Royal Izakaya’s Chef Jesse Ito is a Finalist For a 2024 James Beard Foundation Award


Jesse Ito
Image via Instagram, Jesse Ito
Jesse Ito was one of five Philadelphia-area chefs to be named a semifinalist for a 2024 James Beard Foundation award. He is the only one of the five to be named a finalist.

The James Beard Foundation has announced its finalists for the prestigious culinary awards, and one Philadelphia chef is on that list, writes Emma Dooling for the Philadelphia Business Journal

Chef Jesse Ito of Royal Izakaya has been named one of five finalists for the Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic category. This marks the third consecutive year he was named a finalist in the category.

Ito opened Royal Izakaya in Queen Village in 2016. The restaurant features a front room where diners can enjoy cocktails and small bites and an eight-seat back room that serves a 17-course omakase experience for $300 per person.

Of 10 Philadelphia-area restaurants and chefs to be named semifinalists for the award, Ito is the only one to advance to the finals. 

In addition to this, the James Beard Foundation also announced the honorees for its 2024 Leadership Awards. 

Muhammad Abdul-Hadi of Down North Pizza and the Down North Foundation in Strawberry Mansion is being honored in the Industry Culture and Practices category.

In his roles, he provides employment and subsidized housing to previously incarcerated individuals. 

The winners of the 2024 awards will be announced during a ceremony at the Lyric Opera in Chicago on June 10. 

Read more about Philadelphia’s reputation as credited by the James Beard Foundation at the Philadelphia Business Journal.


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