MN Chef Wins James Beard Award, Says “F— Fear”
Minneapolis chef Ann Kim brought tears and laughs to the stage Monday during her James Beard acceptance speech.
Ann Kim, the mastermind behind innovative Minneapolis pizza join Young Joni, was awarded the highest achievement in the culinary world Monday as she accepted the James Beard award for Best Chef: Midwest.
A very tearful Kim still managed to bring some laughs as she received her award.
"I went to the bathroom before the last award because my Spanx were so constrictive..." she started, stopping to compose herself as the audience broke into laughs and applause.
"This is unbelievable because I'm standing here on this stage. And it has never been something that I ever thought could be in the realm of possibility. My journey has not been easy, it has not been linear, and it has not been traditional. But here I stand [...] and I stand here because ten years ago I said, 'F--- fear.'"
Kim, who is also behind Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis and Hello Pizza in South Minneapolis, beat out finalists from eight Midwest states including two other Minnesota chefs -- Jamie Malone of Grand Cafe and Christina Nguyen of Hai Hai.
Kim is the second Minnesota chef in a row to win the Best of: Midwest James Beard award; last year Gavin Kaysen of Spoon & Stable won. She also becomes the sixth Minnesota chef to win, joining Tim McKee (La Belle Vie), Alex Roberts (Restaurant Alma), Isaac Becker (112 Eatery), Paul Berglund (Bachelor Farmer) and the previously mentioned Kaysen.
Young Joni is located in Northeast Minneapolis. In February it made local headlines after a fire forced the restaurant to close for a short time.