San Francisco Chronicle Restaurant Critic Soleil Ho Receives James Beard Award

James Beard Foundation awards SF Chronicle’s Soleil Ho the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award.

The Craig Claiborne award is the ultimate distinction for restaurant criticism, granted to someone who has made an everlasting influence on food and culture, setting regional standards and catalyzing national dialogues.

Ho got the Craig Claiborne award based on three reviews: Bay Area’s Smashburger, Impossible’s New Vegan Nuggets, and S.F. Restaurant’s $72 Fried Rice

thank you to the crew at @sfchronicle for believing that I could do this job when I definitely didn’t believe I could do it,” Ho wrote on Twitter, “ TY to my editors @lucchesi, @ssdai and @JanelleBitker for always being in my corner. and huge thanks to everyone cheering me on! I came into this world+” 

The Vietnamese-American restaurant critic joined The SF Chronicle in 2019 and previously worked as a freelance writer, podcast producer, and restaurant chef. 

According to The Chronicle, Ho’s reviews often go beyond the food on the table to explore the stories of the people who make it and the larger ethical and cultural issues tied inextricably to what we eat. 

Ho also writes cultural commentary, hosts the Extra Spicy podcast, and publishes the Bite Curious newsletter.