Modern Filipino Bakery And Cafe Earns James Beard Award

Michelin-starred Filipino bakery and cafe has received the James Beard Best Chef Award for Great Lakes, Chicago, Illinois.

Huge congratulations are in order for Kasama, the Michelin-starred bakery and cafe with a modern Filipino tasting menu by Genie Kwon and Tim Flores for being honored with the James Beard Best Chef Award for Great Lakes, Chicago, Illinois.

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Last year, the restaurant earned the much coveted and deserved Michelin star. The Michelin Guide’s Point Of View describes Kasama with: “High quality cooking, worth a stop! Husband-and-wife chefs Tim Flores and Genie Kwon have gifted diners with Kasama, which means “together” in Tagalog. Popularizing Filipino food is an important part of their vision and the result is an ambitious, clever, and distinct meal.” 

Image via Instagram @geniekwon

The guide elaborates, “Traditional Filipino food is given a creative spin in such items as sinigang, or salmon dressed with a tamarind beurre blanc and topped with smoked roe over a bed of melting leeks kare kare, a dish of lamb belly with a peanut “curry;” and an elegant take on halo-halo combining Asian pear granita, pandan ice cream and freeze-dried mandarin.”

READ ALSO: Sweet Victory: Filipino Culinary Artist Wins James Beard Award


In addition, “The design is clear upon entry—an impressively equipped kitchen framed by a counter where diners watch the action unfold. Banquettes tucked under the windows make for plush seats.”

In an Instagram post, Kwon writes: “What an honor it was to represent @kasamachicago at this years @beardfoundation awards. Congratulations to all our fellow nominees! To see so many of our friends recognized for their work and share this night with them was so special. To be presented the award for Best Chef Great Lakes by @cheferickwilliams and @chefsarahjayne 🤯 !! What a dream. It is the greatest privilege to work with this team in this city and cook for you all. Thank you for believing in us.”

Image via Instagram @geniekwon

The James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity, and sustainability. The website says that the foundation was established more than three decades ago highlighting the centrality of food culture while being committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry while honoring diverse communities. In addition, “By amplifying new voices, celebrating those leading the way, and supporting those on the path to do so, the Foundation is working to create a more equitable and sustainable future—what we call Good Food for Good®. JBF brings its mission to life through the annual Awards, industry and community-focused initiatives and programs, advocacy, partnerships, and events across the country.”

Banner photo via Instagram @geniekwon.

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