Two Indian-origin chefs have been conferred with the prestigious James Beard Food Awards for 2014, considered as the Oscars of the US food and beverage industry.
Chefs Vikram Sunderam, 47, and Vishwesh Bhatt were awarded the Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic and Best Chef in South respectively.
The James Beard Food Awards, which were presented during a ceremony at Lincoln Centre at the James Beard Foundation's annual awards ceremony here on Monday, are widely considered the top honours in American cooking.
Named after the father of American cuisine, the award is cashless in nature.
Sunderam was earlier nominated thrice for the same award while Bhatt was a semi-finalist for Best Chef South two years running.
A native of Mumbai, Sunderam joined the Taj Mahal Hotel group in 1985. He was in London for 14 years at the award winning Bombay Brasserie. In 2005, he opened restaurant Rasika in Washington, where the Obamas have also dined.
Bhatt is a native of Gujarat. Graduating from Johnson and Wales in north Miami, he was trained under James Beard Award winning chef, John Currence, who asked him to open Snackbar, later recognised by the media as one of the finest restaurants in the American South.
The awards honour those who follow in the footsteps of James Beard, considered the dean of American cooking when he died in 1985.
Monday's ceremony honoured chefs and restaurants; a similar event on Friday was held for books and other media awards.
Last year's top chef honour was shared by David Chang and Paul Kahan.