Drum roll: Latino chefs nominated for James Beard Award
The James Beard Foundation Awards are considered the Oscars of the culinary world. It’s an occasion where the best chefs—the ones who make the most innovative, delicious and drool-worthy food—are represented in nominations from coast to coast. The names of the nominees were just rolled out and hundreds of chefs are holding their collective breath until March 15, when five finalists in each category will be announced.
More than 600 culinary professionals and experts will then vote on the winners for the industry’s highest awards—named after seminal cookbook author, chef and acclaimed teacher James Beard—which are presented in a lavish ceremony held May 7 in New York City. Previous Latino winners include Jose Andres, Jose Garces and Michelle Bernstein. With more than a dozen Latino semi-finalists in the 22nd annual James Beard Awards, here’s a look at some of the nation’s best Latino chefs.
Best New Restaurant- Picca
Peruvian chef Ricardo Zarate is the star behind Picca, one of this year’s nominees for the coveted Best New Restaurant category. Zarate has made it his mission to spread his love of Peruvian cooking through innovative dishes and creative ingredient pairings.
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic- Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, NJ
This Cuban-born chef uses food as a way to present history, thanks to her doctorate in medieval Spanish history and cultural anthropology training. She’s known for her passion for tropical crops such as cacao and vanilla, elements that drive her style of cooking.
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