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Celebrating America’s Diverse and Innovative Culinary Scene: James Beard Foundation 2022 Awards

James Beard Foundation 2022 Award Winners: Celebrating Culinary Excellence and Diversity

The James Beard Foundation Awards, also referred to as the culinary Oscars, are held annually to celebrate the best in American culinary achievements. This year’s winners once again demonstrated the diverse range of talent and creativity within the culinary industry.

Diverse Chefs Creating a Full Spectrum of American Dishes

One of the highlights of this year’s awards was the recognition of diverse chefs who are pushing the boundaries of what it means to create American cuisine. These chefs are embracing their cultural heritage and incorporating it into their menu offerings, creating a full spectrum of flavors that reflects the diversity of our country.

Among the winners was Sasha Grumman of the Miyako Hotel in Los Angeles, who took home the Outstanding Chef award. Grumman is known for her approachable and inclusive approach to cooking, creating dishes that showcase the flavors of her native Mexico.

Meanwhile, Gaby Maeda of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, was named Rising Star Chef of the Year. Maeda is committed to using locally sourced ingredients and bringing her Japanese-American heritage to the forefront of her menu.

Affordable and High-End Restaurants in Different Regions

In addition to recognizing outstanding chefs, the James Beard Foundation Awards also highlight affordable and high-end restaurants in different regions of the country. This year’s winners included establishments that offer everything from classic comfort food to innovative tasting menus.

One standout winner was the Olamaie restaurant in Austin, Texas, which took home the award for Best Restaurant. The restaurant offers a modern take on southern cuisine, with menu items like shrimp and grits and a buttermilk biscuit topped with caviar.

Meanwhile, Alligator Soul in Savannah, Georgia, won for Best Chef in the Southeast. The restaurant features an eclectic menu that includes everything from jerk-spiced duck breast to fried green tomatoes.

The Grey, Savannah, Georgia: Showcasing Elegant and Seasonal Southern Food

One restaurant that stood out in this year’s awards was The Grey in Savannah, Georgia. Mashama Bailey, the chef and co-owner, took home the Outstanding Chef award for her elegant and seasonal southern cuisine.

The Grey is housed in a restored 1930s Greyhound bus station, creating a unique and memorable dining experience. Bailey’s menu features a range of dishes that highlight the flavors of the region, while also incorporating her own personal touch.

Starters include crispy oysters with smoked cream and pickled mustard seeds, while entrees range from dry-aged ribeye with charred onions to blackened tilefish with braised collards. With prices ranging from $15 to $38, The Grey offers a high-end dining experience that is still accessible to a wide range of diners.

Menu Items and Estimated Prices

For those who are interested in trying out the award-winning restaurants on their own, it can be helpful to have an idea of what to expect in terms of menu items and prices. Here are a few selected menu items from the award-winning restaurants, along with their estimated prices:

– Olamaie, Austin, Texas:

– Shrimp and grits with tomato gravy, $19

– Buttermilk biscuits with caviar, $45 for a dozen

– Alligator Soul, Savannah, Georgia:

– Jerk-spiced duck breast with sweet potato puree, $32

– Fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, $10

– The Grey, Savannah, Georgia:

– Crispy oysters with smoked cream and pickled mustard seeds, $15

– Blackened tilefish with braised collards, $38

Whether you’re a foodie looking to explore the latest culinary trends or simply looking for a great place to eat, the James Beard Foundation Awards offer a wealth of options.

From diverse chefs creating innovative menus to affordable and high-end restaurants in every region, these winners showcase the best of American cuisine. Owamni, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Celebrating Indigenous Food and Decolonized Menus

In a world where traditional Indigenous cuisines have been often overlooked and left behind, the opening of Owamni in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a game-changer.

The restaurant is led by Sean Sherman, an Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef, a nonprofit organization that aims to revitalize Indigenous cuisines through education and advocacy. Owamni was named Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation for its efforts in elevating Indigenous food systems and incorporating traditional ingredients into a decolonized menu.

The restaurant is situated in a historic grain mill overlooking the Mississippi River, providing a stunning backdrop for diners to enjoy a unique culinary experience. Sean Sherman’s Indigenous Food System and Decolonized Menu

Sean Sherman’s philosophy is rooted in Indigenous food sovereignty and decolonization.

Sherman believes that food is a powerful tool for reconnecting people with their cultural heritage and bridging the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. At Owamni, Sherman showcases his indigenous food system which is based on seasonal, plant-based, and locally sourced ingredients.

The menu comprises small plates, which range from $10 to $16, and entrees, priced between $20 and $30. Some of the popular dishes include smoked whitefish spread with wild rice crackers, bison tartare with wild plums, and cedar-braised elk with sumac onions.

Menu Items and Estimated Prices

Here are a few selected menu items from Owamni, along with their estimated prices:

– Roasted Squash with Sunflower Seed Butter – $12

– Grilled Lamb Ribs with Elderberry and Juniper Berries – $24

– Cedar-Braised Elk with Sumac Onions – $30

Each dish offers a unique and flavorful culinary experience, showcasing the rich history and culture of Indigenous cuisine. Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco, California: A Fusion of Chinese Home Cooking and Bay Area Culture

Brandon Jew, the executive chef and owner of Mister Jiu’s, has become a household name in the San Francisco culinary scene.

Jew’s innovative approach to Chinese food, combined with his passion for Bay Area culture and history, has earned him numerous accolades, including the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: California award. Mister Jiu’s is located in San Francisco’s bustling Chinatown neighborhood and features a menu that showcases a fusion of traditional Chinese home cooking and contemporary Bay Area culture.

The restaurant’s interior is a nod to old-world Chinatown, with vintage chandeliers, red velvet banquettes, and jade-hued tiles. But the food is anything but traditional.

Brandon Jew’s Chinese Home Cooking and Bay Area Culture Fusion

At Mister Jiu’s, Chef Brandon Jew blends the flavors of Cantonese cooking and spices of Sichuan in his menu. Jews creativity is evident in the dishes he creates, impressing diners with flavor combinations and techniques that are both familiar and new.

Some of the restaurant’s signature offerings are the salt-and-pepper crab, the whole Hawaiian snapper, and the beef and broccoli. Mister Jiu’s menu features entres served family-style for $36 per person.

Additionally, guests can also order appetizers, from $5 to $16. Some of the popular appetizers include the scallion pancakes, beef tongue, and crispy eggplant.

Menu Items and Estimated Prices

Here are a few selected menu items from Mister Jiu’s, along with their estimated prices:

– Whole Crispy Roast Duck – $98

– Sweet-and-Sour Pork Ribs – $42

– Braised Tofu with Pickled Mustard Greens – $20

Each dish offers a unique and delightful combination of Chinese flavors and Bay Area ingenuity. Overall, the James Beard Foundation Awards highlight the culinary talent and cultural diversity in America.

Whether you’re looking to try traditional Indigenous cuisine or innovative fusion dishes, these award-winning restaurants offer an incredible culinary experience that is not to be missed. Nixta Taqueria, Austin, Texas: A Fusion of Old and New in Mexican Cuisine

Nixta Taqueria, located in Austin, Texas, is a taqueria unlike any other.

Headed by emerging chef Edgar Rico, the restaurant serves up a fusion of traditional Mexican flavors and modern culinary techniques that has earned it praise in the culinary world. Rico’s old and new taqueria fusion puts an innovative spin on classic Mexican dishes, resulting in a menu that is both accessible and unique.

The restaurant offers an array of tacos, accompanied by fresh salsas and house-made tortillas, as well as ceviches, tostadas, and aguachiles that showcase the freshest ingredients and bold flavors. Edgar Rico’s Old and New Taqueria Fusion

Chef Edgar Rico’s philosophy at Nixta Taqueria is to let the ingredients speak for themselves.

He elevates his dishes by adding contemporary twists to traditional Mexican flavors, creating an experience that is both authentic and modern. The menu at Nixta Taqueria offers small plates and tacos priced between $5 and $9, as well as dinner options for two that are priced at $40.

Some of the popular dishes include octopus ceviche, pork belly tacos, and mushroom tostadas.

Menu Items and Estimated Prices

Here are a few selected menu items from Nixta Taqueria, along with their estimated prices:

– Chicken Adobo Tacos – $5

– Carne Asada Tacos – $6

– Dinner for Two – $40 (Includes four tacos, sides, and a dessert)

Nixta Taqueria’s dedication to traditional Mexican cooking techniques and fresh ingredients, combined with its modern approach, has made it an essential destination for any food lover in Austin. Virtue Restaurant & Bar, Chicago, Illinois: A Modern Twist on Southern American Cuisine

Virtue Restaurant & Bar, located in Chicago, Illinois, is a tribute to Southern American cuisine that pays homage to the flavors and heritage techniques of the region.

The restaurant is headed by chef Erick Williams, who won the Best Chef: Great Lakes award at the James Beard Foundation Awards. Williams’ spin on Southern American cooking at Virtue is both authentic and modern, with dishes that showcase the depth and richness of the cuisine.

Virtue also prides itself on sourcing its ingredients from local farmers and purveyors, which is evident in the freshness and quality of the dishes. Erick Williams’ Spin on Southern American Cooking and Heritage Techniques

Williams brings his experience and passion for Southern American cooking to Virtue Restaurant & Bar, showcasing the techniques and flavors that have made the cuisine so iconic.

The restaurant’s menu features a range of dishes that celebrates Southern culture, including Gulf shrimp and grits, fried chicken, and collard greens. Virtue’s menu offers a selection of entrees and sides, priced between $10 and $30.

Some of the popular dishes include the duck and dumplings, the catfish with dirty rice, and the crispy oysters.

Menu Items and Estimated Prices

Here are a few selected menu items from Virtue Restaurant & Bar, along with their estimated prices:

– Gulf Shrimp and Grits – $20

– Fried Chicken with Green Beans and Mash Potatoes – $18

– Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey – $10

Overall, Virtue Restaurant & Bar is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the unique and rich flavors of Southern American cuisine. Erick Williams’ innovative approach and heritage techniques bring a modern twist to the traditional dishes that have made this cuisine so beloved.

Annette, Aurora, Colorado: A Scratch-to-Table Gastropub with Inspiration from American Farm Regions

Annette, located in Aurora, Colorado, is a gastropub that has been making waves in the culinary world. Led by Best Chef: Mountain award-winner Caroline Glover, the restaurant’s “scratch-to-table” philosophy focuses on creating a unique dining experience through locally-sourced ingredients and American farm regions’ influence.

With a constantly changing menu based on seasonality and availability, Annette offers shareable plates that showcase the freshness and flavors of the region. The restaurant’s warm and inviting interior and welcoming atmosphere complement its innovative menu.

Caroline Glover’s “Scratch-to-Table” Philosophy and Inspiration from American Farm Regions

Chef Caroline Glover’s inspiration comes from her roots in farming and the importance of seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. She brings creativity and a modern sensibility to the dishes, creating a unique gastronomic experience that highlights the natural flavors of the ingredients.

Annette’s menu offers shareable plates priced between $10 and $26, as well as a dinner option for two, priced at $65. Some of the popular dishes include roasted beets with smoked trout, grilled quail with black rice, and pork shoulder with kohlrabi slaw.

Menu Items and Estimated Prices

Here are a few selected menu items from Annette, along with their estimated prices:

– Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Aioli and Trout Caviar – $12

– Pork Shoulder with Kohlrabi Slaw – $23

– Dinner for Two – $65 (Includes three shareable plates, a main dish, and dessert)

Annette’s focus on locally-sourced ingredients and creativity make it an essential dining experience for anyone visiting Aurora. South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A Traditional and Authentic Take on Lamb Barbacoa Tacos

South Philly Barbacoa is a humble corner restaurant in Philadelphia known for serving perhaps the city’s best traditional Mexican lamb barbacoa tacos.

The restaurant is owned and run by Cristina Martinez, who took home the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic award at the James Beard Foundation Awards. Cristina Martinez’s traditional and authentic take on lamb barbacoa tacos has garnered her national attention and made her restaurant a must-visit destination for anyone looking for authentic Mexican cuisine.

Made with slow-cooked lamb and fresh ingredients, the tacos are a testament to the traditional techniques that have made Mexican cuisine so iconic. Cristina Martinez’s Traditional and Authentic Lamb Barbacoa Tacos

At South Philly Barbacoa, Cristina Martinez’s philosophy is to let the ingredients do the talking.

She uses traditional techniques to prepare her signature dish, lamb barbacoa, resulting in a rich and delicious flavor unlike any other. The restaurant’s menu focuses on tacos, priced between $4 and $5.

Other popular dishes include consom de barbacoa, an aromatic broth made from the lamb’s cooking liquid, and chilaquiles.

Menu Items and Estimated Prices

Here are a few selected menu items from South Philly Barbacoa, along with their estimated prices:

– Lamb Barbacoa Tacos – $4

– Consom de Barbacoa – $4

– Lunch for Two – $24 (Includes four tacos and two sides)

South Philly Barbacoa’s focus on traditional and authentic Mexican cuisine, combined with Cristina Martinez’s passion and expertise, has made it an essential destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable dining experience in Philadelphia.

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