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Philly won big in the James Beard Awards. But do these accolades really matter? (Rebroadcast)

The bar inside Friday Saturday Sunday in Philadelphia. Friday Saturday Sunday won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant.
The bar inside Friday Saturday Sunday in Philadelphia. Friday Saturday Sunday won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant.

In a city best known for its cheesesteaks and gritty dive bars, foodie hot spots are unexpected. But the culinary scene in Philadelphia is heating up.

This year, Philly won big in the James Beard Awards – more than any other city – in the categories of including outstanding restaurant, outstanding restaurateur, and best chef of the mid-Atlantic – which included two other Philly nominations.

These prizes are commonly considered the Oscars of the food industry. And just like the Oscars, the public and those competing are calling for change. After outcry from inside the foundation for more diversity, the organization made a number of changes to address systemic bias. And this year, one chef was eliminated after violating the foundation’s new ethics code.  

According to NPR, more than half of the finalists this year are immigrants or children of immigrants. That includes Nok Suntaranon of Kalaya

Chef Nok Suntaranon of Kalaya. (Credit: Mike Prince)

1A Producer Michelle Harven sat down with the James Beard Award-winning chef Chad Williams, who won outstanding restaurant for his work at Friday Saturday Sunday.

Friday Saturday Sunday in Philadelphia. (Credit: Veri Productions)

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Michelle Harven