Last year's James Beard Awards were, to say the least, surprising.
According to a post from Eater, Tony Messina of Uni in the Back Bay won the Best Chef: Northeast category, which included such finalists as Cassie Piuma of Sarma in Somerville and Tiffani Faison of Tiger Mama in the Fenway.
Chef Steve McHugh of Cured has garnered four James Beard nominations for the Best Chef: Southwest category, but the title went to another chef - Charleen Badman of FnB in Scottsdale, Arizona - during the 2019 awards ceremony in Chicago Monday night. Earlier this year, Garden Grove's Pho 79 received an America's Classics award, and was featured in a thoughtful video spotlight with other winners during the ceremony. On stage, he gave a heartfelt speech about cultivating a "healthy food system for all". "I know how hard this industry is", said Clark.
The victor of this year's best new restaurant was Frenchette in NY and the outstanding baker was Greg Wade of Publican Quality Bread in Chicago. Referencing Jim Crow and the integration of restaurants, he saluted the ancestors who cooked before him, often without a choice.
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Best Chef, Southeast: Mashama Bailey at The Grey in Savannah, Ga.
Best Chef, South: Vishwesh Bhatt at Snackbar in Oxford, Miss.
Parts and Labor Design also won an Outstanding Restaurant Design award in the 76 seats and over category for its work at Pacific Standard Time. And presenter Tom Colicchio talked about knocking down doors, declaring that future generations won't just accept the status quo. After winning the Humanitarian of the Year award, the Giving Kitchen - a nonprofit providing emergency assistance to food-service workers - announced that it is offering free suicide-prevention training for every restaurant in the United States. And host Jesse Tyler Ferguson was amusing whether he was wearing trousers or not.