James Beard Awardee Tom Cunanan showcases Filipino-inspired cuisine at Bad Saint. Credits to James Beard Foundation.

Filipino Chef Tom Cunanan has been named Best Chef at the 2019 James Beard Awards, one of the highest honors in the American culinary and hospitality world.

Cunanan, of multi-awarded restaurant Bad Saint in in Washington, D.C., won the “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” title besting the best chefs in the United States region.

The Pinoy chef, born in Olongapo City in Zambales and raised in the United States since the age of three, finally bagged the coveted prestigious title after being nominated for three consecutive years.

Fellow Filipino Chef Margarita Lorenzana-Manzke of République is also a 3-time finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef, while Filipino write-restaurateur Nicole Ponseca of Maharlika New York City and Chef Miguel Trinidad of Jeepney NYC were finalists for media awards.

Chef Tom celebrates his big win. Credits to James Beard Foundation

Chef Tom Cunanan emerged victorious as one of America’s “chefs who set high culinary standards and also demonstrate integrity and admirable leadership skills in their respective regions.”

James Beard Awards reports: “Cunanan, a former Ardeo/Bardeo sous chef who cooked at Vidalia, Zentan, and D.C. Coast, embraced his Filipino heritage when he helped open Bad Saint in 2015. Ever since, the tiny restaurant has commanded huge lines of loyals who queue up for the chef’s lechon, kinilaw, and crab floating in crab fat. Bad Saint has notably been snubbed by Michelin’s D.C. guide, which may make the win feel even sweeter for the chef.”

Send your congratulations in the comments below for Chef Tom Cunanan and his Filipino-inspired restaurant, Bad Saint, showcasing Philippine tastes on the world stage!

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