The James Beard Foundation has bestowed its 2022 awards on a number of worthy chefs and restaurants.

The foundation seeks to honor talented chefs and remarkable restaurants with the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards, highlighting new and emerging chefs of various disciplines in relation to the restaurants they work at. This is the first time since the pandemic that the prestigious awards have been given out.

The honored restaurants are located in various cities throughout the United States, with Best New Restaurant going to Owamni (Minneapolis). Outstanding Wine Program was awarded to The Four Horseman (New York City) and Outstanding Bar Program went to Julep (Houston). Outstanding Restaurant and Outstanding Hospitality went to Asheville restaurants Chani Pani and Cúrate, respectively.

The chef award recipients also hail from different cities. Outstanding Restaurateur was awarded to Chris Bianco, who owns Tratto, Pane Bianco, and Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. The title of Emerging Chef went to Edgar Rico of Nixta Taqueria in Austin, whereas Outstanding Chef was given to Mashama Bailey of The Grey in Savannah.  

Owner of Warda Pâtisserie in Detroit, Warda Bouguettaya, was awarded Outstanding Pastry Chef. Similarly, Don Guerra of Barrio Bread in Tucson received the Outstanding Baker award. 

The James Beard Foundation also gives out awards for Best Chef by region. The California recipient was Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s (San Francisco), while the Great Lakes award went to Erick Williams of Virtue Restaurant & Bar (Chicago) and the Mid-Atlantic award went to Christina Martinez of South Philly Barbacoa (Philadelphia). Dane Baldwin of The Diplomat (Milwaukee) received the Midwest award, whereas Caroline Glover of Annette in Aurora (Colorado) won in the Mountain category. 

The Northeast’s best chef was Nisachon Morgan of Saap in Randolph (Vermont). In the Northwest and Pacific, the award went to Robynne Maii of Fête (Honolulu). The south had three best chef awards, with Southeast going to Ricky Moore of SALTBOX Seafood Joint (Durham), South going to Adam Evans of Automatic Seafood and Oysters (Birmingham), and Southwest going to Fernando Olea of Sazón (Santa Fe).

Other best chef winners are Chintan Pandya of Dhamaka (New York City) in New York and Iliana de la Vega of El Naranjo (Austin) in Texas. 

Grace Young received the foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award for her actions toward saving America’s Chinatowns and against Asian American and Pacific Islander hate during the pandemic. 

TV chef Martin Yan received the Lifetime Achievement award for his 44 year career, during which he has published 30 cookbooks and aired 3500 episodes.

This was the first time the James Beard Awards have been given out since the foundation underwent an audit to find and remove systemic biases in their award-giving process. The James Beard Foundation has also recently made a commitment to transparency.

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