The Southern California culinary landscape is prominently featured among the 2023 Restaurant and Chef Award nominees, as revealed by the James Beard Foundation on Wednesday.
Los Angeles-based nominees include:
This category honors a chef who exemplifies high culinary standards and serves as a positive role model for other food professionals while making valuable contributions to their wider community.
- Niki Nakayama, n/naka, Los Angeles
This award is given to a restaurateur who effectively utilizes their establishments to foster community, demonstrates creativity in entrepreneurship, maintains integrity in restaurant operations, and strives to create a sustainable work culture while positively impacting their wider community.
- Greg Dulan, Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen in Inglewood, Dulan's on Crenshaw in Windsor Hills, Los Angeles
A chef who exhibits exceptional talent, character, and leadership ability, and is poised to make a significant impact in the coming years while positively contributing to their wider community.
- Rashida Holmes, Bridgetown Roti, Downtown/Arts District Los Angeles
Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker
This category recognizes a pastry chef or baker who excels in creating desserts, pastries, or breads. The nominee demonstrates exceptional skills and can be affiliated with any food business, without requiring a physical location. The candidate also positively contributes to their wider community.
- Margarita Manzke, République, Mid-City Los Angeles
Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program
Expanded from Outstanding Wine Program this year to encompass other beverages, this award is granted to a restaurant that displays exceptional care and expertise in pairing wine and other beverages with food while positively impacting its wider community. This category includes the selection, preparation, and service of wine, cocktails, spirits, coffee, tea, beer, or any other beverage, with a focus on outstanding hospitality and service that helps enhance a customer's appreciation of the drink(s). Ethical sourcing will also be considered.
Best Chefs: California
This category honors chefs who uphold high standards in culinary skills and leadership abilities, and work towards creating a sustainable work culture in their respective regions while positively impacting their wider community.
- Gilberto Cetina Jr., Holbox, Historic South Central, Los Angeles
- Kyle and Katina Connaughton, SingleThread, Healdsburg
- Brandon Hayato Go, Hayato, Downtown, Los Angeles
- Justin Pichetrungsi, Anajak Thai, Sherman Oaks
- Carlos Salgado, Taco María, Costa Mesa
Adrian Miller, Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee Chair, expressed his gratitude for being part of the awards, stating, "I am honored to participate in these Awards that recognize our country’s extraordinary talent and showcase all those contributing to the richness and diversity of American food culture today.” He added, “Congratulations to all of this year’s Restaurant and Chef Nominees.”
The James Beard Awards, first presented in 1991, acknowledge exceptional talent in the culinary and food media industries and are often regarded as the “Oscars of culinary arts.” The awards cover a variety of experiences, from fine-dining establishments to casual gems, in 23 categories.
The winners will be announced on June 5 during a ceremony held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.