Meet Kansas City’s Latest James Beard Award Winner

The James Beard Foundation Awards—often referred to as the Oscars of the food world—recognize some of the nation’s top restaurants, chefs, bars and culinary experts on an annual basis. On Monday, June 5, Yoli Tortilleria became the latest KC-area establishment to bring this prestigious honor home to the Heart of America.


Exterior photo of Yoli Tortilleria surrounded by green grass and trees

Located in Kansas City’s charming Westside neighborhood, the beloved tortilleria (along with owners Marissa and Mark Gencarelli) earned recognition in the Outstanding Bakery category. The storefront offers stone-ground corn tortillas and Sonoran-style flour tortillas, ensuring the finest quality for its signature corn tortilla products through an ancient method of preparing corn known as nixtamalization.

The Westside shop sells its tortillas by the package, in addition to salsas and food specials on a regular basis. Plus, Yoli has also developed a loyal following for its pop-up collaborations with other area restaurants. Keep an eye on Yoli’s Instagram feed for up-to-date details on the storefront’s current menus and creative endeavors.

More James Beard Foundation Honors

Interior of Drastic Measures with blue walls and bar seating
Drastic Measures

Steadfast in its commitment to “No Wine, No Beer, Just Cocktails,” Shawnee’s Drastic Measures earned a place as one of five JBF Awards finalists for Outstanding Bar. The no-reservations establishment offers all the inviting warmth of a den along with some unforgettable idiosyncrasies, like a color-changing chandelier that alert guests when seating becomes available.

Once you’re inside, the bar menu guarantees imaginative flavors, careful mixology and opportunities for philanthropy. Take a look at the description of a drink titled the Substitute Teacher for a clear example of Drastic Measures’ laid-back, community-first ethos:

“it’s like a pb&j but it’s hazelnut instead of peanuts- also $1 from every one of these for the next six months goes to local teachers.”


Three dishes on a table at The Town Company

This year's five KC-area semifinalists at the James Beard Foundation Awards boast some of the regions most beloved dishes and respected hospitality programs. Add these deserving establishments to your list of local restaurants that can't be missed:

Outstanding Chef
Johnny Leach, The Town Company

Outstanding Hospitality
The Restaurant at 1900

Best Chef Midwest
Nick Goellner, The Antler Room

Best Chef Midwest
Pam Liberda, Waldo Thai

Best Chef Midwest
Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room