Award Winning Chefs in Downcity

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We are so very lucky to reap the delicious benefits of one of the best food cities in the nation. Here are a few (not too shabby) honors that have been bestowed upon some of our favorite downcity chefs.

Frank Yoshi from

Ken’s Ramen

Recently featured in the restaurant guide, Zagat, as one of Providence’s 10 hottest restaurants:

“Downtown Providence lacked a proper ramen bar until this serious slurp shop came along, ladling out noodle soups featuring meticulously sourced ingredients and long-simmered broths, alongside rice bowls, traditional sides and snacks and a brief list of beer, soju, sake and Japanese whiskey; with modern, minimalist decor, loud hip-hop on the sound system and an all-around cheeky demeanor, it’s generally packed. . .”

Ken’s Ramen also got on the cover of Bon Appétit’s May print, having been featured in an article on the county’s best Ramen joints.



Chef Matthew Varga from


Photo by J. Wessel Photography

Since Varga joined the team, Gracie’s has won the AAA four-diamond award five years straight, and received three Diner’s Choice awards from Open Table. Chef Varga has been featured in Art Culinaire and as a guest chef for the Democratic Governors Association Taste of America gala.

Most Recently, chef Varga was awarded Chef of the Year 2016 by the Rhode Island Hospitality Association for his beautiful creations at Gracie’s.


Chef Melissa Denmark from

Ellie’s Bakery + Gracie’s

Every autumn, readers of Edible Rhody are invited to vote for their local food heroes, as a way to honor the people who bring us our food and drink. In 2016, pastry chef Melissa Denmark received the Local Hero Award for her work at both Ellie’s Bakery and Gracie’s. She has also received Food & Wine’s Up and Coming Chef award and an honor from Star Chefs


Ben Sukle from

Oberlin + Birch

Photo by Jesse Burke

After Oberlin was listed in Bon Appetit this summer for top 10 best American Restaraunt, Ben Sukle has been nominated as a finalist for best chef in the Northeast. His elegant dishes at both Birch and Oberlin celebrate the unique characteristics of the Seasonal East Coast, with a strong emphasis on classic technique and adventurous combinations.

Best Chef is defined as:

 Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years with the three most recent years spent in the region.

Send Ben your positive vibes during the James Beard Award Gala. It takes place in Chicago on May 1st!




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