Café Cerés, Minneapolis

Outstanding Hospitality:

The Black Cypress, Pullman, Wash.

Bottega, Birmingham, Ala.

Lula Drake, Columbia, S.C.

The Quarry, Monson, Maine

Sepia, Chicago

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages:

Cote, New York City

Lazy Bear, San Francisco

Nancy’s Hustle, Houston

Ototo, Los Angeles

Spencer, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Outstanding Bar:

Bar Leather Apron, Honolulu

Drastic Measures, Shawnee, Kan.

Garagiste Wine Room, Las Vegas

Las Ramblas, Brownsville, Texas

Rob Roy, Seattle

The finalists for Best Chefs by region can be viewed here.

And here are the six winners of the Leadership Awards, with the description from the Beard foundation.

Jim Embry: In 2006, Embry founded the Sustainable Communities Network in Lexington, Ky., a nonprofit dedicated to sustainable living. He works with Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance, a Black- and Indigenous-led company that focuses on African and African-American crops. He has also been active with the Slow Food Equity, Inclusion and Justice Committee.

Savonala “Savi” Horne: Horne is executive director of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers, Land Loss Prevention Project, which helps farms and rural landowners facing legal, economic and environmental challenges.

Ira Wallace: A writer, gardener anad educator, Wallace is worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in central Virginia, which provides more than 700 varieties of high-quality, heirloom and open-pollinated seeds.

Rowen White: A farmer, seedkeeper and author, White is the founder and creative director of Sierra Seeds, a seed bank farm in Nevada City. She is also founder of Indigenous Seed Keepers Network.

The Burgerville Workers Union: Selected for the Emerging Leadership award, this honors the collective voice of workers at Burgerville. The member-run union, which is part of the Industrial Workers of the World in Portland, negotiated the chain’s first union contract in 2021, which applies to five units in the Pacific Northwest.

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