California Restaurants Nominated For 2022 James Beard Awards

CALIFORNIA — Ten California restaurants received final nominations for the 2022 James Beard Awards, sometimes referred to as the “Oscars of Food.” Named for the late James Beard – a chef, cookbook author, and food presenter known as the “Dean of American Cookery” – the awards aim to “recognize 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.

A complete list of nominees can be viewed here.

2022 marks the first time in two years that the prestigious awards were granted. In 2020, the awards were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, traditional awards were canceled in favor of an event honoring people in the food industry who helped the restaurant industry and their communities during the pandemic.

During that time, the James Beard Foundation conducted a full audit of its award policies and procedures in an attempt to “remove bias, increase transparency and accessibility, and make the program more aligned with the Foundation’s mission and values,” according to a Foundation news release.

In addition to recognizing the best restaurants and chefs, the awards also recognize food humanitarians and lifetime contributions to cooking. The winner of the Humanitarian of the Year was granted to cookbook author, culinary historian, and filmmaker Grace Young, who helped raise $40,000 to support Chinatowns across the country during the coronavirus pandemic and widespread violence against Asian-Americans.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was granted to chef and TV cook show host Martin Yan. Yan has written over 30 cookbooks of Chinese cuisine, and he has filmed over 3,500 episodes of his cooking show “Yan Can Cook.”

The 2022 winners will be announced at the Lyric Opera in Chicago on June 13. Tickets go on sale Monday and can be purchased here. The Awards will be broadcast live via the James Beard Foundation’s Twitter feed.

Without further ado, here is the complete list of California winners. Click on the links to learn more about the restaurants and their chefs.

Best New Restaurant

Outstanding Chef
Reem Assil, Reem’s, Oakland and San Francisco

Emerging Chef

Crystal Wahpepah, Wahpepah’s Kitchen, Oakland

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles

Best Chef: California

This article originally appeared on the Across California Patch

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