Who is Mashama Bailey? What to know about the 2022 James Beard outstanding chef winner

Todd A. Price
Southern Kitchen

On Monday night, chef Mashama Bailey of Savannah won the award for outstanding chef in the nation at the James Beard Awards in Chicago.

At The Grey in Savannah, Bailey cooks her own, modern version of Southern food. She previously won a James Beard Award in 2019 Best Chef in the Southeast.

The outstanding chef award honors an individual who "sets high culinary standards and has served as a positive example for other food professionals."

Here are five things to know about Mashama Bailey:

  1. Bailey was born in the Bronx, but spent part of her childhood in Georgia before returning to New York.
  2. When she was hired to work at The Grey, Bailey had never worked professionally in the South.
  3. The Grey is located in a restored, and once segregated, Greyhound bus station.
  4. Bailey's partner at The Grey is John O. Morisano, a white man. In their book "Black, White, and The Grey" they discuss how they navigate the difficulties that race presents for their working relationship.
  5. Bailey and Morisano recently opened Diner Bar and The Grey Market in Austin.

What to know more about Bailey? See our earlier interview with her and Morisano.

Savannah's The Grey:A Southern restaurant’s story reveals truth about race in America

See the list of winners:Southern restaurants, chefs among 2022 James Beard Awards winners

News tips? Story ideas? Questions? Call reporter Todd Price at 504-421-1542 or email him at taprice@gannett.com. Sign up for The American South newsletter. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.