James Beard Awards: Owamni in Minneapolis wins Best New Restaurant

Co-owner Dana Thompson, left, and co-owner and chef Sean Sherman stand for a portrait during lunch service at Owamni by The Sioux Chef restaurant on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021 in Minneapolis. (Getty Images)

The annual James Beard Awards took place Monday, and similar to years past the Twin Cities was well represented.

Both Owamni (Sean Sherman) and Union Hmong Kitchen (Yia Vang) were nominated for Best New Restaurant. Nominees for Best New Chef Midwest include Sherman and Yang, as well as, Jorge Guzmán, (Petite León – Minneapolis) and Erik Skaar (Vann – Spring Park).

Sherman and Owamni will be taking home awards with them, winning in the Best New Restaurant category. 

Unfortunately, Union Hmong Kitchen owner Yia Vang lost out on Best Chef, Midwest to Dane Baldwin of Milwaukee. 

Kim Bartmann, owner of Bartmann Group Minneapolis (which includes restaurants such as Barbette, Trapeze, Bread & Pickle, and more) was also nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur. 

The James Beard Foundation Awards are annually presented by the James Beard Foundation to recognize culinary professionals in the United States.

The mission of the awards is to recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive.