congrats winners & nominees!




Welcome to the the Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards.

We're thrilled to raise the curtain on The Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards: A celebration of what's inspiring the new generation of eaters, drinkers, and innovators. 

We’re pushing the boundaries of what a food awards program can be, putting our focus on culture, innovation and diversity. With over 25 award categories including best food startup, best food Instagram account, and best non-profit, we're toasting chefs, restaurants, innovators and food media for their great taste. 

This isn't your regular golf-claps awards ceremony, either: our live show hosted by Mo Rocca is bringing fresh energy to the format with musical performances, engaging cooking demos with top chefs, comedians, and live storytelling — not to mention your favorite chefs and cultural influencers all in attendance. 

The first Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards were hosted live at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn on September 26, 2016. Discover the winners here

Live Music 

In addition to honoring the most notable names in food and drink, the awards ceremony will also include musical performances by distinguished rising artists.

Himanshu Suri is an Indian-American rapper, writer and activist from Queens, NY. After starting his career as one-third and manager of alt-rap trio Das Racist, he released his solo debut Eat, Pray, Thug last year to critical acclaim. Born and raised in Queens, in 2012 he released a mixtape that brought attention to the need for redistricting in Queens and subsequently led to an end of the gerrymandering of Richmond Hill. Suri has spoken at universities such as Princeton, Stanford, and Amherst and toured across North America, Europe and Asia. 


The original.  The tastemaker. The first.  All of these are terms that have been applied to DJ Justine D more than once by the media and nightlife royalty.  As the consummate professional she is often thought of as one of the best female DJ’s working in New York City. While keeping active in music, Justine pursued her passion for baking by studying Classic Pastry Arts at the French Culinary Institute. With recipes featured in Martha Stewart Living, Food and Wine, and Cherry Bombe magazine she tested out several avenues of baking but decided in late 2015 to pursue her love of cake making and decorating by creating bespoke cakes for an impressive clientele in music, fashion and film.  

Cooking Competition

Taste Talks has partnered with Stay Hungry to present a live onstage cooking competition during the awards. Teams of high school students will partner with experienced chefs to prepare a culinary creation for a panel of esteemed judges.



Stay Hungry is a community-based cooking experience program that bridges the worlds of food and hip hop in order to teach high school students about the culinary world. Founded by Syreeta Gates, Stay Hungry aims to provide a creative outlet to local youths. It seeks to merge the two culturally rich spheres of food and music and foster new, lifelong passions. Stay Hungry recently launched a community fellowship program to provide interested students with insider access to the food and drink world and hands-on experience that will help them long after graduation.

Culinary Pioneer Award

The Taste Talks Culinary Pioneer Award honors an up and coming leader in the food world — someone that embodies the Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards values of culture, diversity and innovation. The recipient will be interviewed live at the awards show.



Michael Twitty is a culinary historian, historic interpreter, and food writer who aims to discover and bring to life the foods of his ancestors--enslaved African Americans in colonial and antebellum America. Michael's research and interests also range into the wider African Diaspora, continental African food traditions, Jewish foodways, and heirloom and heritage breed foods and wild edible resources. As a growing champion of local eating in both the African American and Jewish communities, he actively reaches out to help all generations share the traditional knowledge that weaves beautifully with the the sustainable, eco-friendly principles of the locovore movement. Through writing, teaching, and cooking, he dreams of sitting all of us down at the "welcome table.”


Phoebe Robinson is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actress whom Vulture.com, Essence, and Esquire have named one of the top comedians to watch. She has appeared on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers and Last Call with Carson Daly; Comedy Central’s Broad City, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and @midnight with Chris Hardwick; as well as TBS’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Most recently, she created and starred in Refinery29’s web series Woke Bae and, alongside Jessica Williams of The Daily Show, she is the creator and costar of the hit WNYC podcast 2 Dope Queens as well as the creator and host of the new WNYC podcast Sooo Many White Guys. Robinson lives and performs stand-up in Brooklyn, NY, and you can read her weekly musings about race, gender, and pop culture on her blog, Blaria.com (aka Black Daria).



Esteemed Academy members and food industry notables will announce the winners at The Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards.


The After Party

Roulette Theater | 9pm - 11pm

food  |  drink  |  music

The Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards live ceremony is followed by an after party at Roulette Theater celebrating the winners, nominees and the future of taste. Food, drink and music to match the incredible talent and imagination recognized at the Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards make it a party unlike any other.




Marta Mae Freedman founded Hot Girls Eating Pizza, a platform celebrating cool and successful women through food. The platform is also collaborating and community driven; Marta regularly works with brands to throw pizza parties in NYC, LA, Miami and beyond.

The Nominees

Check out who made the cut to be a nominee in the 2016 Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards — and discover the winners at the live awards show on September 26!

Restaurant & Chef Awards

Best New Chef: East

  • Angela Dimayuga - Mission Chinese and Mission Cantina - New York, NY
  • Daniela Soto Innes - Cosme - New York, NY
  • Fabian von Hauske & Jeremiah Stone - Wildair - New York, NY
  • Matthew Jennings - Townsman - Boston, MA
  • Missy Robbins - Lilia - Brooklyn, NY


Best New Chef: South

  • Alon Shaya - Shaya - New Orleans, LA
  • Ashley Christensen - Ashley Christensen Restaurants - North Carolina
  • Katie Button - Curate - Asheville, NC
  • Kwame Onwuachi - The Shaw Bijou - Washington D.C.
  • Ryan Poli - The Catbird Seat - Nashville, TN


Best New Chef: West

  • David Barzelay - Lazy Bear - San Francisco, CA
  • Gabriel Rucker - Little Bird Bistro - Portland, OR
  • Jessica Koslow - Sqirl - Los Angeles, CA
  • Joshua McFadden - Ava Gene's - Portland, OR
  • Ravi Kapur - Liholiho Yacht Club - San Francisco, CA


Best New Chef: North

  • Beverly Kim - Parachute - Chicago, IL
  • Curtis Duffy - Grace - Chicago, IL
  • Iliana Regan - Elizabeth - Chicago, IL
  • Lee Wolen - Boka Restaurant - Chicago, IL
  • Sarah Gruenenberg - Monteverde - Chicago, IL


Outstanding Chef:  National

  • Alice Waters - Chez Panisse - Berkeley, CA
  • April Bloomfield - The Spotted Pig - New York, NY
  • David Chang - Momofuku - New York, NY
  • Dominique Crenn - Atelier Crenn - San Francisco, CA
  • Sean Brock - Husk - Charleston, SC


Best New Restaurant: East

  • Emmy Squared - Brooklyn, NY
  • Lilia - Brooklyn, NY
  • Pasquale Jones - New York, NY
  • Townsman - Boston, MA 
  • Wildair - New York, NY  


Best New Restaurant: South

  • Death and Taxes - Raleigh, NC
  • Gunshow - Atlanta, GA
  • Olamaie - Austin, TX
  • Shaya - New Orleans, LA
  • The Grey - Savannah, GA  


Best New Restaurant: West

  • Bird Dog - Palo Alto, CA
  • Coquine - Portland, OR
  • Lazy Bear - San Francisco, CA
  • Salare - Seattle, WA
  • The Whale Wins - Seattle, WA


Best New Restaurant: North

  • Mabel's BBQ - Cleveland, OH
  • Monteverde - Chicago, IL
  • Oriole - Chicago, IL
  • Parachute- Chicago, IL
  • Spoon and Stable - Minneapolis, MN 


Outstanding Restaurant:  National

  • Alinea - Chicago, IL
  • Blue Hill at Stone Barns - Pocantico Hills, NY
  • Eleven Madison Park - New York, NY
  • Zahav - Philadelphia, PA
  • The French Laundry - Yountville, CA

Outstanding Pastry Chef

  • Belinda Leong - b.patisserie - San Francisco, CA
  • Christina Tosi - Milk Bar - New York, NY
  • Dominique Ansel - Dominique Ansel - New York, NY
  • Jennifer Yee - Lafayette - New York, NY
  • Mindy Segal - Hot Chocolate - Chicago, IL 


Outstanding Bar Program

  • Amor y Amargo - New York, NY
  • Clover Club - New York, NY
  • Clyde Common - Portland, OR
  • Maison Premiere - Brooklyn, NY
  • The Broken Shaker - Chicago, IL/Miami, FL

Media Awards


Best Cookbook

  • Gjelina - Travis Lett
  • Hot Bread Kitchen - Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez
  • Koreatown: A Cookbook  - Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard
  • The Food Lab- J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
  • Zahav- Michael Solomonov

Best Food Literature Book

  • 32 Yolks - Eric Ripert with Veronica Chambers
  • Rice Noodle Fish - Matt Goulding and Nathan Thornburgh
  • Something to Food About - Questlove and Ben Greenman
  • The Farm on the Roof - Anastasia Cole Plakias
  • Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love - Simran Sethi
  • The Jemima Code - Toni Tipton-Martin


Best Food Television or Web Series

  • Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
  • Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
  • Chef's Table
  • Mind of a Chef
  • Cooked
  • Fuck That's Delicious 


Best Culinary Film or Documentary

  • Birth of Sake
  • Burnt
  • City of Gold
  • For Grace
  • Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent 


Best Photographer

  • Daniel Krieger
  • Eric Wolfinger
  • Evan Sung
  • Huge Galdones
  • Liz Clayman 


Best Radio Show or Podcast

  • Gravy
  • Munchies
  • Radio Cherry Bombe
  • The Feed
  • The Splendid Table 


Best Magazine or Zine

  • Bon Appetit
  • Cherry Bombe
  • Food & Wine
  • Lucky Peach
  • Saveur 


Best Food Media Website

  • Eater
  • Food52
  • Lucky Peach
  • Serious Eats
  • Tasting Table 


Best Culinary Blog

  • Afroculinaria
  • Gastronomista
  • Local Milk
  • Smitten Kitchen
  • Two for the Bar 


Best Food Instagram

  • Chef Jacques La Merde
  • Daniel Krieger
  • EatingNYC
  • Munchies
  • The Infatuation 

Best Food Article

  • Are You Eating Frankenfish? - Tom Colicchio
  • Eddie Huang on the Oppressive Whiteness of the Food World - Eddie Huang
  • Edna Lewis and the Black Roots of American Cooking - Francis Lam
  • Farm To Fable - Laura Reilly
  • What It's Like to Work at the Waffle House for 24 Hours Straight - Andrew Knowlton

Innovation Awards

Presented by KitchenAid


Best Startup

  • Blue Apron 
  • Culinary Agents
  • Imperfect Produce 
  • LocoL
  • Reserve 


Best New Technology

  • BeeHex
  • June Oven 
  • Nomiku
  • Uber Eats 
  • Panna Cooking 
  • SmartPlate 


Outstanding Non-Profit

  • Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) 
  • City Harvest
  • Edible Schoolyard Project and Edible Schoolyard NYC
  • Hot Bread Kitchen
  • No Kid Hungry

Best Environmental, Agricultural, or Sustainable Innovation

  • Billion Oyster Project
  • Charity Water
  • Chef's Collaborative 
  • Sea To Table
  • Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Best Academic Institution or Organization

  • Culinary Institute of America 
  • Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) 
  • NYU Food Studies 
  • Southern Foodways Alliance 
  • Yale Sustainable Food Program 

The Academy

The Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards Academy is comprised of influential members of food and drink community from around the country. Academy members vote in two rounds of voting: they vote submissions into nominees, and nominees into winners. Submissions for all awards categories are open to the public.