Zahav’s Camille Cogswell Is Philly’s James Beard Award Winner

She's the second pastry chef ever to take home the coveted Rising Star Chef medal.

James Beard Foundation

Lots of Philly folks were recognized when the James Beard Foundation Awards semifinalists were announced back in February, with women, chefs of color, and pastry chefs and bakers in particular making a strong showing.

When the finalists were released — in a ceremony at Parc, owned by 2017 Outstanding Restaurateur winner Stephen Starr — in March, the list of Philly chefs shrunk, with four heavy hitters making it to the next round: High Street Hospitality Group’s Ellen Yin for Outstanding Restaurateur, Rich Landau of Vedge for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic, Zahav pastry chef Camille Cogswell for Rising Star Chef, and Zahav in the Outstanding Service category.

In the end, only Cogswell took home a medal at last night’s awards gala in Chicago; she became just the second pastry chef ever to win the coveted Rising Star Chef award. Cogswell was also nominated in the category in 2017.

Overall, this year’s award winners also included some important firsts for Black food professionals, like chef Edouardo Jordan, whose Seattle spot JuneBaby won Best New Restaurant; he also won Best Chef Northwest. At the foundation’s food media awards ceremony on April 25th, author Michael W. Twitty made history when he took home medals for best writing and Book of the Year for The Cooking Gene, his groundbreaking exploration of the roots of soul and southern food.