Minneapolis Chef Wins James Beard Award

James Beard Award

Richard Blais, Nyesha Arrington, Amanda Freitag, and Marcus Samuelsson. – Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

(Minneapolis, MN / Chicago, Il.)  – June 10th, 2024 — The James Beard Foundation announced the winners of its Restaurant and Chef Awards. The annual event brought out chefs, restaurateurs, and other hospitality industry professionals all dressed to the nines to take home medals for Best New Restaurant, Emerging Chef, 12 regional best chef categories, and more.

Chefs Nyesha Arrington, Richard Blais, Amanda Freitag, and Marcus Samuelsson presided over the ceremony, which was filled with emotional speeches as dozens of hospitality professionals received what are among the highest honors in the industry.

Some highlights: Gregory Gourdet’s regional best chef award for Kann, in Portland, Oregon was his third James Beard win in as many years; he called for greater inclusivity and an end to the pattern of generational trauma in restaurants. Michael Rafidi, chef of Washington D.C.’s Albi, dedicated his Outstanding Chef award to Palestine. Best New Restaurant went to one of Eater’s 2023 Best New Restaurants, Dakar NOLA of New Orleans; its chef Serigne Mbaye teared up as he acknowledged his team, some of whom had taken their first flights to attend the ceremony.

The Best Chef Midwest was Christina Nguyen from Hai Hai in Minneapolis.  The full list of winners is as follows:

2024 James Beard Awards: Restaurant and Chef Award Winners

Outstanding Chef

Michael Rafidi, Albi, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Restaurant

Langbaan, Portland, Oregon

Outstanding Restaurateur

Erika Whitaker and Kelly Whitaker, Id Est Hospitality Group (The Wolf’s Tailor, BRUTØ, Basta, and others), Boulder, Colorado

Best New Restaurant

Dakar NOLA, New Orleans

Outstanding Hospitality

Lula Cafe, Chicago

Emerging Chef

Masako Morishita, Perry’s, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland, Maine

Outstanding Bakery

ZU Bakery, Portland, Maine

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

Lula Drake Wine Parlour, Columbia, South Carolina

Outstanding Bar

Jewel of the South, New Orleans

Best Chef: New York State

Charlie Mitchell, Cloverhill, Brooklyn, New York

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

Harley Peet, Bas Rouge, Easton, Maryland

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

Valerie Chang, Maty’s, Miami

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

Gregory Gourdet, Kann, Portland, Oregon

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

David Standridge, The Shipwright’s Daughter, Mystic, Connecticut

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

Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis, MN

Best Chef: California

Lord Maynard Llera, Kuya Lord, Los Angeles

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

Matt Vawter, Rootstalk, Breckenridge, Colorado

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

Rene Andrade, Bacanora, Phoenix

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

Paul Smith, 1010 Bridge, Charleston, West Virginia

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

Hajime Sato, Sozai, Clawson, Michigan

Best Chef: Texas

Ana Liz Pulido, Ana Liz Taqueria, Mission, Texas

On Saturday, the foundation announced the winners of the James Beard Media Awards in categories spanning the cookbook publishing and food journalism worlds. You can find the full list of those winners here.

The following wins were previously announced:

2024 America’s Classics

  • Mandalay, San Francisco
  • Vietnam Restaurant, Philadelphia
  • Pheasant Restaurant and Lounge, Brookings, South Dakota
  • Sylvia’s Restaurant, New York City
  • Wade’s Restaurant, Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge, Las Vegas

2024 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

Ruth Reichl

2024 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year

The LEE Initiative

2024 Leadership Awards

  • Muhammad Abdul-Hadi, Founder/Owner, Down North Pizza and Down North Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Niaz Dorry, Coordinating Director, North American Marine Alliance (NAMA) and Director, National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC), Gloucester, Massachusetts
  • Helga Garza, Executive Director, Agri-Cultura Network / La Cosecha, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Mai Nguyen, Farmer, Farmer Mai, Sonoma, California
  • Emerging Leadership: Christa Barfield, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, FarmerJawn, West Chester, Pennsylvania


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