Biggest winner of James Beard Awards? Diversity


During a night recognizing the gobsmacking talent of chefs like Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune) and Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn), the biggest winner of the James Beard Awards gala Monday night seemed to be diversity.

In all, the James Beard Foundation (the governing body for the event often dubbed the “Oscars of food”) recognized 15 chefs with awards, 11 of whom were women, people of color or both. Since 1991, when the awards were first celebrated, the foundation has given out more than 1,400 awards, with a demonstrable history of favoring white, male chefs, as a report published by Mic depicts. Monday night’s ceremony at the Lyric Opera in downtown Chicago seemed to mark a new intentional shift toward more inclusion.

Taking home the biggest chef award of the…

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