Posted June 22, 2018 by Editorial Staff in Business
 
 

Black chefs hopeful, skeptical as culinary world grows more inclusive

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Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

By Justin Philips

As the 2018 James Beard Foundation awards ceremony unfolded this month, it quickly became clear that this year’s edition of the annual event — a formal affair likened to the Oscars of the food world — would be very different from those of the previous 28 years.

Dolester Miles, the black pastry chef at Highlands in Birmingham, Ala., was named the country’s best pastry chef.

Nina Compton of New Orleans, also black, took home the award for best chef in the southern region.

Rodney Scott, a black Charleston chef who specializes in barbecue, was named the best chef in the southeast region.

Edouardo Jordan, a black chef in Seattle, reached rarefied air by taking home not one but two of the coveted medals. He was named best chef in the northwest region for his modern restaurant, Salare, and then capped his evening by becoming the first black chef to win best new restaurant for his other Seattle spot, JuneBaby, an ode to Southern food.

And though she didn’t win, Mashama Bailey, the black chef of the Grey in Savannah, Ga., was the first African American woman to be nominated for the foundation’s highest individual honor: outstanding chef.

READ THE COMPLETE STORY IN THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE>