Snackbar’s Vishwesh Bhatt Wins James Beard Award

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

Vish Bhatt in the kitchen
Chef Vishwesh Bhatt works with an employee in the kitchen of Snackbar. Photo by Megan Wolfe.

Oxford’s very own Vishwesh Bhatt won an award for Best Chef: South at the 2019 James Beard Foundations Awards Monday night in Chicago.

Photo via Twitter.

Bhatt represented Snackbar—one of entities of the City Grocery Restaurant Group—at the awards. John Currence, head chef and owner of the restaurant group, accompanied Bhatt in his victory.

“To all the chefs, as we do this, let’s remember as we break off into cliques and start doing brown chefs and yellow chefs and gay chefs. Let’s remember that we do this because we love doing it,” Bhatt said at the ceremony.

Bhatt is a native of Gujarat, India, and has been a part of the City Grocery Restaurant Group for 16 years. He joined Currence on the line at City Grocery in 2001 and has stayed with the restaurant group ever since.

Other finalists for Best Chef: South included Jose Enrique of Jose Enrique
(San Juan, PR); Kristen Essig and Michael of Stoltzfus Coquette
(New Orleans); Slade Rushing of Brennan’s (New Orleans); and Isaac Toups of Toups’ Meatery (New Orleans).

For more information on the 2019 JBF Awards, visit


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