The James Beard Awards are the Oscars of the culinary world. This award is based on honoring the best chefs, restaurants, and food media in the country. The 2023 edition of the awards was held on May 1 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. It was a night of celebration, diversity, and surprises.
Here are some of the highlights and winners of the James Beard Awards 2023:
Best New Restaurant: Kith/Kin (Washington, D.C.)
Chef Kwame Onwuchi made history by becoming the first black chef to win the prestigious Best New Restaurant award for his Afro-Caribbean restaurant Kith/Kin in Washington DC. , his family and his ancestors inspired him to create a dish that reflects his heritage and culture.
Outstanding Chef: Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn, San Francisco)
Dominique Krane became the first woman to win the coveted Outstanding Chef Award for her innovative and artistic restaurant Atelier Krane in San Francisco. Crain, who is also a breast cancer survivor, dedicated her award to all the women in the industry who are overlooked and marginalized. She also urged her fellow chefs to use their platform to fight for social justice and environmental sustainability.
Outstanding Restaurant: Zahav (Philadelphia)
Zahav, a modern Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia. It won the award for Outstanding Restaurant after being nominated four times in the past. Chef Michael Solomonov and his partner Steve Cook accepted the award. He praised their staff, their city and their mentor Joan Nathan for their assistance. He also thanked the James Beard Foundation for recognizing the diversity and richness of Israeli cuisine.
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Natasha Pickowicz (Flora Bar and Café Altro Paradiso, NYC)
Natasha Pickowicz won the award for Outstanding Pastry Chef, for her creative and seasonal desserts at Flora Bar and Café Altro Paradiso in New York City. Pickowicz thanked her mentors, her colleagues, and her family for encouraging her to pursue her passion for pastry. She also shared her vision of creating a more inclusive and supportive community for pastry chefs in the industry.
Humanitarian of the Year: José Andrés (World Central Kitchen)
Chef Jose Andres received a standing ovation as he accepted the Humanitarian of the Year award for his remarkable work with World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization that provides food to those affected by natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Andres thanked his team of volunteers, donors, and partners for helping to feed millions of people around the world. He challenged his fellow chefs to use their skills and resources to make a positive impact in their communities and beyond.