Metro Detroit chefs who were James Beard finalists lose out at Monday's awards

James Beard Awards
Posted at 8:50 AM, Jun 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-06 08:50:04-04

Metro Detroit was well-represented at the James Beard Awards on Monday in Chicago when the winners were announced.

In March, the James Beard Foundation released the finalists for the awards. Hajime Sato, from Sozai in Clawson, was a finalist for Outstanding Chef, alongside chefs from Massachusetts, Los Angeles, Brooklyn and Washington D.C.

However, the Outstanding Chef Award went to Rob Rubba from Oyster Oyster in Washington D.C.

The award goes to "a chef who sets high culinary standards and has served as a positive example for other food professionals, while contributing positively to their broader community."

Three chefs in Detroit were finalists in the Best Chef for the Great Lakes category. It includes restaurants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

Omar Anani from Saffron De Twah, Andy Hollyday from Selden Standard and Sarah Welch from Marrow were among the finalists. Two other chefs from Chicago were also finalists.

In the end, the Best Chef: Great Lakes Award was given to Tim Flores and Genie Kwon from Kasama in Chicago.

Finally, Spencer, in Ann Arbor, was a finalist for Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program, which "is presented to a restaurant that demonstrates exceptional care and skill in the pairing of wine and other beverages with food, while contributing positively to its broader community."

That award went to OTOTO in Los Angeles.

However, the Detroit Free Press was honored at the James Beard Media Awards on Saturday Lyndsey Green, the Free Press' restaurant and dining critic, was honored with the James Beard Journalism Award for Emerging Voice. The Free Press film "Coldwater Kitchen" also earned the James Beard Foundation media award for best documentary.