One chef and one restaurant from St. Louis received recognition from the James Beard Foundation at its annual awards ceremony Monday night in Chicago.
Kevin Nashan, chef at Sidney Street Cafe in St. Louis, won the best chef award for the Midwest. Nashan, whose restaurant serves New American cuisine that’s said to blend elements of his culinary past, has been a finalist for best chef in the eight-state region three times in the last four years. This is the first time he has won.
Gioia’s Deli also took home an award Monday night, receiving one of five America’s Classics Awards. The restaurant, which opened on The Hill in St. Louis in 1918, is famous for its hot salami sandwiches. The award recognizes restaurants that “serve quality food that reflects the character of their communities,” according to the foundation.
Gioia’s and other America’s Classics recipients learned of their awards in January.
Nashan was one of eight Beard semifinalists from Missouri that were announced in February.
The James Beard Foundation is nonprofit focused on food and food culture around the country. Its annual awards, which are decided by a panel of food media professionals and past James Beard Award winners, are among the highest honors in the world for food and beverage professionals.
After Nashan’s award was announced, his restaurant’s Facebook account reacted to the news.
Soon after the news broke, people took to Twitter to toast the St. Louis chef.
Congrats to James Beard Award winners, Sidney Street Cafe owner/chef Kevin Nashan and Gioia’s Deli. #fgs
— Francis G. Slay (@MayorSlay) May 2, 2017
— Sauce Magazine (@SAUCEmag) May 2, 2017
— Lindsay Christians (@LindsayC608) May 2, 2017