Female Chefs Were the Big Winners at This Year’s James Beard Awards

The 2016 James Beard awards took place last night and three of the major chef awards were given to women

James Beard Awards 2016: Who run the grill? Girls!

The James Beard awards — often referred to as the Oscars of the food world — are meant to honor the best chefs, restaurants, restaurateurs, and culinary media representatives. But underneath the gallant celebration of the José Andrés’ and Grant Acahtz’s of the world, there has always been a gender imbalance. Namely, in the past 25 years of the awards’ existence, only four women have won the coveted Outstanding Chef award.

But last night, that all changed when three of the top chef honors went to female chefs: Suzanne Goin for Outstanding Chef (Lucques, Los Angeles), Dahlia Narvaez for Outstanding Pastry Chef (Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles), and Daniela Soto-Innes for Rising Star Chef (Cosme, New York). This is the only the second time all three major chef awards have gone to women; the first was in 2004 when Judy Rodgers won for outstanding chef (Zuni Café).

The other major winners this year included Alinea (Grant Achatz, Chicago) for Outstanding Restaurant, which is currently undergoing major renovations, and Ken Friedman for Outstanding Restaurateur (The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, New York City). The award for Best New Restaurant went to Shaya (Alon Shaya, New Orleans). Shaya was also awarded The Daily Meal’s 2015 Restaurant of the Year award earlier this year.


You can see the rest of the awards listed on the James Beard Foundation website here.