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Houston Chef Brings Home Houston’s Eighth James Beard Award

Published Jun 06, 2023 by Megan Broussard

Street to Kitchen Food

Courtesy: Richard Casteel

Houston added another James Beard winner to the talented group of chefs that make up the elite, intimate circle. For over 30 years, the James Beard Foundation has celebrated chefs who demonstrate food excellence through their prestigious awards, which are commonly referred to as the “Oscars of the food world.”

Benchawan Jabthong Painter won Best Chef: Texas category for the “unapologetically authentic” Thai restaurant, Street to Kitchen. Painter grew up in Thailand and cooked in her family's restaurant before moving to Houston with her husband and starting her own culinary quest. The unassuming casual gem in the Greater East End uses locally sourced ingredients to provide a wide array of dishes including, pad see ew, drunken noodles, pad Thai, curry and mango sticky rice.

Painter is the first Houstonian to win in the Best Chef: Texas category. Other finalists in this category included Reyna Duong, of Sandwich Hag of Dallas; Emiliano Marentes of ELEMI in El Paso; John Russ of Clementine in San Antonio; and Ernest Servantes and David Kirkland of Seguin’s Burnt Bean Co.

Nancy's Hustle was also nominated for Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program, and Tatemó was nominated for Best New Restaurant among a crowded field. However, Painter is the sole winner from Houston this year. To see the complete list of winners, click here

To learn more about Houston’s restaurants and nightlife, click here

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