The James Beard Foundation invites vegan chefs to its program


The James Beard Foundation is helping usher in a new generation of chefs, announcing this week that it will appoint two vegan chefs to its Legacy Network – a mentorship program designed to connect established restaurant veterans with the next generation of the food industry. . This year, the James Beard Foundation will invite two vegan chefs, Sadhana Raj and Melissa Guzman, to join the class of 2022 – 2023.

The James Beard Foundation partnered with bourbon brand Woodford Reserve to launch the Legacy Network last September. The educational program aims to promote the professional growth of Black American and Native food industry professionals. The Legacy Network provides education and resources to underserved communities. The foundation appoints multiple councilors and advisers to work together to fill historical gaps in resources and the community.

“Legacy was developed in response to calls for peer-to-peer networks and professional support for emerging BIPOC leaders in our community,” said James Beard Foundation Community Vice President Colleen Vincent. , when the program was announced. “This program is part of our ongoing commitment to a more sustainable and fair industry.”

Raj will join the Legacy Network as one of the class’s mentors from 2022-2023. The chef founded 24 Carrots bakery and restaurant in Phoenix. The vegan restaurant closed in December 2021, but Raj intends to help young chefs learn from his 13 years of experience.

Joining the Counselor Class, Guzman hopes to better inspire clients to incorporate more plant-based foods. Guzman’s Miami-based food truck, The Caribe Vegan, serves Latin-inspired classics such as quinoa and spanish beans with vegan fish and plantains or fried Jamaican ravioli stuffed with “meat” at the oxtail. The chef aims to change consumer opinion on vegan food and island cuisine, using plant-based versions of his family’s recipes.

The James Beard Foundation previously recognized Guzman’s plant-based cuisine, awarding The Caribe Vegan the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund grant for Black and Native Americans of the year. last. The grant is awarded to promote Black or Indigenous owned businesses.

“The support of my community means the world to me,” Guzman said after receiving the James Beard Fellowship in 2021. “It’s been hard, you know, then to see so many people supporting me [and] just wanting to see me win means letting the world know that my continuing to grow and my continuing to push helps other people.

The James Beard Awards recognize plant-based cuisine

The James Beard Foundation has always supported the most innovative and creative chefs and restaurants, however, the foundation did not recognize the potential of plant-based cuisine until recently. Today, the foundation integrates plant-based cuisine and creators into traditional culinary arts. Over the past few years, the foundation has awarded or recognized several writers, authors, chefs, and content creators in the plant-based food scene.

In June, the winners of the James Beard Media Award included two inspired vegan chefs. The foundation recognized Joanne Lee Molinaro, known as The Korean Vegan Alexis Nikole Nelson, who goes through the BlackForager. Molinaro also received the Book Award for Vegetable-Focused Cooking for his cookbook, The Korean Vegan Cookbook: Thoughts and Recipes from Omma’s Kitchen.

Michelin rewards plant-based cuisine around the world

Until last year, Michelin judges rarely took a look at plant-based cuisine. However, the Michelin Jury awarded 81 vegan and vegetarian restaurants Michelin stars in 2021. This shocking spike means the foodie world is finally accepting plant-based cuisine as an equal to traditional cuisines. Plant-based recipients include Joia from Milan, Cookies Cream from Berlin, King’s Joy from Beijing, Le Comptoir from Los Angeles and Eleven Madison Park from New York.

Michelin star holders such as Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White have recognized the potential of plant-based cuisine. The two chefs have even started introducing plant-based foods to their restaurant menus, including a 3D-printed steak at two of White’s establishments. In July, Ramsay even shocked the public, exclaiming that he “really loves[s] vegan food!”

For more plant-based events, check out The Beet’s News articles.

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