Kuya Lord chef wins the James Beard Award for Best Chef in California | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Kuya Lord James Beard Awards 2024
Photos from @kuyalord_la/Instagram

Lord Maynard Llera of Kuya Lord is the only Filipino taking home an award from the James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards


Lord Maynard Llera, chef and owner of Filipino restaurant Kuya Lord in Los Angeles, just bagged the 2024 James Beard Award for Best Chef: California. He is the only Filipino semifinalist in the Restaurant and Chef Awards to take home an award.

His restaurant, Kuya Lord, started as a pop-up, before eventually converting his garage into a kitchen during the pandemic. From the overwhelming success brought about by social media “word of mouth,” he has since moved to a 21-seater space along Melrose Avenue, becoming one of the most highly regarded Filipino restaurants by the Los Angeles Times, Eater, Time Out, and Bon Appetit.

Llera’s menu at Kuya Lord takes inspiration from his roots in Lucena City as well as the culinary techniques he’s learned and picked up through his studies and career in the US. 

This award from the James Beard Awards is his first—and is the only win for Los Angeles this year.


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On the Media Awards front, Filipino-American Abi Balingit, baker and author of “Mayumu: Filipino American Desserts Remixed,” bagged the Emerging Voice award for the James Beard Foundation Book Awards.


Header photo from @kuyalord_la/Instagram

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