The votes are in for the finalists of the 2022 James Beard Awards, and three chefs from Philly in the Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic category are among the nominees. The awards, which are akin to the Oscars for achievements in food, are a huge honor, and a nomination is enough to increase the status of a restaurant or chef.
The Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic nominees from Philly include Jesse Ito of Royal Izakaya, Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, and Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon of Kalaya Thai Kitchen.
Up for Outstanding Restaurateur, Ellen Yin of High Street Hospitality Group, which includes Fork, A.kitchen + Bar, High Street Philly, and others, is another Philly-based nominee.
Semifinalists, which were announced February 23, featured 11 chefs and restaurants from the Philly area, including Laser Wolf and Friday Saturday Sunday.
The winners of the James Beard Awards will be announced at the official ceremony on June 13 in Chicago. This will mark the first time the awards will be held since 2019.
Following accusations of bias and lack of diversity, the James Beard Foundation canceled its 2020 awards midseason and its 2021 awards amid an audit. Between then and now, the foundation has sought to right the wrongs of previous years through policy changes and the creation of an independent ethics committee.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.
• Here Are the 2022 James Beard Awards Restaurant and Chef Nominees