South Philly Barbacoa’s Cristina Martinez Wins Best Mid-Atlantic Chef James Beard Award

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Cristina Martinez, co-owner of South Philly Barbacoa, has won the Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic James Beard award. The awards were held in Chicago Monday night.

For Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic: Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa in Philadelphia #jbfa

— James Beard Foundation (@beardfoundation) June 14, 2022

Besides serving up award-winning food, Martinez and South Philly Barbacoa have been active in the community. In May of 2021, the restaurant partnered with Jefferson Health, offering free tacos with a COVID-19 vaccination.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 13: Cristina Martinez speaks onstage during the 2022 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards at Lyric Opera of Chicago on June 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for James Beard Foundation )

Following an earthquake in Puerto Rico, South Philly Barbacoa hosted a pop-up fundraiser to support relief efforts in January of 2020.

Martinez was among four local finalists. Jesse Ito and Nok Suntaranon were also up the Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic title.

Ellen Yin, owner of several restaurants, including Fork, a.kitchen + a.bar, and High Street Philly, was nominated for restaurateur of the year.