The prestigious James Beard Awards announced its winners last night (May 6, 2013) with the much-vaunted Outstanding Chef awards going to David Chang of Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York and Paul Kahan of Blackbird, Chicago, who took the prize jointly.
According to Bloomberg, Chang is a Korean-American, who has restaurants in New York, Sydney and Toronto. He’s worked in the kitchens of much-lauded chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten,Daniel Boulud and Tom Colicchio. He is the chef-founder of Momofuku and something of a second generation foodie, given his father owned a delicatessen and a smokehouse. Speaking on taking his share of the award, the chef said “I’m in dumbstruck awe that this has happened to me.” He added “It’s really an award for the Momofuku team. There are so many amazing people working for us such as those in the front of the house, the prep cooks and the farmers and many others. It’s so nice to be honored.”
As well as the main award, several chefs were recognised for their work as best chefs in their region. Dan Barber won the Rising Star Chef award meanwhile, and said “This is the most fulfilling moment for me.” Barber is the Blue Hill’s executive chef and co-owner, and added “I tend to be the cynical one about awards, but when you win one, you feel special.”