When it comes to food awards per capita, few cities can top Charlottesville. The James Beard Foundation, the Good Food Awards, The Food Network, and The Cheesemonger Invitational are just some to bestow awards upon Charlottesville area food in recent years. The Little Food City That Could keeps chugging along.
Now, for the first time ever, a Charlottesville chef is a James Beard semifinalist for national Rising Star Chef of the Year: Ian Redshaw of Prime 109. According to the award’s criteria, it recognizes “a chef age 30 or younger who displays exceptional talent, character, and leadership ability, and who is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.” Just 23 chefs in the country are semifinalists, with most coming from large markets like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston. And, to put the award in perspective, past winners include chefs like Bobby Flay, David Chang, Michael Mina, and Grant Achatz.
While Redshaw’s star power is finally being recognized outside Charlottesville, it has been well known here for years. To the country, rising. To Charlottesville, risen. Soon after the Culinary Institute of America graduate came to Charlottesville at age 22, he was already a star: l’étoile de L’étoile. Next, after a brief stint at Tavola, he helped to launch Lampo, where he created both the 2015 and the 2016 Dishes of the Year, and then was named 2018 Best Chef in C-VILLE Weekly. Now as Executive Chef of Charlottesville’s 2019 Best New Restaurant, Redhsaw’s talent continues to turn heads, including even the Governor’s, who last year called Redshaw’s steak the best of his life.
Congratulations, Ian. Congratulations, Charlottesville.