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See 2024 James Beard Award-Winning Chefs and Restaurants

The Oscar of the food world in the United States — the James Beard Awards — was delivered this week to many chefs and restaurants, reflecting cultures and regions forgotten in the country’s culinary achievements.

At the Dakar NOLA, winner of the Best New Restaurant the chef Serigne Mbaye combines its West African roots with New Orleans ingredients in a seasonal pescatarian menu.

“I always knew West Africa had something to say,” Mbaye said at the awards ceremony at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, while also preparing classic African-American and French cuisine at other restaurants. “It kept me going.”

The winner of Exceptional Restaurant , Langbaan in Portland, Oregon, transforms classic Thai food with Pacific Northwest ingredients into a five-course tasting menu. Category winner Featured Chef Michael Rafidi, dedicated his award to the Palestinian people around the world in his acceptance speech.

Rafidi’s creative twists on traditional Arabic cuisine at Albi, his Michelin-starred restaurant in Washington, D.C., are inspired by his family’s roots in Ramallah.

The 2024 winners bring culinary heritages from around the world — Philippines, Mexico, Japan, Peru, Vietnam, Senegal — for tables in the United States.

This year’s awards also bring recognition to restaurants in many smaller cities and states that have not historically been recognized with James Beard Awards.

“Two words that have never been mentioned here before: West Virginia,” said Paul Smith, chef at 1010 Bridge in Charleston, West Virginia, and winner of the Best Chef: Southeast .

Lula Drake Wine Parlor in Columbia, South Carolina, won the award for Wine and Other Featured Beverages Program . Chefs in Mission, Texas; in Mystic, Connecticut; and in Easton, Maryland, everyone received tributes. Chef Masako Morishita received the James Beard Award for New Chef .

Chef Masako Morishita received the James Beard Award for New Chef

For some winners, the awards represent an accidental career change. Masako Morishita moved to Washington, D.C., to be a cheerleader for the Washington Commanders, an American football team. Atsuko Fujimoto arrived in Portland, Maine, 23 years ago from Tokyo, with no professional kitchen experience.

“Wow, this is my biggest American dream come true,” said Morishita, who received the award New Chef for his Japanese comfort food at Perry’s in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. Fujimoto, of Norimoto Bakery in Portland, Maine, received the award Exceptional Baker .

Challenging times

Many of the challenges facing the restaurant industry — and culture in general — were addressed throughout the evening: climate change, sustainability, inclusion and mental health.

Some honorees received achievement awards. That group included the legendary food editor, writer, novelist and television personality Ruth Reichl who worked as a food critic at The New York Times and editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine.

Reichl thanked the James Beard Foundation and global food visionaries brought together for the transformation of American food culture that she has seen in her lifetime.

You changed the way we eat, created a delicious revolution and a world where people finally understand that eating is an ethical act and that our food choices really matter. It gives me hope for the future

Ruth Reichl

The nonprofit James Beard Foundation was created more than 30 years ago, shortly after the death of chef James Beard, “to celebrate, support and uplift the people behind America’s food culture.”

Beard hosted “I Love to Eat,” the first cooking show on network television in 1946 and was called “Dean of American Cooking” by The New York Times in 1954.

The foundation, which has faced controversy in recent years, introduced new policies and procedures and a new code of ethics in 2022 following criticism over a lack of diversity and allegations of bad behavior by chefs.

Last year, the process of vetting chef behavior sparked its own controversy.

See full list of 2024 finalists and winners

Featured Restaurateur

  • Hamissi Mamba and Nadia Nijimbere, Baobab Fare, Detroit, MI
  • Quynh-Vy and Yenvy Pham, Phở Bắc Súp Shop, Phởcific Standard Time and The Boat, Seattle, WA
  • Chris Viaud, Greenleaf, Ansanm and Pavilion, Milford and Wolfeboro, NH
  • Hollis Wells Silverman, Eastern Point Collective (The Duck & The Peach, Méli, The Wells and others), Washington, DC
  • WINNER: Erika Whitaker and Kelly Whitaker ID EST (The Wolf’s Tailor, BRUTØ, Basta and others), Boulder, CO

Featured Chef

  • Sarah Minnick, Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, Portland, OR
  • Dean Neff, Seabird, Wilmington, NC
  • WINNER: Michael Rafidi Albi, Washington, DC
  • Renee Touponce, The Port of Call, Mystic, CT
  • David Uygur, Lucia, Dallas, TX

Featured restaurant

  • The Compound, Santa Fe, NM
  • Convenience West, Marfa, TX
  • WINNER: Langbaan Portland, OR
  • Mixtli, San Antonio, TX
  • Vestige, Ocean Springs, MS

New chef

  • Fariyal Abdullahi, Hav & Mar, New York, NY
  • Janet Becerra, Pancita, Seattle, WA
  • Nikko Cagalanan, Kultura, Charleston, SC
  • Ryan Fernandez, Southern Junction, Buffalo, NY
  • WINNER: Masako Morishita Perry’s, Washington, DC

Best new restaurant

  • Bacetto Bar, Waitsburg, WA
  • Barbs-BQ, Lockhart, TX
  • Chez Noir, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
  • Comfort Kitchen, Dorchester, MA
  • WINNER: Dakar NOLA New Orleans, LA
  • Hayward, McMinnville, OR
  • Kaya, Orlando, FL
  • Kisser, Nashville, TN
  • Oro by Nixta, Minneapolis, MN
  • Shan, Bozeman, MT

Exceptional bakery

  • The Burque Bakehouse, Albuquerque, NM
  • Gusto Bread, Long Beach, CA
  • JinJu Patisserie, Portland, OR
  • Mel the Bakery, Hudson, NY
  • WINNER: ZU Bakery, Portland, ME

Exceptional Pastry Chef or Baker

  • Susan Bae, Moon Rabbit, Washington, DC
  • Jesus Brazon and Manuel Brazon, Caracas Bakery, Doral and Miami, FL
  • WINNER: Atsuko Fujimoto Norimoto Bakery, Portland, ME
  • Crystal Kass, Valentine, Phoenix, AZ
  • Anna Posey, Elske, Chicago, IL

Exceptional Hospitality

  • Crawford and Son, Raleigh, NC
  • Gemma, Dallas, TX
  • WINNER: Lula Cafe Chicago, IL
  • Melba’s, New York, NY
  • Woodford Food & Beverage, Portland, ME

Exceptional Wine and Other Beverages Program

  • WINNER: Lula Drake Wine Parlor Columbia, SC
  • The Morris, San Francisco, CA
  • Strong Water Anaheim, Anaheim, CA
  • Tail Up Goat, Washington, DC
  • Waxlight Bar à Vin, Buffalo, NY

Exceptional Bar

  • Barr Hill Cocktail Bar, Montpelier, VT
  • Clavel Mezcaleria, Baltimore, MD
  • WINNER: Jewel of the South New Orleans, LA
  • Las Ramblas, Brownsville, TX
  • Pacific Cocktail Haven, San Francisco, CA

Best Chefs (by region)

Best Chef: California

  • Geoff Davis, Burdell, Oakland, CA
  • Rogelio Garcia, Auro, Calistoga, CA
  • WINNER: Lord Maynard Llera Kuya Lord, Los Angeles, CA
  • Tara Monsod, Animae, San Diego, CA
  • Buu “Billy” Ngo, Kru, Sacramento, CA

Best Chef: Great Lakes

  • Vinnie Cimino, Cordelia, Cleveland, OH
  • Jose Salazar, Mita’s, Cincinnati, OH
  • Sujan Sarkar, Indienne, Chicago, IL
  • WINNER: Hajime Sato Sozai, Clawson, MI
  • Jenner Tomaska, Esmé, Chicago, IL

Best Chef: Middle Atlantic

  • Tony Conte, Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana, Darnestown, MD
  • Jesse Ito, Royal Sushi & Izakaya, Philadelphia, PA
  • Matt Kern, One Coastal, Fenwick Island, DE
  • WINNER: Harley Peet Bas Rouge, Easton, MD
  • Kevin Tien, Moon Rabbit, Washington, DC

Best Chef: Midwest

  • Ann Ahmed, Khâluna, Minneapolis, MN
  • Rob Connoley, Bulrush, St. Louis, MO
  • Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, EsterEv, Milwaukee, WI
  • WINNER: Christina Nguyen Hai Hai, Minneapolis, MN
  • Tim Nicholson, The Boiler Room, Omaha, NE

Best Chef: Mountain

  • Brandon Cunningham, Social Haus, Greenough, MT
  • Ali Sabbah, Mazza Cafe, Salt Lake City, UT
  • WINNER: Matt Vawter Rootstalk, Breckenridge, CO
  • Penelope Wong, Yuan Wonton, Denver, CO
  • Nick Zocco, Urban Hill, Salt Lake City, UT

Best Chef: New York State

  • Nasim Alikhani, Sofreh, Brooklyn, NY
  • Atsushi Kono, Kono, New York, NY
  • Chris Mauricio, Harana Market, Accord, NY
  • WINNER: Charlie Mitchell Clover Hill, Brooklyn, NY
  • Jeremy Salamon, Agi’s Counter, Brooklyn, NY

Best Chef: Northeast

  • Conor Dennehy, Talulla, Cambridge, MA
  • Maria Meza, Dolores, Providence, RI
  • WINNER: David Standridge The Shipwright’s Daughter, Mystic, CT
  • Jake Stevens, Leeward, Portland, ME
  • Cara Tobin, Honey Road, Burlington, VT

Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific

  • Avery Adams, Matia Kitchen, Orcas Island, WA
  • Kristi Brown, Communion, Seattle, WA
  • Josh Dorcak, MÄS, Ashland, OR
  • WINNER: Gregory Gourdet kann, Portland, OR
  • Melissa Miranda, Musang, Seattle, WA

Best Chef: Southeast

  • Jamie Davis, The Hackney, Washington, NC
  • Rod Lassiter and Parnass Savang, Talat Market, Atlanta, GA
  • James London, Chubby Fish, Charleston, SC
  • Robbie Robinson, City Limits Barbeque, West Columbia, SC
  • WINNER: Paul Smith, 1010 Bridge, Charleston, WV

Best Chef: South

  • WINNER: Valerie Chang Maty’s, Miami, FL
  • Hunter Evans, Elvie’s, Jackson, MS
  • Gabriel Hernandez, Verde Mesa, San Juan, PR
  • Carlos Portela, Orujo, San Juan, PR
  • Arvinder Vilkhu, Saffron, New Orleans, LA

Best Chef: Southwest

  • WINNER: Rene Andrade Bacanora, Phoenix, AZ
  • Jeff Chanchaleune, Ma Der Lao Kitchen, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Steve Kestler, Aroma Latin American Cocina, Henderson, NV
  • Steve Riley, Mesa Provisions, Albuquerque, NM
  • Eduardo Rodriguez, Zacatlán, Santa Fe, NM

Best Chef: Texas

  • Emmanuel Chavez, Tatemó, Houston, TX
  • Christopher Cullum, Cullum’s Attaboy, San Antonio, TX
  • Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel, Birdie’s, Austin, TX
  • Misti Norris, Petra & the Beast, Dallas, TX
  • WINNER: Ana Liz Pulido Ana Liz Taqueria, Mission, TX

Source: CNN Brasil

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