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James Beard Foundation Announces 2024 Restaurant and Chef Award Winners at Star-studded Gala

James Beard Foundation Awards 2024
James Beard Foundation Awards 2024

Winners of the 2024 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards presented by Capital One

The James Beard Foundation® announced today the winners of the 2024 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards presented by Capital One, honoring excellence across the culinary industry, from fine dining to casual gems in our communities, while also supporting and encouraging a more sustainable industry. The full list of winners can be found below and on the James Beard Foundation website.

The winners were announced during a live ceremony at the Lyric Opera of Chicago co-hosted by Nyesha Arrington, chef, restaurateur, and co-host of FOX’s Next Level Chef; Richard Blais, chef, James Beard Award–nominated author, and co-host of FOX’s Next Level Chef; Amanda Freitag, chef, author, and judge on Food Network’s Chopped, and Marcus Samuelsson, James Beard Award–winning chef, restaurateur, and author.

Also in attendance were the 2024 James Beard Award live stream and red carpet correspondents Francis Lam, food journalist, cookbook editor, host of American Public Media's The Splendid Table; Nilou Motamed, Emmy-nominated TV personality and former editor-in-chief at Food & Wine and Epicurious; and Sophia Roe, James Beard Award–winning chef, writer, founder of Apartment Miso, and Emmy-Award nominated TV host.

Additional presenters include Lorena Garcia, celebrity chef; Gregory Gourdet, James Beard Award–winning chef, writer, restaurateur and Top Chef finalist; Tim Flores and Genie Kwon, James Beard Award–winning chefs; Karen Akunowicz, James Beard Award–winning chef; Elizabeth Falkner, James Beard Award–nominated chef and restaurateur, James Beard Foundation trustee, and Awards Committee member; Paul Kahan, James Beard Award–winning chef; Donnie Madia, James Beard Award–winning restaurateur; Bricia Lopez, James Beard Award America’s Classics winner and restaurateur, Guelaguetza); Rob Rubba, James Beard Award–winning chef Nancy Silverton, James Beard Award–winning chef, baker and restaurateur; Art Smith, James Beard Award–winning chef; Aldo Sohm, James Beard Award–winning sommelier; Tanya Holland, chef, author, James Beard Foundation trustee, and Awards Committee Chair; and Chad Williams, James Beard Award–winning chef.

"Tonight, we raise a glass to the 2024 Restaurant and Chef Award winners for their phenomenal achievements," said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. "These remarkable individuals embody the very essence of our Good Food for Good ethos, showcasing exceptional talent, unwavering dedication to their craft, and a steadfast commitment to elevating the industry. With their passion, skill, and leadership, they are shaping our nation's dining landscape and setting a new standard for culinary excellence."

“Congratulations to the 2024 Restaurant and Chef winners on this well-deserved recognition” said Dawn Padmore, VP of Awards, James Beard Foundation. “I also extend a big thanks to our subcommittee and judges for their dedication to the Awards.

“The James Beard Awards present an invaluable opportunity to acknowledge the work of our industry,” added Tanya Holland, Chair of the James Beard Awards Committee and member of the James

Beard Foundation Board of Trustees. “I am so proud to be part of the work that the Foundation is doing, and I’m excited to continue celebrating the best of the best in our industry.”

"On behalf of the Restaurant and Chef Awards Subcommittee, congratulations to the 2024 winners. We are thrilled to honor this exceptional group of culinary leaders and look forward to seeing their continued contribution to our industry,” said Restaurant and Chef Awards Subcommittee Co-Chairs, Lauren Saria and Allecia Vermillion. “Thank you for sharing your talent and passion—and for all you are doing to push our food culture forward.”

The voting process for all Restaurant and Chef Awards can be found here, and the criteria and eligibility for each category can be found on the Awards’ policies and procedures page, as well as here.

2024 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award Winners

The James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards celebrate excellence across a range of experiences, from fine-dining establishments to casual gems, and emerging talents to established luminaries, while supporting and encouraging a more sustainable industry. Established in 1990, with the first ceremony taking place in 1991, the Restaurant and Chef Awards is one of five separate recognition programs for the Awards. The 2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards winners are recognized across 22 categories.

The 2024 Restaurant and Chef Winners are:

Outstanding Chef presented by Hilton: 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.

· Michael Rafidi, Albi, Washington, D.C

Outstanding Restaurateur: 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.

● Erika Whitaker and Kelly Whitaker, ID EST (The Wolf's Tailor, BRUTØ, Basta, and others), Boulder, CO

Outstanding Restaurant presented by Acqua PannaⓇ Natural Spring Water: A restaurant that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations, while contributing positively to its broader community.

● Langbaan, Portland, OR

Emerging Chef presented by S.PellegrinoⓇ Sparkling Natural Mineral Water: 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.

● Masako Morishita, Perry's, Washington, D.C.

Best New Restaurant presented by Clover from Fiserv: A restaurant opened between October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023, 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.

● Dakar NOLA, New Orleans, LA

Outstanding Bakery: A baker of breads, pastries, or desserts that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations, while contributing positively to its broader community.

● ZU Bakery, Portland, ME

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker: A pastry chef or baker who makes desserts, pastries, or breads who demonstrates exceptional skills while contributing positively to their broader community.

● Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland, ME

Outstanding Hospitality presented by American Airlines: 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.

● Lula Cafe, Chicago, IL

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program: 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.

● Lula Drake Wine Parlour, Columbia, SC

Outstanding Bar: 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.

· Jewel of the South, New Orleans, LA

Regional Best Chefs presented by Capital One: 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

● Lord Maynard Llera, Kuya Lord, Los Angeles, CA

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

● Hajime Sato, Sozai, Clawson, MI

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

● Harley Peet, Bas Rouge, Easton, MD

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

● Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis, MN

Best Chef: Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY)

● Matt Vawter, Rootstalk, Breckenridge, CO

Best Chef: New York State

● Charlie Mitchell, Clover Hill, Brooklyn, NY

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)

● David Standridge, The Shipwright's Daughter, Mystic, CT

Best Chef: Northwest & Pacific (AK, HI, OR, WA)

● Gregory Gourdet, kann, Portland, OR

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)

● Valerie Chang, Maty's, Miami, FL

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

● Paul Smith, 1010 Bridge, Charleston, WV

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)

● Rene Andrade, Bacanora, Phoenix, AZ

Best Chef: Texas

● Ana Liz Pulido, Ana Liz Taqueria, Mission, TX

Previously Announced Winners and Honorees

Previously announced winners of the Restaurant and Chef America’s Classics Awards as well as the James Beard Achievement Awards honorees (Leadership Awards, Humanitarian of the Year Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award), were also celebrated on stage.

America’s Classics presented by Heinz: Locally and independently owned restaurants with timeless appeal that are beloved in their region for food that reflects the character and cultural traditions of their communities.

● California: Mandalay, San Francisco, CA; Owner: Sherry Dung

● Mid-Atlantic: Vietnam Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA; Owner: Benny Lai

● Midwest: Pheasant Restaurant and Lounge, Brookings, SD; Owners: Georgiana Olson and Michael Johnson

● New York State: Sylvia’s Restaurant, New York, NY; Owners: The Woods Family

● Southeast: Wade’s Restaurant, Spartanburg, SC; Owners: Hamp Lindsey, Wade Lindsey III, and Anna Lindsey Liles

● Southwest: Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge, Las Vegas, NV; Owners: Nat Carasali and Bill Paganetti (†)

Achievement Awards:

The 2024 Leadership Award Honorees: Read more about this year’s Leadership Awards honorees and yesterday’s ceremony here.

● Food Security and Access: Helga Garza, Executive Director, Agri-Cultura Cooperative Network/La Cosecha

● Industry Culture and Practices: Muhammad Abdul-Hadi, Founder/Owner, Down North Pizza and Down North Foundation

● Policy Advocacy: Niaz Dorry, Coordinating Director, North American Marine Alliance (NAMA), Executive Director, National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC)

● Sustainability: Mai Nguyen, Farmer, Farmer Mai

● Emerging Leadership: Christa Barfield, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, FarmerJawn

Humanitarian of the Year: The LEE Initiative

The LEE Initiative is an organization that promotes diversity, equity, and empowerment for employees within the restaurant industry. Founded in 2017 by chef Edward Lee and Lindsey Ofcacek, The LEE Initiative—an acronym for Let’s Empower Employment—is responsible for creating programs that advance women, amplify Black voices, and explore sustainable policies for restaurants. Known for its relief work, The LEE Initiative has raised over $5 million in direct aid and investments for small farms, Black-owned food businesses, COVID-19 support, and more. In 2021, Ofcacek and chef Lee were honored with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for their work through The LEE Initiative.

Michael Phillips, president of Jamestown Properties and a James Beard Foundation trustee, has established the Michael Phillips Humanitarian Fund at the James Beard Foundation, which will grant an annual cash award of $20,000 to the Humanitarian of the Year.

Lifetime Achievement: Ruth Reichl

The 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree is the inimitable writer, editor, novelist, and television personality Ruth Reichl. In 1971, at the age of 23, Reichl wrote her first cookbook, MMMMM: A Feastiary. This set her on a path to prominence as a “make or break” food critic for esteemed publications like the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. In 1999, she took over as editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, commissioning pieces from legendary writers like David Foster Wallace. Reichl's captivating memoirs offer an intimate glimpse into five decades of her culinary adventures. Her first memoir, Tender at the Bone, helped readers to understand “that food could be a way of making sense of the world.” Reichl's appearances as a judge on Bravo TV's Top Chef and Top Chef Masters endeared her to a new generation of food enthusiasts, reinforcing her reputation as a culinary and food media icon. Reichl's impact on the food industry has been recognized with seven James Beard Awards and the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America award, cementing her legacy in the food world as a leading voice and trailblazer for women.

The 2024 James Beard Awards are presented by Capital One, the official credit card and banking partner of the James Beard Foundation. The James Beard Awards are proudly hosted by Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association, and presented in association with Chicago Department of Aviation, Clover from Fiserv, Hilton, as well as with the following partners: Premier Sponsors: Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water, American Airlines, the official airline of the James Beard Foundation, HEINZ, HMSHost, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, Stella Artois; Supporting Sponsors: HexClad Cookware, Skuna Bay Salmon; Reception Sponsors: Ecolab, Kendall College at National Louis University, Windstar Cruises, the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation; Additional Support Sponsors: Cristaux, Paperchase, Plugrà® Premium European Style Butter, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, VerTerra Dinnerware. Intersport is the Official Broadcast Partner of the 2024 James Beard Awards. For more information about the James Beard Awards, visit For up-to-the-minute news about the Awards, follow @beardfoundation on X (Twitter) and Instagram and keep an eye out for posts using #jbfa.


The James Beard Awards recognizes exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive. Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards are among the nation’s most prestigious honors recognizing leaders in the culinary and food media industries. The Awards are overseen by the Awards Committee. Each Awards program (Books, Broadcast Media, Journalism, Leadership, and Restaurant and Chef) has its own subcommittee members who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective program. All James Beard Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. For more information, subscribe to the Awards digital newsletter.


The James Beard Foundation (JBF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that celebrates and supports the people behind America’s food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry to create a future where all have the opportunity to thrive. Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry that honors its diverse communities. By amplifying new voices, celebrating those leading the way, and supporting those on the path to do so, the Foundation is working to create a more equitable and sustainable future—what we call Good Food for Good®. JBF brings its mission to life through the annual Awards, industry and community-focused programs, advocacy, partnerships, and

events across the country. For the first time in the Foundation’s history, exceptional culinary talent, industry leaders, and visitors from NYC and beyond can experience unforgettable dining and educational programming at Platform by JBF—inspiring food and beverage devotees for decades to come. Learn more at, sign up for our newsletter, and follow @beardfoundation on social media.


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