Philly James Beard Nominee Jesse Ito Gets a Makeover from Queer Eye’s Tan France

He and the other Rising Star Chef nominees will be looking sharp at Monday night's big awards ceremony in Chicago.

The 2019 James Beard Awards ceremony is this coming Monday, May 6th, and we here at Foobooz HQ are already crossing our fingers and toes for the Philly nominees headed to Chicago for the big night (see the stellar crew representing our fair city here).

Among the nominees is Royal Izakaya’s Jesse Ito, who’s nominated in the Rising Star Chef of the Year category along with five other great chefs under age 30. Zahav’s Camille Cogswell won the category at last year’s awards.

Ito was a semifinalist in the category in 2017 and 2018; this year is the first time he’s made it to the shortlist. And in an adorable piece of San Pellegrino-sponsored content, he and the other Rising Star Chef nominees got to have a one-on-one makeover sesh with none other than Tan France, fashion expert on Netflix’s Queer Eye. (Coincidentally, although nothing’s confirmed, we’ve been hearing rumors that the show is casting in Philly.)

In the video, France sits down with each nominee to talk about their path, their inspiration, and how they’re feeling about heading to the culinary Oscars before suiting them up in their new outfits for the big night. Ito talks about his love for Philly and tells France how his parents sold Fuji, their South Jersey sushi restaurant of 37 years, to go into business with him and open Royal Izakaya. The duo hit the clothing racks around the 5:30 mark.

Maybe it’s just our reflexive response to France’s tender yet effervescent onscreen presence, but you might want to grab a tissue or two before you watch.