James Beard Foundation: Winners Revealed for Prestigious Restaurant and Chef Awards, Emotional Moments Unfold as Hospitality Industry Stars Shine

Chicago, Illinois – The James Beard Foundation recently revealed the winners of its prestigious Restaurant and Chef Awards. The event, attended by chefs, restaurateurs, and hospitality professionals, celebrated excellence in the culinary industry, with awards given out for categories like Best New Restaurant, Emerging Chef, and 12 regional best chef categories.

Nyesha Arrington, Richard Blais, Amanda Freitag, and Marcus Samuelsson hosted the ceremony, where emotional speeches were given as the deserving winners received recognition for their outstanding contributions to the industry. Some standout moments included Gregory Gourdet’s third consecutive win for regional best chef for his restaurant Kann in Portland, Oregon, where he advocated for inclusivity and an end to generational trauma in restaurants. Michael Rafidi of Albi in Washington D.C. dedicated his Outstanding Chef award to Palestine, and Best New Restaurant went to Dakar NOLA in New Orleans, with chef Serigne Mbaye expressing gratitude and emotion towards his team.

The awards also highlighted diversity in cuisine with Hajime Sato becoming the first sushi chef to win in his category for his work at Sozai in Clawson, Michigan. Ana Liz Pulido of Ana Liz Taqueria in Mission, Texas, added a touch of culture by delivering her acceptance speech in Spanish with a triumphant “Viva Mexico.” The regional best chef categories saw wins for chefs in small towns like David Standridge in Mystic, Connecticut, Harley Peet in Easton, Maryland, and Paul Smith in Charleston, West Virginia – the first-ever win for a West Virginia restaurant in a main category.

In addition to the Restaurant and Chef Awards, the foundation also announced the winners of the James Beard Media Awards, recognizing excellence in cookbook publishing and food journalism. The full list of winners can be found on their website.

The 2024 James Beard Awards showcased the best in the culinary world, honoring outstanding chefs, restaurants, and industry professionals for their remarkable contributions. With a diverse range of winners spanning different regions and cuisines, the awards continue to celebrate talent and innovation in the ever-evolving food industry.