Indian restaurant in the United States wins the best culinary award


We all know the versatility of Indian cuisine. No matter where you go, you’ll find at least one Indian restaurant serving classic dishes like dal makhani, butter chicken, paneer, and more. Although we certainly never tire of this taste, Indian cuisine has made a name for itself all over the world. Recently, an Indian restaurant in the United States won an outstanding culinary award. A celebrity Indian-born chef and a North Carolina Indian restaurant serving ‘innovative and affordable’ street food have won top honors at America’s most prestigious culinary awards that recognize outstanding talent in the industry eating.

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The James Beard award for “Best Chef in New York State” was awarded to Chintan Pandya of famous New York restaurant Dhamaka. For the uninitiated, the James Beard Awards recognize great talent in the culinary industries and food media, as well as a demonstrated dedication to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive.

James Beard Foundation CEO Clare Reichenbach said the awards “recognize outstanding food and beverage professionals” and “also honor our entire industry – and the incredible resilience, courage, talent and leadership that so many have shown over the past two years” in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic.

When Pandya won this award, he said it was “actually amazing and never imagined that I will be standing here at some point”. Accompanied by his business partner Roni Mazumdar on stage, Pandya, referring to Mazumdar, said, “The reason he’s here is that I’ve always had very silly and stupid ideas. And over the 22 years that I cooked, nobody believed it.

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“I met this guy five years ago. And after a few years I realized he was dumber and dumber than me because he believed in my ideas. And because he believed in my idiocracy and my stupidity that I’m standing here, so big thanks to him.”

Dhamaka’s website states that “Dhamaka is explosive. It is the other side of India, the forgotten side of India.” Describing himself as a “shameless Indian”, Dhamaka, chef and partner Pandya and restaurateur Mazumdar, serves “provincial Indian cuisine at Essex’s new market”. This restaurant opened last year in February and was ranked #1 on the New York Times’ 10 Best New Restaurants in 2021 list.

While this award went to the best chef, another James Beard award went to an Indian restaurant called Chai-Pani for “outstanding restaurant”. The snack corner beat Brennan’s in New Orleans to win the supreme title. You can find out more here.


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