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Los Angeles chefs, food writers snubbed at 2022 James Beard Foundation Awards

A photo of the silver James Beard medal presented to Bill Addison in 2020.
This year’s ceremony presented none of L.A.'s four finalists with a coveted James Beard Foundation Award medal.
(Bill Addison / Los Angeles Times)

Monday’s celebration of chefs, restaurants and hospitality yielded no new L.A. area winners. Local journalists also shut out.

Only four L.A.-area chefs and restaurants were nominated in various categories in March for the 2022 James Beard Foundation Awards, narrowed from nearly 20 names in the preliminary semifinalists list. On Monday night, at the annual national ceremony celebrating the service industry, precisely none of them won.

And on Saturday night, at the James Beard Foundation’s media awards, multiple local news outlets and journalists also garnered no wins, despite multiple nominations. Sherman Oaks’ Casa Vega, which won an America’s Classics award in February, is the sole L.A.-area winner in 2022.

This is the first year since 2017 that L.A. chefs and restaurants were shut out of the culinary awards at the ceremony, held this year in Chicago; this also occurred in 2015 — though similarly, in 2015, L.A. took home another America’s Classics nod with a win for Oaxacan favorite Guelaguetza.

This year Wes Avila’s Angry Egret Dinette was a finalist for best new restaurant; Owamni, in Minneapolis, won. Margarita Manzke of République garnered her seventh nomination for outstanding pastry chef but lost to Warda Bouguettaya of Detroit’s Warda Pâtisserie.

Sarintip “Jazz” Singsanong of Jitlada and Bryant Ng of Cassia both made it to the final nominations round in the category of best chef in California, though both lost to Brandon Jew of San Francisco’s Mister Jiu’s.

If no L.A. chefs could take home an award on Monday, at least one of the evening’s winners will be here soon: Chris Bianco, recipient of the year’s outstanding restaurateur award, is set to open an outpost of his famed Phoenix restaurant Pizzeria Bianco this weekend in the Arts District’s Row complex. Formerly he co-operated Alameda Supper Club and Tartine Bianco, which both closed in 2019.

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The James Beard Foundation had paused its awards ceremony in 2020 and 2021, first due to the pandemic, then to address its internal practices on accessibility and diversity in the wake of an extensive internal audit. Tonight marked the first in-person JBFA restaurants ceremony in three years. Winners of the awards are chosen by an anonymous panel of judges; staff members of the Los Angeles Times were among this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards voting body.

A recording of the ceremony is viewable here. The 2022 media awards winners are available here.


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