Indian-American chefs Vikram Sunderam and Vishwesh Bhatt have been honoured with the James Beard Awards (named after the father of American cuisine) which is considered as the Oscars of the food and beverage industry, according to the media reports.
Susan Ungaro, President, James Beard Foundation said that while the recognition does not include any cash reward, the very nomination or win can impact and create a strong business buzz. A native of Mumbai, Sunderam, the chef behind Washington DC’s Indian restaurant Rasika, has been named as the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. Before Rasika, he spent eight years as an executive chef at Bombay Brasserie in London before restaurateur Ashok Bajaj hired him to run the kitchen at Rasika.
Bhatt, a corporate chef at Snackbar in Oxford, Mississippi was honoured as the Best Chef: South. He has been a part of Oxford’s City Grocery Restaurant Group for 16 years. After graduating from Johnson & Wales in North Miami, Bhatt worked in Miami, Denver, Boulder and Jackson for a short duration before returning to Oxford in 2001.
Trained under James Beard Award Winning Chef, John Currence, he served as the Group’s Catering chef, then Sous Chef before being promoted to Chef de Cuisine of City Grocery in 2007. In April 2009, Currence asked Bhatt to open and serve as a Chef at Snackbar.