The James Beard Foundation announced that, Patrick O’Connell, a five-time James Beard Award winner, 3-star Michelin chef, author, and owner of The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, VA, has been named the recipient of the 2019 James Beard Lifetime Achievement award; and Giving Kitchen, the non-profit organization providing stability for some of the most hard-working and vulnerable members of the foodservice community, has been named the recipient of the 2019 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year award. The Lifetime Achievement award is bestowed upon a person in the industry whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and think about food in America. The Humanitarian of the Year award is given to an individual or organization whose work in the realm of food has improved the lives of others and benefited society at large. Patrick O’Connell and Giving Kitchen will be honored at this year’s James Beard Awards on Monday, May 6, 2019, at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
The 2019 Humanitarian of the Year award recipient, Giving Kitchen, provides emergency assistance to food service workers through financial support and a network of community resources. Giving Kitchen grew out of a beyond-expectation response to the devastating, stage-four cancer diagnosis of chef Ryan Hidinger in December 2012. Ryan was well-known in the Atlanta restaurant community for his work at Bacchanalia, Floataway Café, and Muss & Turner’s.; he and his wife, Jen, were beloved for their supper club Prelude to Staplehouse, a precursor to opening their dream restaurant. In response to Hidinger’s diagnosis, he received an outpouring of love and financial support to help with his expenses not covered by insurance. Giving Kitchen provides financial assistance to food service workers, based on financial need and a defined set of criteria, through Crisis Grants. They have also created a referral program to serve as a connection to social services for restaurant workers called Stability Network. To date, Giving Kitchen Crisis Grants have supported over 1,500 food service workers in need of emergency assistance.
Tickets for this year’s Awards gala in Chicago go on sale March 27, 2019, and the Awards will be broadcast live via the James Beard Foundation’s Twitter feed. On April 6, 2019, the James Beard Media Awards, an exclusive event honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers, and hosts, and food journalists, will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.