On Monday night, Mashama Bailey took home a James Beard Award.
For a second year in a row, Bailey was nominated for Best Chef: Southeast. This year, she won the honor.
Mashama Bailey is the executive chef and partner at The Grey, a high-end retro restaurant that serves southern cuisines.
Bailey is only the second woman of color to win a regional best chef Beard award and the first to even be nominated. In fact, only five African-American chefs have been nominated in the award ceremonies history.
In her acceptance speech, Bailey recognized the most important African-American chef, Edna Lewis, by joking,“I ripped off all her fantastic tricks.”
As she thanked her family and co-workers, she said, “We should all be very proud of ourselves. We are moving this country forward in the right direction. I am a black girl from Queens, New York, and my most influential cuisine is Peter’s Kitchen Chinese take-out.”
Bailey and The Grey join the list of a number of Savannah’s award-winning restaurants such as Elizabeth’s on 37th. Elizabeth Terry, the founder and former owner of the restaurant, was the head chef who also won the Best Chef: Southeast award back in 1995.
~By: Nancy Smith