Westlake native wins 2 James Beard Awards

Chinese-American author Kristina Cho was honored for her cook book celebrating Chinese baking.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Westlake native, Kristina Cho, won two James Beard Awards over the weekend in the 2022 ceremonies in Chicago, Illinois.

The author, food blogger and recipe developer published her first cook book, Mooncakes and Milk Bread: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by Chinese Bakeries, in the fall.

Cho won in the Baking and Desserts category, and the Emerging Voice category.

Cookbooks and other non-fiction food or beverage-related books that were published in English in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021 were eligible to enter the 2022 James Beard Book Awards.

Cho’s book, published by Harper Horizon, celebrates the art of Chinese baking and sweets.

“It’s the first book in English to comprehensively cover Chinese baking,” Cho said.

She grew up exploring and indulging in the bakeries and grocery stores in Cleveland’s Asiatown neighborhood.

Cho discussed the book and the childhood experiences in Cleveland that shaped her culinary journey on Taste Buds.

“I think a lot of the recipes are incredibly approachable,” she said.

The book includes tips and help with shopping at an Asian market.

“Growing up in Cleveland it was nice that you do have a Chinatown that does have great accessibility to some of the harder to find ingredients,” she said.

“I’m immensely proud of Mooncakes and Milk Bread and so honored to be in the same ranks as Cheryl Day, Roxana Jullapat, and the rest of the talented chefs, cooks, and writers nominated,” Cho said in an Instagram post upon being nominated.

Published in October, the books was backordered for some time due to it’s tremendous popularity.

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Jen Picciano

Jen Picciano

Jen Picciano is an Emmy award-winning reporter for WOIO-TV and creator of the restaurant and dining segment Cleveland Cooks.