February 24, 2013
Ian Boden is up for a James Beard Award, a semi-finalist for 'Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic.'
Boden prepared to feed nearly 500 guests at the "Oscar Experience" at The Paramount on Sunday night, but he is up for what some people call the Oscar for chefs.
Boden is a native of Virginia and lives in Staunton. His love for the kitchen began at just 13-years-old, and he took over his kitchen at 25.
Now, he is more than three months into being top chef at the Glass Haus Kitchen in Charlottesville, which opened in November.
"Above all it's important that you're soul satisfied," said Boden of the experience at Glass Haus Kitchen. "There should be some connection for you on the plate. You should be able to walk out saying, 'You know that kinda reminds be of when my mom made x, y and z, or when my grandmother used to make this,' or 'Oh, I remember this soup my mom made that took all day.' Those are things that catch you."
And that connection is what he has made his career about for years now. Connecting to local farmers and producers is an important part of the job and experience for him. He says he brings fresh produce from the farmers near his home in Staunton across the mountain to Charlottesville.
Some chef's work their whole lives to be selected for a James Beard Award. Boden is still in shock since the news came out last week.
"I didn't believe it at first at all. But there it was, there was my name," he said of finding out via a friend's tweet.
"I'm trying to let it settle in a little bit. It means a great deal to me. Winning is not in my head at all I don't even care about that. Just the thought that I was selected by diners, by guests, by the community is just thrilling. That's thrilling to me."
The James Beard Award winners will be announced at Lincoln Center in New York in May.