The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America. The 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree is legendary cookbook author, writer, teacher, and actress Madhur Jaffrey CBE. Jaffrey first captured attention as an actress in the film Shakespeare Wallah, winning the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival in 1965. Her first cookbook, An Invitation to Indian Cooking, was published in 1973, and was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame in 2006.
She has since released more than 30 award-winning cookbooks, cementing her status as the “Godmother of Indian Cooking.” In 1982, her iconic show, Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery, premiered on the BBC. Jaffrey, who was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2022—the third-highest civilian award given by the Indian government— is credited with bringing mainstream attention to Indian cuisine, both in the U.S. and the U.K. She was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.K. Guild of Food Writers in 2019 and, with the 2023 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award, she is a nine-time James Beard Award winner.
“It’s a wonderful pinnacle to my career and I’m overjoyed,” Jaffrey said of her James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. The Humanitarian of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Honorees will be recognized at the Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 5 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.