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Erwan Heussaff, other Pinoys win at James Beard Awards a.k.a. culinary world's Oscars

By NICK GARCIA Published Jun 07, 2023 3:56 pm

Three Filipinos won at this year's James Beard Awards, the culinary world's equivalent of the Oscars.

Held on Monday, June 5 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the prestigious award-giving event recognized the best of the best in the food and beverage industry.

Filipino chef Margarita Lorenzana-Manske of the Los Angeles-based restaurant République was named Outstanding Pastry Chef.

She and fellow chef Walter Manzke own Wildflour Café + Bakery, a popular all-day brunch in Metro Manila.

Their other restaurants include Sari-Sari Store and Petty Cash Taqueria in Los Angeles.

Content creator Erwan Heussaff, meanwhile, won the broadcast media award in the social media category for his Instagram account @erwan.

Heussaff is the founder of The Fat Kid Inside Studios which runs the YouTube channel FEATR, which has a focus on Philippine cuisine and culture.

Chef Tim Flores and his wife, Korean chef Genie Kwon, won Best Chef: Great Lakes. They own the Chicago-based Filipino restaurant Kasama, the very first Filipino restaurant to win a Michelin Star, the culinary industry's much-coveted recognition that denotes world-class standards in food and service.

Filipinos who got nominated include Vince Bugtong of Abacá for the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker, as well as Aaron Verzosa of Archipelago for Best Chef in the Northwest and the Pacific.

Established in 1990, the award was named after the late American chef who pioneered television cooking shows, mentored generations of chefs, wrote over 20 books on cooking, and whose efforts elevated American cuisine to its global status.

The James Beard Awards on its website says it aims to “recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive.”