Kitchen controversy: Drama at the 2023 James Beard Awards

The 2023 James Beard Awards were handed out Monday night. Grace Onasanya and Ivy Knight join the podcast to discuss how the awards have been mired in controversy over recent years. We break down the big winners — and why some chefs aren't feeling too celebratory.

Grace Onasanya and Ivy Knight discuss the controversy that's surrounded the awards over recent years

Chef Aaron Verzosa is nominated for a 2023 James Beard Award in the Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific category.
Chef Aaron Verzosa demonstrates plating Tailor Made, a course in which diners disclose their hunger level from five to one. Verzosa was nominated for a 2023 James Beard Award. (Lindsey Wasson/AP Photo)

The James Beard Foundation, which celebrates excellence in the food and beverage industries, held its annual award ceremony on Monday night. 

Referred to as the Oscars of the food world, the prestigious award can help solidify a chef's career in the U.S., but in recent years, it's been mired in controversy, including garnering the reputation of #SoWhite, which references racial inequities in the industry.

Food journalist Ivy Knight and line-cook Grace Onasanya join Commotion guest host Talia Schlanger to discuss the ethical politics surrounding the James Beard Awards. 

You can listen to the full discussion from today's show on CBC Listen or on our podcast, Commotion with Elamin Abdelmahmoud, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Panel produced by Jane Van-Koeverden.