The James Beard Awards winners for 2022 were announced on Monday evening, and New York City chefs and restaurants took home two awards.
The title of best chef in New York state was awarded to Chintan Pandya of Dhamaka, who was up against Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy, JJ Johnson of Fieldtrip, Ayesha Nurdjaja of Shuka, and Junghyun Park of Atomix. Pandya has emerged as one of the country’s most influential Indian chefs of the last decade for his work at Unapologetic Foods, the Indian hospitality group backed by restaurateur Roni Mazumdar. The chef rose to prominence at Adda in Long Island City before opening Semma and Rowdy Rooster in Manhattan.
Williamsburg’s the Four Horsemen took home the outstanding wine program award. The Michelin-starred natural wine bar from James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem opened in 2015. Like Dhamaka, the establishment currently sits on Eater’s list of NYC’s 38 most essential restaurants.
Prior to the awards on Monday evening, the Foundation named Wo Hop, one of the oldest restaurants in Manhattan’s Chinatown, among the winners of its “America’s Classics” award. The award is given to “locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of its community,” according to the Beard Foundation. Grace Young, a cookbook author based in New York City, was previously named humanitarian of the year for her work supporting Chinatowns and Asian American-owned small businesses.
It was a somewhat muted showing compared to 2018 and 2019, when New York took home accolades for the country’s best chef and best new restaurant, two of the Foundation’s most prestigious awards. Multiple nominees were shut out of Monday night’s awards, including Caroline Schiff of Gage & Tollner, nominated for the outstanding pastry chef award, and Calvin Eng of Bonnie’s, up for the emerging chef category.
The esteemed awards, sometimes referred to as the Oscars of the food industry, returned following two canceled award seasons and a public reckoning that resulted in several nominees withdrawing from the process in 2020. This year’s winners were announced at a ceremony at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.