Winner will be featured on the cover of Taste of Home magazine, cook with Carla Hall, and take home $25,000!


Lillian Cumic

Favorite Chef would allow me to create a Hawaii-based cooking show where food is both a visual feast and a celebration of health.


Currently 9

in the Final 12


You decide who will be the next Favorite Chef

Voting for this year's Favorite Chef ends Thursday the 25th of July at 7PM PDT

Want to be notified if their position changes?

Receive Text Updates
Who or what inspires you to cook?

As a vegan chef, I'm deeply inspired each time I see the surprise and joy on someone's face as they discover my dishes are entirely plant-based. These moments of wonder fuel my creativity and drive my mission to elevate vegan cuisine to new heights, proving it can rival any traditional dish in flavor and satisfaction. It's about changing perceptions and inspiring healthier, mindful eating, one plate at a time.

What's your all time favorite dish to make?

My all-time favorite dish, Beet Wellington, encapsulates everything I love about vegan cooking. A vibrant tender beet and tofu center enveloped in a layer of umami-packed mushroom duxelles, and wrapped in homemade puff pastry—flaky, buttery, and golden. I serve it with a shiitake mushroom dashi gravy, which adds a silky, savory note that enhances every other element on the plate. This dish challenges conventional expectations making it a standout representation of how dynamic vegan food c

What would you do with the $25,000?

I'd launch "Nourishing Paradise," a cooking show designed for health-conscious foodies and avid travelers seeking an authentic taste of Hawaiian culture and cuisine. By transforming classic dishes with plant-based twists and infusing every recipe with the spirit of Aloha, this show will not only celebrate Hawaii’s unique flavors but also position the islands as a premier culinary destination, inviting viewers worldwide to explore and embrace our vibrant food culture.

James Beard Foundation

Help Lillian Cumic become the next Favorite Chef with a tax-deductible donation. Your support helps create a more equitable and sustainable future in the restaurant industry.

1 Vote
10 Votes
25 Votes
50 Votes
100 Votes
250 Votes
Other Amount

Enter donation - $1 per vote

Make onions cry

Sharpen your knives and show the world why you’re the Favorite Chef.

Learn More