Local chef nominated for James Beard award

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:51 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - As we wrap up women’s history month, we want to spotlight a local female chef who has beat all odds and is living out the dream she always longed for.

She’s also Kansas City’s only woman chef in her category nominated for the James Beard award this year. Pam Liberda is the owner and executive chef of Waldo Thai. She was born and raised in Thailand, but always wanted to live the American dream.

Being a woman and a minority in the restaurant industry, she was determined to outwork everyone else. She pairs that hustle with heart, reaching out a hand to other women chefs in Kansas City.

”With women we always have this imposter syndrome...whatever we do isn’t going to be good enough. So when we meet the other women chefs, we look them in the eye and say I know what youve been through, I know what got you to this level and we should stick together to be better together,” says Liberda.

Liberda says this nomination has been a longtime goal of hers. Several other local chefs are in the running for the James Beard awards, including:

Outstanding Chef - Johnny Leach, The Town Company, Kansas City, MO

Outstanding Bakery - Yoli Tortilleria, Kansas City, MO

Outstanding Bar - Drastic Measures, Shawnee, KS

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, MO

Nick Goellner, The Antler Room, Kansas City, MO

Pam Liberda, Waldo Thai, Kansas City, MO