Oklahoma chef redefining ‘fine dining’ named semi-finalist for award

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — An Oklahoma chef is being honored by a national organization for his culinary prowess.

Chef Andrew Black is nominated for the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef.

Chef Black is the only nominee from Oklahoma who is up for the prestigious award.

Born in Jamaica, Chef Black was often commissioned to build outdoor clay ovens for his grandmother as a child. He quickly roamed the kitchens of the island’s resorts.

However, he didn’t want to stop there.

He first came to Oklahoma City to reopen the restaurant at the historic Skirvin Hotel before moving to Vast.

In 2017, he became co-founder and executive chef of Culinary Edge Concepts, consisting of La Baguette Deep Deuce, Black Walnut and Gray Sweater.

Black’s restaurants in Oklahoma City have received numerous accolades from publications such as USA Today, Zagat and Thrillist.

“The chef helped bring tasting menus to Oklahoma City and one of his restaurants, Gray Sweater, offers one of the most innovative tasting menu concepts I’ve ever heard of. Days before your reservation, they call you, then design your meal…Oklahoma City might have one of the most underrated, underrated, and underrated restaurant cultures in America,” Thrillist said.

He is also the author of “Foraging in Oklahoma: Tales and Recipes from the Open Road”.

Black’s new restaurant, The Gilded Acorn, is set to open soon.

Other nominees for the Outstanding Chef Award include:

  • Reem Assil from Reem’s in Oakland and San Francisco
  • Mashama Bailey of The Gray in Savannah, Georgia
  • Peter Chang, with two Peter Chang locations; Austin Covert of Rosewild in Fargo, ND
  • Christopher Gross of Christopher’s in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Stephen Jones of The Larder + The Delta in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Ji Hye Kim of Miss Kim in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Birch’s Kyle Knall in Milwaukee
  • ELEMI’s Emiliano Marentes in El Paso, Texas
  • Niki Nakayama of n/naka in Los Angeles
  • Keiji Nakazawa of Sushi Sho in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Josh Niernberg of Bin 707 Foodbar in Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Alex Raij and Eder Montero, The Vara of New York
  • Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli from Don Angie in New York
  • Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami, Florida
  • Douglass Williams of MIDA in Boston
  • Cindy Wolf from Charleston in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Joule’s Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi in Seattle

Two other Oklahoma restaurants recently caught the attention of the James Beard Awards.

Earlier this month, Living Kitchen Farm & Dairy in Depew was named a semi-finalist for its “Most Outstanding Restaurant” in the United States.

In Oklahoma City, Florence’s Restaurant was one of six recipients of the 2022 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics Award.

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