James Beard Awards 2018 – Puerto Rican Edition

October 25, 2017
In 2012, Puerto Rican chefs on the island became eligible to compete in the James Beard Awards. They are in the “Best Chef South” category competing with Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. Chef and colleague Ibrahim Sanz reached out to me to ask if I would vote for him in the 2018 James Beard awards. Of course!
The winner of 2017 Best Chef South was beloved Santurce chef, Jose Enrique. Enrique has been extremely indispensable in the hurricane Maria relief efforts in regards to assisting fellow chef, Jose Andres in feeding millions of people on the island via funds from Andres’ organization, World Central Kitchen. A lot of the service workers there are having to flee the island because they can’t work. But, some of the restaurant and bars are open for business during this time as a place for community to gather. For some reason I got a hair up my tuchus and decided to vote for other Puerto Ricans doing extraordinary things in the food and beverage industry. I’d be so incredibly grateful to you if you could also take a moment of your time and vote for them.
Click here to vote >> James Beard 2018
Outstanding Baker | Diego Martin-Pérez, Levee Baking Co., New Orleans, Louisiana
Outstanding Bar Program | La Factoria, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Best Chef Mid-Atlantic | Ibrahim Sanz, Haven Restaurant in Edgewater, New Jersey
Best Chefs New York City | Manolo Lopez, Mofongo, NYC, NY
America’s Classics | La Bombonera, San Juan, Puerto Rico
They poured four-years and endless money into revamping La Bombonera, making the 102-year-old restaurant and bakery into a modern dream with marble countertops and penny subway tiles.

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