Ann Kim Wins 2019 James Beard Award

The Young Joni chef won Best Chef: Midwest

Anyone who has devoured a Korean BBQ pizza at Young Joni—or any other delights on the menu, for that matter—could feel this coming. Ann Kim was named Best Chef: Midwest at the 2019 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards.

After coming close by being shortlisted for the award in 2018, Kim bested fellow incredible Twin Cities chef finalists Grand Cafe’s Jamie Malone, and Hai Hai’s Christina Nguyen.

Kim gave an emotional speech at the ceremony. “I stand here because 10 years ago, I said f*** fear,” she said.

The honor comes as Kim looks to expand her stable of restaurants beyond Young Joni, Hello Pizza, and Pizzaria Lola, to include a Mexican-inspired eatery in Uptown later in 2019.

Check out the full list of 2019 James Beard Award winners here.