Filipino food fans, here are more reasons to celebrate. The James Beard Awards—also called the Oscars of the food world—includes three Filipino-American chefs as part of their 2023 roster of awardees: Tim Flores and Genie Kwon of Filipino restaurant Kasama in Chicago, and Margarita Manzke of République in Los Angeles!
The James Beard Awards 2023 honors these Filipino chefs in the U.S.:
Chefs Tim Flores and Genie Kwon of Kasama—whose menu is described as modern Filipino—won in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards 2023. Kasama was also nominated for the James Beard Awards last year under the Best New Restaurant category before being nominated in a different category and winning it this year. This is not the first time that the restaurant has won an award—it was awarded a Michelin Star in last year’s Michelin Guide Chicago of 2022, one of four from the city that earned a star that year. It was also listed as part of The New York Times’ 2021 Restaurant List.
Fellow Filipino Chef Margarita Manzke of Los Angeles-based restaurant République also won the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker category. Manzke bakes up superb pastries at the restaurants, with ingredients you might recognize: think avocado-calamansi tarts or passionfruit coconut cakes. They're also the sibling resto of Wildflour in Manila.
ICYMI, Erwan Heussaff had earlier won under the Social Media category of the James Beard Foundation Media Awards.
The annual awards—which has been around since 1990—is all about recognizing "exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system."
For more information, visit the James Beard Foundation website.