Ladies and gentlemen: Erwan Heussaff is now a James Beard Award winner.
Hailed as the “Oscars of the food world,” the content creator and entrepreneur bagged a Broadcast Media Award medal for the Social Account category, besting other nominees which included Kalamatas Kitchen and Andrew Huang, Ewa Huang, and Jeromy Ko of Nom Life.
Erwan is at the helm of Manila-based media and production company The Fat Kid Inside Studios, which runs his FEATR YouTube channel with 3 million subscribers that highlights Filipino cuisine, travel, and culture.
The category “recognizes excellence in a single food-related post, or compilation of up to three posts, that clearly represents the intention of the Facebook page, Twitter account, TikTok account, Instagram feed, or other social media format.”
“I’m still shaking. We made it,” Erwan wrote on social media, posting a photo of himself donning a contemporary barong, with the medal around his neck.
“Anywhere you go in the world, you’ll meet Filipinos, especially in the food and beverage industry. In fact, one of our largest revenue streams of the country are Filipinos who are working overseas, yet not a lot is known about our culture or our food,” he said in his acceptance speech.
“Tons of people have said Filipino food is the next big thing, and I’m obsessed with trying to figure out how to make it just the big thing. And so this, for me, means absolutely everything because it just motivates me further to keep shining the light on our beautiful country, our beautiful people, and the food that is made in our kitchen.”
Actress Anne Curtis congratulated her husband in a separate Instagram post.
“I’ve seen how passionate you are about sharing stories of Filipino food and the culture and deeper story behind each ingredient. You and [The Fat Kid Inside Studio] team work so hard… Traveling all over the country to find the core and masters of each dish and ingredient, whilst keeping it as authentic as possible. Congratulations on this amazing feat! I can’t wait to see more stories that are faithfully told, not only about Filipino cuisine but also about the spirit, communities and culture behind it,” she wrote.
The ceremony was held in Chicago on Sunday.
While a number of Filipino-American talents have taken home the prestigious James Beard Award, Erwan is the first Philippines-based winner. Another Manila-born-and-raised chef, Margarita Manzke, finally took home the Best Pastry Chef or Baker award after having been nominated for eight consecutive years.