A renowned local chef added to his already extensive resume after winning one of the world’s most prestigious culinary awards. 

“We’re still a little shocked, like ‘OK, this is real?’” said Andrew Black, Oklahoma City chef, and owner of Grey Sweater, located near 4th Street and Walnut Avenue. 

After winning the award, Chef Black still couldn’t believe it. 

Black is a James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef of the Southwest award winner. 

“Excitement has kicked in, emotion has taken over because we have been through so much,” he said. 

The announcement was made on Monday as he beat four other finalists for the award, including Oklahoma City chef Jeff Chanchaleune. 

Black has been in town for just under two decades, but he told KFOR’s Galen Culver in 2021 that he got his start at his grandmother’s in Jamaica. 

“I look back to then and we were just dirt poor, but now, there are actually professional kitchens that cook over an open flame. It’s like, ‘Wow!’ It’s a thing,” he said. 

That turned into cooking at resorts and restaurants across the world and now serving dishes in Oklahoma City that rotate constantly. 

“I do business in the greatest state in America. It’s Oklahoma. It’s the people here who make it all happen,” he said. 

The best part about all of it is that he said he isn’t done yet. 

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“We know now the work begins,” he said. “It gives us the platform where her name is mentioned, where Oklahoma City is on the food map, where Grey Sweater is on the food map. We’re just grateful and excited for what is to come because we know that we haven’t scratched the surfaces yet.” 

Chef Black also owns the Black Walnut next door to Grey Sweater. 

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