May 6, 2019, becomes an unforgettable day for two notable black chefs, as they clinched their first James Bread Award.
Chefs Kwame Onwuauchi and Mashama Bailey wrote their name in history as each won their first James Beard Award on Monday night in Chicago. With the former garnering Raising Star Chef for his Afro-Caribbean flavors at Washington, D.C.’d Kith and Kin, and the later honored as Best Chef: Southeast for the Lowcountry-inspired cuisine she and her team serve at Savannah, Ga.’s The Grey.
Bailey who laughed after a reporter called the award her first during an interview with her said, “I’ve been really stepping into owning and claiming things that I want in life and James Beard Award is one of them”.
It could be termed a well-deserved honor or a profound manifestation, but Bailey is now able to bring home a James Beard Award to her beloved team at The Grey.
Bailey told the JBF gala audience during her acceptance speech that none of them would be in this room without a team effort and her team is amazing; they worked hard. “We should be proud of ourselves”.
As for Rising Star Chef Kwame Onwuauchi, the honor is a head-spinning turned on from selling candy on the New York City subway less than a decade ago to become a Rising Star Chef.