The James Beard Foundation Just Named Its 2022 Humanitarian Of The Year

Award-winning cookbook author and culinary historian Grace Young is raising the bar for leaders in the food industry. The two-time James Beard Award winner has a list of accolades for her work with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, videos, and cookbooks. Her admirable and entertaining breadth of work earned her titles like "stir-fry guru" and "poet laureate of the wok." The James Beard Foundation recently awarded her for the third time by recognizing her humanitarian efforts.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about an alarming increase in hate crimes against Asian American communities that moved Young to advocate for individuals and businesses suffering from senseless discrimination. Young worked tirelessly in partnerships with Asian Americans For Equality (AAFE) and Welcome to Chinatown to raise funds and to provide aid and security to the AAPI community. Her video series "Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories" documents the hardships endured by New York City's Chinese community throughout the pandemic, and her efforts earned her a new nickname: Tthe "accidental voice for Chinatown."

In October of 2020, Young partnered with the James Beard Foundation in a social media campaign (#savechineserestaurants) to support Chinatowns across the U.S. Years later, she's become the foundation's Humanitarian of the Year for 2022.

Grace Young is a fierce advocate for Asian American communities

When Grace Young saw the detrimental effects of the coronavirus on Asian American communities, she flew into action. As individuals and iconic restaurants in New York City's Chinatown suffered from an uptick in hate crimes and were threatened by going out of business, Young began partnering with foundations and organizations to shine a light on the hardships endured by these communities.

The stir-fry guru raised $40,000 to support struggling restaurants and provide meals to elderly, food-insecure individuals (via the James Beard Foundation). For spending her career in service in hopes of enriching the culinary world, Young received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and made a list of Who's Making AAPI History shard by "Good Morning America" in 2021.

Her Humanitarian of the Year Award from the James Beard Association, in conjunction with her many accolades and titles, marks her selfless efforts to support marginalized communities and the culinary industry.