May 2019
May 2019

Chef Vishwesh Bhatt of Mississippi wins the coveted James Beard Foundation’s ‘Best Chef South’ award

Chef Vishwesh Bhatt of Mississippi has earned one of the culinary world’s highest honors, winning the 2019 James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef” in the South.

Ahmedabad-born Bhatt had been nominated five times in the past for his work at Snackbar, a Southern-French brasserie hybrid in Oxford, MS. This year Bhatt, the only Mississippi chef nominated, beat out several well-known Southern chefs, including Slade Rushing of Brennan’s in New Orleans and Isaac Toups of Toups’ Meatery, also in New Orleans.

The James Beard Awards are the most prestigious honors in the food industry, recognizing the best in food — from chefs, restaurants, cookbooks to food media and restaurant designs.  All James Beard Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia.

Bhatt has worked as a chef in Oxford for over 20 years. Last year he told Mississippi Today that he thinks of himself as a Southern chef because his style of cooking represents where he is now, but references his Indian roots.

“My heritage and where I grew up is very much a part of me, but this is home and this is what I do. I’m a Southern chef. I’m from here. I’ve spent more time here than anywhere else,” he said.

“It’s an incredible feeling winning the award,” he was quoted as saying by newsreports in his acceptance speech at the awards ceremony in Chicago, IL. “You kind of go numb.”

May 2019

Vicious attack in a 7-Eleven leaves clerk, Indian American customer injured

A vicious attack by four suspects at a 7-11 convenience store in Fremont, WA, has left the clerk and a customer hospitalized.

Surveillance video shows the suspects attacking the store clerk in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood and an Indian American customer, Baljinder Kaur, 55, jumping in to try and help.

The clerk suffered a cut to the head. Kaur also suffered injuries to her face. Two days after leaving the hospital, she was still in great pain, according to her son Deep Singh, who told KIRO 7 he planned to take his mother back to the hospital.

Singh told the news station it was unlike his mother to step into the midst of a battle.

“She saw the two people hitting one person. They were hitting him on the head and he trying to close the door,” he said.

"And they start punching her on the face and everything," he said. "Yeah, and my mother and the clerk. She was brave. Like she's trying to stop them, with the four people."

He says his 55-year-old mother continued to fight even after the clerk was knocked unconscious.

Investigators are still trying to track down the suspects.

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