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2023 James Beard Award winners with Visit Philadelphia President & CEO Angela Val (far right) and City Representative Sheila Hess (far left). Photo Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.
2023 James Beard Award winners with Visit Philadelphia President & CEO Angela Val (far right) and City Representative Sheila Hess (far left). Photo Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Recognizing Philadelphia’s 2023 James Beard Foundation Award winners

An event at Fork, hosted by Visit Philadelphia, honored the 2023 James Beard Foundation Award winners representing Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia was heavily represented during this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards.

After the nominees were announced and the winners were selected, Philadelphia was proud to have four of its own restaurateurs and chefs honored across major categories. They are: Ellen Yin, founder and co-owner of High Street Hospitality Group (for Outstanding Restaurateur); Chad and Hanna Williams, owners of Friday Saturday Sunday (for Outstanding Restaurant); Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon, chef and owner at Kalaya (for Best Chef of the Mid-Atlantic region); and Toby Maloney, resident bartender at Hop Sing Laundromat (Media Award, Beverage with Recipes category). 

On Monday, July 17, Visit Philadelphia hosted a celebration at Fork in Old City, to honor some of the very Philadelphia restaurateurs who enrich the hospitality of the city every day.

The James Beard Award is the top honor for any culinary professional to receive.

Angela Val, president & CEO of Visit Philly, noted: “I see these wins equal to any Super Bowl [and] any All Star Game … These wins are great for the city of Philadelphia and our entire culinary industry.” 

While Philadelphia is proud to see many of its own earn this recognition, the global reach of the James Beard Award helps the recognition go much further.

“We know who you are, but guess what? Now, the world knows that you are the winners,” said City Representative Sheila Hess. 

It’s really a special honor for each of the award winners.

For Toby Maloney, one word to describe what this all means to him is: gratitude.

“I want to make sure that I can show how grateful I am to industry folks in Philadelphia for welcoming me so warmly… and also for being so incredibly authentic, talented, creative and full of heart and soul,” said Maloney.

“We’re showing the whole country what an exciting, innovative food and drink scene can look like,” he added. 

Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon shared a similar sentiment during her remarks. 

While Philadelphia has been experiencing an uptick of gun violence and crime, Suntaranon believes the opportunity is there for the food and hospitality scene to drive the city forward and in a more positive direction. 

For Chad Williams, what he sees going on in the city at this moment is “something special.” 

The James Beard recognition is a representation of that.

“Within a year or two, people will really understand what we do and that we have a world class dining destination here,” said Williams. 

Ellen Yin, who closed the remarks among the James Beard Award winners, is the owner of Fork — the venue in which the event took place. 

As all gathered, Yin made a point about what sets Philadelphia’s restaurant scene apart from the rest.

“The thing that differentiates Philadelphia from all the other restaurant scenes across the country is the greatness and the camaraderie of all the people in this room,” she said. 

She is grateful to see just how much the community has grown and how the talent has flourished over the 25 years she has been in the city. 

In addition to the medals and personalized Liberty Bell replicas that each of the James Beard Award winners received, each of them were presented with an official citation from the City of Philadelphia that recognizes their “enthusiastic, tireless work in the hospitality industry.”

“We cannot be more proud to shine a spotlight on each and every one of you personally and professionally,” said Hess. 

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