Patrick O’Connell, chef and owner of the Inn at Little Washington, was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the James Beard Foundation awards on Monday night in Chicago.
O’Connell and his former business and romantic partner opened up the restaurant in Rappahannock County, Va. in 1978. In 2007, O’Connell took over ownership of the restaurant. Since then, he has earned five James Beard awards and has become a three-star Michelin chef.
“I’m living proof that you can hide out in a mountain village and still be discovered and recognized by your peers,” O’Connell said during his acceptance speech.
Other notable LGBT recognition of the evening included Ashley Christensen, owner of AC Restaurants in Raleigh, N.C., who won the 2019 Outstanding Chef Award. In her acceptance speech, Christensen thanked her partner and Executive Director of AC Restaurants, Kaitlyn Goalen. The couple will wed in June.
Chef duo and couple Jody Williams and Rita Sodi of Via Carota were also awarded 2019 Best Chef-NYC.
The James Beard Foundation spotlighted D.C.’s culinary scene with Kith and Kin chef Kwame Onwuachi winning Rising Star Chef of the Year and Bad Saint chef Tom Cunanan winning Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.
— James Beard Foundation (@beardfoundation) May 6, 2019