These ICE Alumni Are Semifinalists for the 2023 James Beard Awards
Right on the heels of the list of Academy Awards nominations comes the list of what the hospitality industry is waiting for: the semifinalists for the 2023 installment of the James Beard Awards. Regarded as the “Oscars of the food world,” restaurants and chefs are recognized across 23 categories. (The 2023 iteration now includes a new award for Outstanding Bakery.)
A number of ICE graduates are receiving recognition from one of the most prestigious culinary organizations.
Mary Attea (Culinary Arts, '11)
Best Chef: New York State, The Musket Room
Chef Mary joined The Musket Room team just prior to the pandemic in February of 2020, shifting the former New Zealand-inspired menu to one that reflected her own travels and experiences. Dishes like quail with pomegranate, pine nut and romesco and half-roasted chicken with salsa verde have garnered much acclaim in Manhattan and beyond, including earning a Michelin star in the latest Michelin Guide.
Shenarri Freeman (Plant-Based Culinary Arts, '21)
Best Chef: New York State, Cadence
A graduate of ICE’s Plant-Based Culinary Arts program, Chef Shenarri has been in the hospitality industry for over a decade, first working in various restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area before coming to New York. At her Manhattan restaurant Cadence, “Executive Chef Shenarri Freeman taps into her Virginia upbringing and vegan ethos and spotlights Southern footways and soul food through the lens of health and sustainability,” per the restaurant’s website. Current menu items include maple buttermilk cornbread with sage-maple syrup, collard green wraps and Southern fried lasagna with red wine Bolognese.
Sohui Kim (Culinary Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management, '02)
Best Chef: New York State, Gage & Tollner
A Seoul native, Chef Sohui’s extensive resume includes stints with high-profile chefs including Michael Anthony, Peter Hoffman and Anita Lo. Along with her husband, Ben Schneider, Chef Sohui is the co-owner of celebrated restaurants The Good Fork and Insa, also located in Brooklyn; glitzy Gage & Tollner rounds out their collection of restaurants. Since its grand opening in 2021, guests have been flocking to the oyster and chop house for chilled seafood platters, Parker House rolls and a variety of steaks and chops à la carte.
Ayesha Nurdjaja (Culinary Arts, '07)
Best Chef: New York State, Shukette
Earning her diploma in Culinary Arts in 2007, Chef Ayesha quickly moved her way up in the restaurant world, acting as sous chef at Lidia Bastianich’s Felidia and helping lead kitchens at Michelin-starred restaurants Picholine and A Voce. She opened her first restaurant, Shuka, in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood in 2017. Her offshoot, Shukette, opened in Chelsea in 2021. Since then, the lively and always poppin’ Shukette has received praise including a Critic’s Pick from the New York Times and a glowing writeup in the New Yorker.
Mashama Bailey (Culinary Arts, '01)
Outstanding Restaurant, The Grey, Savannah
Chef Mashama enrolled in the Culinary Arts program in 2000; upon completion she went to work under Jeremy Marshall at Aqua Grill for her externship before cooking at Gabrielle Hamilton's Prune. In 2014, she and partner John O. "Johno" Morisano opened The Grey in a restored 1938 Greyhound bus terminal, serving up her take on Southern farm-to-table and coastal cuisine. The Grey has landed on Food & Wine’s Restaurants of the Year list in 2015 and being hailed Restaurant of the Year by Eater in 2017. Last year, Chef Mashama received top honors at the James Beard Awards, winning Outstanding Chef.
Zoe Nathan (Culinary Arts, '01)
Outstanding Restaurant, Cassia, Los Angeles
Originally looking to major in photography and writing, Chef Zoe enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at ICE NY. After graduation, the Angelino returned to the left coast, working at Traci Desjardin’s Jardinère and Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bakery & Café. In 2006, Chef Zoe and her husband and partner, Josh Loeb, established Rustic Canyon Family in Santa Monica. Inspired by the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, Rustic Canyon Family includes nine restaurants. Cassia, a Southeast Asian brasserie, has been a Downtown Santa Monica fixture since its opening in 2015.
Read More: Zoe Nathan Looks Ahead in LA
Mashama Bailey photos by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for James Beard Foundation.