Where Does Virginia Rank Among States With Best Chefs?

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

National Culinary Arts Month is in July. So BetVirginia.com used our lunch break from reviewing top Virginia sportsbook apps to look at which states have access to the best chefs in America. 

We used the website Best Chefs America, which has thousands of chefs in its database, to establish the top culinary talent in the United States. We then used the estimated U.S. Census state population numbers as of July 1, 2022, to figure out the states with the best chefs by capita. Note that this is where those chefs are located, not where they are from.

Virginia ranks No. 12 on our list with 192 chefs listed on the Best Chefs America website. That’s 0.0000221 per capita.

States With Most Top-Rated Chefs Per Capita

Overall RankStateNo. of Chefs on ListChefs Per Capita
2Rhode Island490.000045
7New York5400.000027
13New Jersey1980.000021
16New Hampshire230.0000164
21New Mexico280.0000132
23South Carolina640.00001211
24North Carolina1280.0000119

Virginia Ranks Well For Excellent Chefs

The Commonwealth has Washington D.C. at its doorstep, of course, and the nation’s capital is also one of America’s top food capitals, with a diverse scene that can satisfy just about any taste.

Top of that list is famed chef Jose Andres, a native of Spain who lives in Bethesda, Maryland, near D.C.

Nearly two dozen restaurants carry the Jose Andres name, including Jaleo in Arlington. That is the only Jose Andres restaurant in Virginia, but several of his D.C. restaurants are within easy reach for many diners in the commonwealth, including another Jaleo location plus Zaytinya, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana and Pepe. Andres is also the founder of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization devoted to helping provide food in areas that have recently seen wars or natural disasters.

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More Top-Rated Virginia Chefs

Peter Chang has six restaurants in Virginia, with four of them carrying the name Peter Chang’s China Grill.

The Bestchefsamerica.com website lists five restaurants for Wilson Richey, all in Charlottsville, the home of the University of Virginia.

German-born Robert Wiedmaier has 10 restaurants in the D.C. area including Mussel Bar & Grille in Arlington.

Michelle Williams has several restaurants in the Richmond area including a pair of seafood restaurants with inspirations from both oceans that frame the United States. West Coast Provisions is in Henrico, about 15 miles northwest of downtown, and East Coast Provisions is in Richmond.

James Beard Foundation Takes Notice of VA

Two Virginia chefs were semifinalists this year for the prestigious James Beard Awards in the “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” category in 2023.

They were Joy Crump of FOODE in Fredericksburg and Rahman “Rock” Harper of Queen Mother’s Fried Chicken in Arlington. The Mid-Atlantic region, at least defined by the Beard awards, contains Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, plus D.C.

And in 2015, the James Beard Awards designated Sally Bell’s Kitchen in Richmond in the “America’s Classics” category. The first iteration of Sally Bell’s Kitchen (then called Sarah Lee Kitchen) opened in 1924.

If you’re hungry for Virginia sports betting information, keep BetVirginia.com on your menu for all the latest news.


Jim Tomlin

Jim Tomlin has nearly 30 years of experience in journalism, having worked at such publications as the Tampa Bay Times, FanRag, Saturdays Down South and Saturday Tradition. He is a contributing writer and editor for BetVirginia.com.

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