What started as a blog to celebrate Los Angeles and its rough edges, focused on graffiti, cannabis, and tacos, is now grown up: L.A. Taco received the “Emerging Voice” award from the James Beard Foundation, which many consider the nation’s most prestigious award for food media.
At a time when local journalism is under threat, L.A. Taco (lataco.com) rose to the challenge. Publisher Alex Bloomingdale and co-founder Hadley Tomicki, who refused to allow their city’s media to die, hired Daniel Hernandez a number of years ago – a media veteran from VICE and LA Times. It was a move that would shape L.A. Taco’s style of community reporting and food media. More recently, Javier Cabral was installed as Editor, and building from the ground up, he re-invented the website for the urban consumer, highlighting the real Los Angeles.
“When I joined as Editor in July 2019, it was important for me to continue my predecessor’s legacy and represent the Los Angeles I knew – a city beyond its beaches and Hollywood. The avenues and boulevards of the east, northeast, south, southeast, central, Koreatown, The Valleys, and the other LA communities that don’t receive the coverage they deserve,”said Cabral
“Having won the award, the feeling is unreal and will take days to sink in, especially as the son of Mexican immigrants who grew up in poverty and started writing about food 15 years ago.
“This is my first James Beard Award; our first James Beard Award. Thank you, L.A. Taco, its ride-or-die contributors, and our loyal members for making this all possible,” Cabral concluded.
Also taking part in the celebrations is Publisher Alex Bloomingdale, who was equally delighted by the award. “It’s extremely gratifying to have the hard work of the entire L.A. Taco team recognized by the James Beard Foundation,” he said. “We were facing enormous challenges last year and were almost forced to close, but we stuck to our guns and the award is a tremendous vindication of the perseverance and vision of everybody involved.”
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