Ann Kim of Minneapolis' Young Joni Wins Best Chef: Midwest at James Beard Awards

James Beard Award-winning chef Ann Kim of Young Joni embraces her mother.
Six other Twin Cities chefs were semifinalists in the same category.
Chef Ann Kim credits her mom for sharing a familial flair for cooking.

By: Anthony Brousseau

The most prestigious awards in the restaurant industry have been handed out, and one Twin Cities chef is heading home with some hardware.

The James Beards Awards celebrate “culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields.” This year, Ann Kim, owner and chef at Northeast Minneapolis' Young Joni, was named Best Chef: Midwest. In addition to Young Joni, Kim owns Pizzeria Lola in South Minneapolis and Hello Pizza in Edina.

Six other Twin Cities chefs were semifinalists in the same category. Here is the full list of 2019 semifinalists in the Twin Cities:

  • Popol Vuh—Best New Restaurant
  • Diane Moua, Spoon and Stable—Outstanding Pastry Chef
  • Restaurant Alma—Outstanding Restaurant
  • Brenda Langton and Timothy Kane, Spoonriver—Outstanding Restaurateur
  • The Bachelor Farmer—Outstanding Wine Program
  • Steven Brown, Tilia—Best Chef: Midwest
  • Daniel del Prado, Martina—Best Chef: Midwest
  • Ann Kim, Young Joni—Best Chef: Midwest
  • Jamie Malone, Grand Café—Best Chef: Midwest
  • Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai—Best Chef: Midwest
  • Karyn Tomlinson, Corner Table—Best Chef: Midwest
  • Thomas Boemer, In Bloom—Best Chef: Midwest
  • Rikki Giambruno, Hyacinth—Rising Star Chef of the Year

In 2018, chef Gavin Kaysen of downtown Minneapolis' Spoon and Stable won Best Chef: Midwest.