D.C. restaurants and chefs nab 3 James Beard Awards

After receiving its highest number of finalist nominations in current reminiscence, D.C. is now dwelling to 2 back-to-back winners within the excellent chef class on the James Beard Basis Restaurant and Chef Awards. Michael Rafidi took dwelling the award for excellent chef for his Michelin-starred Levantine restaurant Albi, beloved by The Submit’s meals critic Tom Sietsema for its pita bread, baba ganoush and steamed manti, amongst many different dishes.

Palestinian American chef Rafidi, who devoted the award to the Palestinian folks, can also be the proprietor of Yellow, a restaurant and restaurant in Georgetown, which just lately introduced the deliberate opening of a Union Market location later this yr. He was handed his medal by 2023 excellent chef Rob Rubba of plant-based D.C. favourite Oyster Oyster.

Washington, D.C.-area eating places took dwelling two extra awards at this yr’s Beard Awards, held Monday at Chicago’s Lyric Opera. The awards are among the many highest honors that cooks, eating places and their operators can obtain nationally, they usually acknowledge excellence within the kitchen and in restaurant operations. Awards are additionally given to cookbooks, literature and journalism about meals.

Masako Morishita of storied and colourful Adams Morgan Japanese fusion spot Perry’s opened the night time with the award for greatest rising chef, one of many occasion’s most prestigious awards. Morishita, initially from Kobe and the primary Japanese lady to carry the position at Perry’s, emphasizes creativity in her cooking. “That is my wildest American Dream come true,” she exclaimed as she accepted the medal, and repeated to The Submit. “The delicacies I cook dinner is Japanese consolation meals, which has been overshadowed by different sorts of Japanese delicacies. I hope I made all of the Japanese mothers proud.”

In one other main win, Harley Peet gained greatest chef within the Mid-Atlantic area. His restaurant, Bas Rouge in Easton, Md., dishes out worldwide fusion flavors together with beef tataki with dehydrated kimchi and grilled shrimp full of jalapeños.

“It’s nonetheless sinking in,” he mentioned to The Submit. “To deliver [the award] dwelling to the Jap Shore — to be the primary to do it’s tremendous particular. We don’t have the luxurious of an countless stream of consumers. Our eating rooms aren’t at all times full. So hopefully, that can assist [the Eastern Shore].”

D.C. additionally took dwelling an honor within the media classes, introduced Saturday: “The World Central Kitchen Cookbook” by José Andrés, his nonprofit World Central Kitchen and Sam Chapple-Sokol gained the award for greatest worldwide cookbook, which acknowledges books which are “targeted on meals or cooking traditions of nations, areas or communities outdoors of the USA.”

Additionally honored on the awards had been a number of different finalists from the D.C. space: Susan Bae and Kevin Tien of Moon Rabbit, nominated for excellent pastry chef or baker and greatest chef Mid-Atlantic, respectively; Baltimore Mexican restaurant Clavel Mezcaleria, nominated for excellent bar; Tail Up Goat, nominated for excellent wine and different beverage program; and Hollis Wells Silverman of Jap Level Collective, nominated for greatest restaurateur.

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