2022 James Beard Awards Highlight JWU Alumni Excellence

The James Beard Awards are back for 2022 with a reinvigorated focus. After an internal audit, the Awards’ nomination process was overhauled to put a greater emphasis on racial and gender equity, community, and sustainability.

As a result, a new crop of first-time JWU alumni nominees — particularly in the “Emerging Chef” and “Outstanding Pastry Chef” categories — sit alongside veteran nominees like Cassie Piuma '02 of Somerville’s Sarma and Karen Urie Shields of Chicago’s Smyth.

Here is the full list of this year’s JWU semifinalist nominees. This list has been updated to reflect the March 16 Beard Awards announcement of the finalist nominees in advance of the June 13 live event.

Emerging Chef
• Calvin Eng '15, Brooklyn, NY, Bonnie’s, NYC NOMINEE
• Chris Viaud '12, Greenleaf, Milford, NH

Outstanding Pastry Chef
• Claudia Martinez '15, Miller Union, Atlanta NOMINEE

Best Chef: California
• Matthew Kammerer '11, The Harbor House Inn, Elk, CA

Best Chef: Great Lakes
• Karen Urie Shields '00, Smyth, Chicago NOMINEE

Best Chef: Mountain
• Luis Young '11, Penrose Room, Colorado Springs, CO

Best Chef: Northeast
• Brian Lewis '89, The Cottage, Westport, CT
• Cassie Piuma '02, Sarma, Somerville, MA

Best Chef: Southeast
• Orlando Pagán '03, Wild Common, Charleston, SC
• Aaron Vandemark '01, Panciuto, Hillsborough, NC

Just this week, Eng’s new restaurant, Bonnie’s, was praised by the New York Times’ Pete Wells as “a new generation of Cantonese food in Brooklyn.” Wells added that “his restaurant is not Cantonese American in the sense used to describe chop suey and other dishes that Cantonese cooks came up with to appease other people’s palates. It is Cantonese American in the sense that Mr. Eng himself is.”

Claudia Martinez of Atlanta’s Miller Union was the recent subject of an Atlanta Magazine profile; author Von Diaz called her desserts “whimsical but unpretentious, with a style that reflects her Venezuelan and Southern roots. ... Her meticulously plated creations call up natural forms, oil painting, modern architecture, and interior design.”

Chris Viaud '12 of Greenleaf Milford took part in the most recent installment of JWU Alumni’s long-running Instagram Live series, “Cook with JWU,” where he celebrated his Haitian heritage by cooking Poule Nan Sos with Diri Kole ak Pwa. Look for a blog post and recipe shortly.

Explore the complete list of 2022 James Beard Awards semifinalists. The Awards ceremony will take place on June 13, 2022, at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago, Illinois.

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