Three Indian Americans have been nominated for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards: author Deepa Thomas for her book Deepa’s Secrets on Health and Special Diets, New York Times reporter Tejal Rao for her feature story of “A Day in the Life of a Food Vendor” and Chef Vishwesh Bhatt for his restaurant Snackbar in Oxford, Mississippi.
According to her website, Thomas holds a degree in journalism and political science from Delhi University; she came to the U.S. in 1985 and founded Deepa Textiles.
Since 2010, Thomas has combined her passion for journalism and cooking as she “deconstructs the principles of the most successful diets and healthy living practices in order to reconstruct a simple, slow carb New Indian cuisine.”
Rao’s articles on food culture and cooking are featured in The New York Times Magazine and she has won the James Beard Foundation award in the past for her restaurant criticism at The Village Voice and Bloomberg News, according to her bio on The New York Times website.
According to his bio on the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival’s website, Bhatt started working with award-winning chef John Currence in 2001 and opened up his own restaurant Snackbar in 2009 where he combines Southern and subcontinental cuisines.
According to a press release, nominations for the 2018 James Beard Awards were announced in nearly 60 categories; winners for the cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists will be announced on Friday, April 27 at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City and the rest of the winners will be announced at the James Beard Awards Gala held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 7.
Since 1990, the James Beard Awards has been recognizing “culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their respected fields and furthers the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.”