Houston Chef wins James Beard Award for Best Chef

Last night at the James Beard Awards in Chicago, Benchawan Jabthong Painter, the head chef of Street to Kitchen, took home the prestigious title of Best Chef: Texas. In this competitive regional category, Painter stood out amongst four other talented chefs.

The chef, together with her husband, Graham Painter, launched Street to Kitchen, a Thai restaurant, in the summer of 2020. The unique eatery, located in a former gas station strip in East End, has seen a significant increase in traffic following the James Beard nomination earlier this year. 

Street to Kitchen Delivery Menu | 6501 Harrisburg Boulevard Houston - DoorDash
Image from Doordash

Patrons are particularly fond of the restaurant’s standout dish, black truffle durian crab curry. Painter, a native of Thailand, expressed her dissatisfaction with the lack of spice and authenticity in the Thai food available in Houston. She shared a poignant conversation with her husband where she said, “Maybe one day, we can open a restaurant that has the flavor like my grandmother and my mom cook for me.”

See the full list of winners here

Featured image from Houston City Book

Eva Rogers

Eva Rogers, a proud Texan and contributor for TexasTasty, infuses her writing with a deep passion for the Lone Star State. With roots in the vast plains of West Texas, Eva treasures the unique fusion of tradition and innovation that embodies the Texan spirit. Through her articles, she celebrates the diverse tapestry of Texas, exploring everything from its vibrant urban centers to its tranquil rural landscapes.