The James Beard Foundation just announced the winners of its prestigious restaurant and chef awards, often described as the “Oscars of the food world.” Named after the renowned American chef and cookbook author, the awards are an annual celebration (since 1990) of the best of the best in the culinary world.
This year’s ceremony returned to the Lyric Opera in Chicago, where awards were handed out to an extraordinary group of chefs and restaurateurs at the forefront of culinary innovation, the forces behind topnotch hospitality, and those creating just an all-around enchanting meal.
Among the winners this year are the first indigenous woman and first Puerto Rican person to win a James Beard Award, a tortilleria in Kansas City, and a legendary Philadelphia restaurateur. Read on for the full list of winners.
A restaurateur who uses their establishment(s) as a vehicle for building community, demonstrates creativity in entrepreneurship and integrity in restaurant operations, and is making efforts to create a sustainable work culture, while contributing positively to their broader community.
WINNER: Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group (Fork, a.kitchen + bar, High Street Philly, and others), Philadelphia, PA. Legendary Philly restaurateur Ellen Yin changed the face of local fine dining when she opened Fork in 1997 to spotlight local ingredients.
Greg Dulan, Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, Dulan’s on Crenshaw, and Dulanville, Los Angeles, CA
Aaron Hoskins, Sarah Simmons, Nicole Storey, and Elie Yigo, City Grit Hospitality Group (SmallSUGAR, CITY GRIT, and Il Focolare Pizzeria), Columbia, SC
Yenvy and Quynh Pham, Phở Bắc Sup Shop, Phởcific Standard Time, and The Boat, Seattle, WA
A chef who sets high culinary standards and has served as a positive example for other food professionals, while contributing positively to their broader community.
WINNER: Rob Rubba, Oyster Oyster, Washington, D.C. Sustainability is front and center at chef Rob Rubba’s MICHELIN-starred tasting menu restaurant, Oyster Oyster. Rubba eliminated single-use plastics at his restaurant and has received numerous accolades for his vegetable-centric dishes.
Rachel Miller, Nightshade Noodle Bar, Lynn, MA
Niki Nakayama, n/naka, Los Angeles, CA
Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn, Brooklyn, NY
Hajime Sato, Sozai, Clawson, MI
A restaurant that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations, while contributing positively to its broader community.
WINNER: Friday Saturday Sunday, Philadelphia, PA. Hanna and Chad Williams bought this space in 2015, gut renovated it, got married in it in 2016, and transformed it into the tasting-menu favorite that it is today.
Copine, Seattle, WA
Cora Cora, West Hartford, CT
Lucia, Dallas, TX
Mita’s, Cincinnati, OH
A chef who displays exceptional talent, character, and leadership ability, and who is likely to make a significant impact in years to come, while contributing positively to their broader community.
WINNER: Damarr Brown, Virtue, Chicago, IL. Top Chef contestant Brown has been hailed for his creativity and also nabbed the Food & Wine‘s best new chef award in 2022. Virtue is owned by Brown’s mentor and fellow James Beard Award winner Erick Williams.
Rashida Holmes, Bridgetown Roti, Los Angeles, CA
Serigne Mbaye, Dakar NOLA, New Orleans, LA
Charlie Mitchell, Clover Hill, New York, NY
Amanda Shulman, Her Place Supper Club, Philadelphia, PA
Best New Restaurant
A restaurant opened between January 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022, that already demonstrates excellence in cuisine, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community, and seems likely to make a significant impact in years to come. Those establishments that have opened after September 30, 2022, can be considered for the 2024 awards.
WINNER: Kann, Portland, OR. Chef and owner Gregory Gourdet also took home a Beard last year for his cookbook Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health. His wood-fired Portland restaurant Kann, which blends Haitian cuisine with ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, was named among Esquire’s best new restaurants in 2022.
Causa, Washington, D.C.
Dept of Culture, New York, NY
Don Artemio, Fort Worth, TX
Lupi & Iris, Milwaukee, WI
Neng Jr.’s, Asheville, NC
Nolia, Cincinnati, OH
Obélix, Chicago, IL
Restaurant Beatrice, Dallas, TX
Tatemó, Houston, TX
New in 2023, this category recognizes a baker of breads, pastries, or desserts that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community.
WINNER: Yoli Tortilleria, Kansas City, MO. Marissa and Mark Gencarelli’s business went from a hobby to a go-to local destination for its corn and flour tortillas that are inspired by Marissa’s time growing up in Sonora, Mexico.
Angelo Brocato, New Orleans, LA
La Casita Bakeshop, Richardson, TX
Kuluntu Bakery, Dallas, TX
Zak the Baker, Miami, FL
Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker
The former Outstanding Pastry Chef and Outstanding Baker categories have been combined into one, Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker. This category recognizes a pastry chef or baker who makes desserts, pastries, or breads. Candidate demonstrates exceptional skills and can be affiliated with any food business and does not need a brick-and-mortar presence. Candidate contributes positively to their broader community.
WINNER: Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles, CA. Acclaimed chef Manzke is a culinary force in the Los Angeles dining scene. Along with her husband Walter Manzke, she runs beloved local destinations Bicyclette, Manzke, and Sari Sari Store, in addition to République.
Veronika Baukema, Veronika’s Pastry Shop, Billings, MT
Vince Bugtong, Viridian, Oakland, CA
Shawn McKenzie, Café Cerés, Minneapolis, MN
Elaine Uykimpang Bentz, Café Mochiko, Cincinnati, OH
A restaurant, bar or other food and drinking establishment that fosters a sense of hospitality among its customers and staff that serves as a beacon for the community and demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community.
WINNER: The Quarry, Monson, ME. Chef and owner Marilou “Lulu” Ranta worked as a maid in the Philippines before immigrating to the US in the 1980s. Her Maine fine-dining restaurant has been lauded for its hospitality since its debut in 2018.
The Black Cypress, Pullman, WA
Bottega, Birmingham, AL
Lula Drake, Columbia, SC
Sepia, Chicago, IL
Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program
Expanded from Outstanding Wine Program this year to include other beverages, this award is presented to a restaurant that demonstrates exceptional care and skill in the pairing of wine and other beverages with food while contributing positively to its broader community. This includes the selection, preparation, and serving of wine, cocktails, spirits, coffee, tea, beer or any other beverage with outstanding hospitality and service that helps inform and enhance a customer’s appreciation of the beverage(s). Ethical sourcing and positive contributions to the broader community will also be considered.
WINNER: OTOTO, Los Angeles, CA. This Echo Park destination is considered the best sake bar in Los Angeles. Owners Courtney Kaplan and Charles Namba have created a space that celebrates a massive range of sakes.
COTE, New York, NY
Lazy Bear, San Francisco, CA
Nancy’s Hustle, Houston, TX
Spencer, Ann Arbor, MI
Expanded to include wine and other beverages, this award is presented to a wine bar, beer bar, cocktail bar, coffee bar, or any other business whose primary offering is beverage and that demonstrates consistent excellence in curating a selection or in the preparation of drinks, along with outstanding atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community.
WINNER: Bar Leather Apron, Honolulu, HI. Founders Justin and Tom Park have been recognized by the World’s 50 Best organization for running one of the 50 best bars in North America. People return here for the stellar cocktails such as E Ho’O Pau Mai Tai with vanilla blossom honey and raisin-infused rum.
Drastic Measures, Shawnee, KS
Garagiste, Las Vegas, NV
Las Ramblas, Brownsville, TX
Rob Roy, Seattle, WA
Best Chefs (by region)
Chefs who set high standards in their culinary skills and leadership abilities, and who are making efforts to help create a sustainable work culture in their respective regions while contributing positively to their broader community.
Best Chef: California
WINNER: Justin Pichetrungsi, Anajak Thai, Sherman Oaks, CA. Pichetrungsi grew up in this Thai restaurant started by his parents 43 years ago, making it one of the oldest Thai restaurants in the country. He took over after his father got sick, and The LA Times rewarded that effort by naming it restaurant of the year in 2022.
Gilberto Cetina Jr., Holbox, Los Angeles, CA
Kyle and Katina Connaughton, SingleThread, Healdsburg, CA
Brandon Hayato Go, Hayato, Los Angeles, CA
Carlos Salgado, Taco María, Costa Mesa, CA
Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
WINNER: Tim Flores and Genie Kwon, Kasama, Chicago, IL. This Filipino restaurant is a bakery by day and a fine-dining restaurant by night. At the MICHELIN-starred restaurant, the couple pay tribute to Flores’ mom’s Filipino cooking.
Omar Anani, Saffron De Twah, Detroit, MI
Diana Dávila Boldin, Mi Tocaya Antojería, Chicago, IL
Andy Hollyday, Selden Standard, Detroit, MI
Sarah Welch, Marrow, Detroit, MI
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
WINNER: Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon, Kalaya, Philadelphia, PA. A former flight attendant, Suntaranon got into restaurants after meeting her husband and moving to Philadelphia. She named Kalaya after her mother and has been instrumental in changing the face of Thai food in Philadelphia.
Jesse Ito, Royal Ushi, Philadelphia, PA
Dionicio Jiménez, Cantina La Martina, Philadelphia, PA
Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, Apteka, Pittsburgh, PA
Michael Rafidi, Albi, Washington, D.C.
Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
WINNER: Itaru Nagano and Andrew Kroeger, Fairchild, Madison, WI. After working at several MICHELIN-starred restaurants, these chefs opened Fairchild in 2020, which is a hot destination for its playful, French and Italian-inspired menu.
Sanaa Abourezk, Sanaa’s Gourmet Mediterranean, Sioux Falls, SD
Gregory León, Amilinda, Milwaukee, WI
Francesco Mangano, Osteria Papavero, Madison, WI
David Utterback, Yoshitomo, Omaha, NE
Best Chef: Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY)
Salvador Alamilla, Amano, Caldwell, ID
Michael Diaz de Leon, BRUTØ, Denver, CO
Suchada Johnson, Teton Thai, Teton Village, WY
Ali Sabbah, Mazza, Salt Lake City, UT
Best Chef: New York State
WINNER: Junghyun Park, Atomix, New York, NY. Junghyun Park and his wife Ellia Park have put inventive Korean food on the map in NYC in a major way with beloved restaurants, including Atoboy, Naro, and the newly opened Seoul Salon.
Nasim Alikhani, Sofreh, Brooklyn, NY
Mary Attea, The Musket Room, New York, NY
Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy, New York, NY
Shaina Loew-Banayan, Cafe Mutton, Hudson, NY
Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
WINNER: Sherry Pocknett, Sly Fox Den Too, Charlestown, RI. The first indigenous woman to win a James Beard Award, Pocknett has been heralded for keeping Wampanoag food traditions alive at her Charleston restaurant.
Valentine Howell, Krasi, Boston, MA
Christian Hunter, Community Table, Washington, CT
Yisha Siu, Yunnan Kitchen, Boston, MA
Renee Touponce, The Port of Call, Mystic, CT
Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific (AK, HI, OR, WA)
WINNER: Vince Nguyen, Berlu, Portland, OR. This genre-bending fine-dining Vietnamese restaurant is a Portland favorite thanks to the culinary wizardry of chef Nguyen.
Joshua Dorcak, MÄS, Ashland, OR
Thomas Pisha-Duffly, Gado Gado, Portland, OR
Beau Schooler, In Bocca Al Lupo, Juneau, AK
Aaron Verzosa, Archipelago, Seattle, WA
Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)
WINNER: Terry Koval, The Deer and the Dove, Decatur, GA. Koval dropped out of high school to become a pro-skateboarder in California, where he developed his love for food and cooking. His open-flame Decatur restaurant turns out seasonal fare in a lively space.
Sam Fore, Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites, Lexington, KY
Josh Habiger, Bastion, Nashville, TN
Sam Hart, Counter-, Charlotte, NC
Paul Smith, 1010 Bridge, Charleston, WV
Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)
WINNER: Natalia Vallejo, Cocina al Fondo, San Juan, PR. Vallejo is the first Puerto Rican person to win a James Beard Award. Since its debut in 2018, Cocina al Fondo has been hailed for showcasing the culinary diversity of Puerto Rico.
Ana Castro, Lengua Madre, New Orleans, LA
Alex Perry and Kumi Omori, Vestige, Ocean Springs, MS
Timothy Hontzas, Johnny’s Restaurant, Homewood, AL
Henry Moso, Kabooki Sushi, Orlando, FL
Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)
WINNER: Andrew Black, Grey Sweater, Oklahoma City, OK. This avant-garde tasting menu restaurant builds on Black’s considerable culinary prowess in Oklahoma City, including hit restaurants such as La Baguette Deep Deuce and Black Walnut.
Oscar Amador and Francesco Di Caudo, Anima by EDO, Las Vegas, NV
Kaoru Azeuchi, KAISEKI YUZU, Las Vegas, NV
Jeff Chanchaleune, Ma Der Lao Kitchen, Oklahoma City, OK
Justin Pioche, Pioche Food Group, Upper Fruitland (Doolkai), Navajo Nation, NM
Best Chef: Texas
WINNER: Benchawan Jabthong Painter, Street to Kitchen, Houston, TX. Benchawan learned to cook in her grandmother’s restaurant in Central Thailand. She opened this restaurant along with her husband Graham Painter in 2015 to showcase, “unapologetically authentic Thai food.”
Reyna Duong, Sandwich Hag, Dallas, TX
Emiliano Marentes, ELEMI, El Paso, TX
John Russ, Clementine, San Antonio, TX
Ernest Servantes and David Kirkland, Burnt Bean Co., Seguin, TX