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Pioneering chef Nora Pouillon to get James Beard lifetime award

Nora Pouillon | FACEBOOK

The James Beard Foundation has named Nora Pouillon as the recipient of its Lifetime Achievement award, honoring the pioneering chef and author who has championed certified organic, environmentally conscious cuisine.

Pouillon is the Washington, D.C.-based author of “Cooking with Nora.” Her memoir, “My Organic Life: How a Pioneering Chef Helped Shape the Way We Eat Today,” was published in 2015.

“I am honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement award,” said Pouillon in today’s official announcement. “When I had the pleasure of hosting James Beard at my restaurant he encouraged me to continue with my style of cooking. I would like to thank my two business partners, Steven and Thomas Damato, who helped make my dream a reality. I am grateful to my team for the last 38 years of hard work. My hope is this award will inspire chefs to continue with my mission of being good stewards of the environment while making delicious organic food.”

Susan Ungaro, president of the foundation, said Pouillon, “truly impacted the way people and the industry think about the food we eat.” Other award recipients include Wolfgang Puck and Alice Waters.



The foundation also named Denise Cerreta, founder of One World Everybody Eats, winner of its Humanitarian of the Year award. Her OWEE is “a simple pay-what-you-can idea that has grown into a globally recognized non-profit.”

“I will gratefully accept this award on behalf of all the visionary cafe owners, their communities and the board members who have dedicated so much to even make this possible. My hope is that this recognition will fertilize the seed in the hearts of others who also want to eliminate hunger,” Cerreta said in a statement.

Denise oversees 65 cafes around the world that have collectively served 2 million meals, the announcement stated.

This year’s James Beard Awards ceremony will be May 1 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Associated Press; Contributing: Sun-Times staff reporter Miriam Di Nunzio