Jun 11, 2024 - News

Cordelia's Vinnie Cimino comes up short at James Beard Awards

Chef Vinnie Cimino standing on red carpet in tux

Cimino on the red carpet in Chicago. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

Cordelia executive chef Vinnie Cimino came up short at the James Beard Awards in Chicago on Monday.

Why it matters: It was the first-ever nomination for Cimino and Cleveland's only nomination this year at America's biggest culinary awards ceremony.

  • Cimino was a finalist in the Best Chef in the Great Lakes category.

What they're saying: "Cleveland is this incredible melting pot of cuisine. We have a beautiful Asiatown, Slovenian culture, Hungarian, German, Italian," Cimino told Axios on the red carpet Monday.

  • "We celebrate all that culture, and we celebrate being Midwesterners from the Midwest. We lean into what our grandparents taught us. We love eating and sharing it with others."

Zoom in: Hajime Sato of Sozai in Clawson, Michigan, won in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category.

The intrigue: Scene dining editor Doug Trattner reminds us that Cimino's loss is not without local precedent.

  • "It took Michael Symon three bites at the apple before winning his James Beard Award for Best Chef in 2009," he writes, "and Jonathon Sawyer was nominated four years in a row, finally snagging the medallion in 2015."

The bottom line: Cimino is now on the national foodie radar and looks poised to receive ongoing accolades at Cordelia and/or future ventures.


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